Fred “Sonic” Smith

Frederick Dewey Smith (September 14, 1948 – November 4, 1994), known professionally as Fred “Sonic” Smith, was an American guitarist, best known as a member of the influential and political Detroit rock band MC5.At age 31, he married and raised a family with poet and fellow rock musician Patti Smith. The couple collaborated musically, and raised two children together.

Smith was a guitarist with the MC5 and later went on to form Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, which released one single, “City Slang”, during Smith’s lifetime. In 1988 he collaborated with Patti Smithon her album Dream of Life.

In 2018, Smith was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame alongside Hasil Adkins and Ann Magnuson. A resident of St. Clair Shores, Michigan (a Detroit suburb), Fred Smith died in Detroit in 1994. He had been in poor health for years and succumbed to heart failure.

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