Pat Burrows, MC5 Bassist, Left and No One Noticed

The Detroit music legacy is composed of so many players, and it seems as if they die every day. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, and it seems that one long lost player passed without much notice. Pat Burrows, once the bassist for the MC5, died in October 2009 with little fanfare save for a nice mention in the house organ of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he worked as a security officer.
Burrows is mentioned in the book, “MC5: Sonically Speaking (Wayne State University Press) by Brett Callwood.
“[Michael]Davis remembers him playing an Echo Violin bass and holding it upright, like Bill Wyman holds his instrument. He played well and he seemed like he fit in with them, at least to outsiders. As David recalls, ‘He really wanted to play a Fender Precision bass, because he liked to Motown sound. So he pawned the Echo, which the rest of the guys thought was their ticket to getting popular because they thought it was very British, so they all got pissed off at hm.’ ”
Ken Shimamoto did a terrific interview in 2002, one of the few ever done with Burrows, who was an original Five member in 1964. Read that gem here; the combination of Shimamoto’s innate curiosity and the unassuming, contented demeanor of Burrows is touching. When Shimamoto asked about how the band changed while he was in, Burrows responded:
“I left the group before they were really successful, and they weren’t real hard…they were pretty much an R&B group when Bob Gaspar and I were with them. I left and went in the service in ’66, and it wasn’t any big change as far as me going. I think the biggest thing with me was I bought a Fender bass and Fred and Wayne were mad. I got rid of this little English bass…it wasn’t a big deal to me, I don’t know. I had a girlfriend, I just went ahead and went in the service. The drummer…I think he was crushed. He asked me years later, “Are you sorry about not being with the group?” I said, “No, not at all.” And he really was. With me, there was no bitterness or any of that crap. Sometimes it’s time to move on. Everything happens for a reason.” 
It seems the small issue of which flavor of bass guitar he played made quite an impression on everyone but Burrows, who appeared to unprepared and uninterested for the bullshit element of showbiz.
Here’s a couple clips on Burrows (see art); he didn’t stick around for the show, but appears to be every bit satisfied how things turned out. Hard to believe, right? Nice to know that doesn’t need that stroke.





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