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A Bigger Bang Tour 2007

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11th February 2007 05:23 PM
Sir Stonesalot >Backstage passes for the Pogues after-party, eh?

You bastard!<

Yeah I know. I'm not even gonna try to keep up with Shane. I can drink, but I can't Shane drink.
12th February 2007 09:32 AM
Sir Stonesalot wrote:
>Backstage passes for the Pogues after-party, eh?

You bastard!<

Yeah I know. I'm not even gonna try to keep up with Shane. I can drink, but I can't Shane drink.

He's like the poster boy for Guinness! A toothless, demented poster boy, but then that's part of his charm.
14th February 2007 01:32 PM
mojoman Thu 03/08/07 Caprices Festival, SWI Caprices

Sat 03/17/07 Austin, TX SxSW

Sat 04/07/07 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre

Mon 04/09/07 New York, NY United Palace

Wed 04/11/07 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory

Fri 04/13/07 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre

Tue 04/17/07 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium

Thu 04/19/07 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre

Sat 04/21/07 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre

Fri 04/27/07 Seattle, WA Qwest Field & Event Center

Tue 07/03/07 Paris, FRA Palais Des Sports

Sat 07/21/07 Tromso, NOR Buktafestivalen
14th February 2007 01:36 PM
nanatod No shows in Chicago, yet he recorded the album at Electric Audio, with Steve Albini producing?
16th February 2007 07:15 PM
GotToRollMe Just got this little piece of info:

Iggy and The Stooges will be offering a limited amount of pre-sale tickets to their online community for the following shows!

All pre-sales below will start at 10am in the time zone of the performance on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH!

4/9 - United Palace in New York City
4/11 - Electric Factory in Philadelphia
4/13 - Fox Theatre in Detroit
4/15 - Congress Theatre in Chicago
4/17 - Fillmore Auditorium in Denver
4/19 & 4/21 - The Warfield in San Francisco
4/23 - The Wiltern in Los Angeles
4/27 - WaMu Theater at Qwest Field Events

To access these tickets, go to


[Edited by GotToRollMe]
16th February 2007 07:19 PM
pdog Awesome...
I'm going to definitely be at the 1st SF show, and hopefully with at least two fellow SF RO-er's...
23rd February 2007 03:41 PM
GotToRollMe 10th Row Center for the 4/9 NYC United Palace show, you bastards! Woohoo!
23rd February 2007 03:44 PM
lotsajizz awesome...that's the very next show after mine

23rd February 2007 05:29 PM
Phog Got tix for Denver the other day. I cannot wait for this gig.
23rd February 2007 05:32 PM
nanatod wrote:
No shows in Chicago, yet he recorded the album at Electric Audio, with Steve Albini producing?

Big Black and Steve Albini are my fav. Chi-town exports!
24th February 2007 10:36 AM
GotToRollMe Easy Action records just put out a box set of live Iggy shows from the '70s and '80s:

24th February 2007 12:29 PM
Sir Stonesalot Why isn't Philly on sale yet!

I want my Stooges tix dammit!
25th February 2007 01:07 AM
GotToRollMe wrote:
Woohoo! Too bad I've seen Iggy umpteen times and I'm savin' every penny to see the fuckin' Stones this year. Fuckin' Stones.

So many favorite bands I have never seen before are touring this year that Stones are lower priority than ever. That said, I should check in with Rocks Off more often these days, missed the presale, didn't feel like sneaking into work to use the computer there for the onsale so I am shut out of the Wiltern gig. I will figure something out though. Hope they just add another show.
25th February 2007 10:42 AM
GotToRollMe Here's a pretty good article from today's New York Times by Ben Ratliff:

Iggy Pop at the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival in Minehead, England.

Same Stooges. Different World. Finer Wine.
By Ben Ratliff
Photos by Steve Forrest/Insight-Visual for The New York Times
Published: February 25, 2007

There are the Stooges, from Ann Arbor, Mich., accidental inventors of punk, in the summer of 1970, on nationwide television. And there’s Iggy Pop, their singer: bare torso and sausage-casing jeans, silver gloves, dog collar, chipped front tooth.

Iggy Pop backstage at a music festival in Minehead, England, in December. His only vice nowadays? A few glasses of Bordeaux, he says.
The song is “TV Eye,” and they have gotten wickedly good at their primitive groove — as good as they will ever get. Iggy weaves in and out of the beat: one second borne by the music, one second abstracted from it. Suddenly he does a violent knock-kneed dance and slips into the audience, gone except for his wounded-animal noises.

“There goes Iggy, right into the crowd,” says the host of the special NBC program “Midsummer Rock.” It’s Jack Lescoulie, an announcer on the “Today” show, the Al Roker of his day. In his late 50s he looks like the anti-Stooge: professional, good-natured, well fed, well insured.

After a commercial break we see Iggy crawling on the stage. “Since we broke away for our message, Iggy has been in the crowd and out again three different times,” Mr. Lescoulie says. “They seem to be enjoying it, and so does he.” The camera centers on a scrum of teenagers looking downward. Iggy surfaces, hoists himself up so he’s standing on shoulders, and remains aloft, pointing forward like the prow of a ship. Next he’s scooping something out of a jar, wiping it on himself, flinging it around. “That’s peanut butter,” Mr. Lescoulie says, incredulous.

I’m going to be straight,” Iggy Pop said recently, talking about that film, which circulated for years in certain circles and is now of course available on YouTube. “I was more than a little high.”

Iggy Pop backstage at a music festival in Minehead, England, in December. His only vice nowadays? A few glasses of Bordeaux, he says.

He was often more than a little high. But these days Iggy Pop, a k a Jim Osterberg, is ferociously grounded. He swims and practices a form of tai chi, and his only vice, he says, is a few glasses of Bordeaux. Coming up on his 60th birthday, he bears signs of age: creased and ropy, he limps from cartilage lost in his right hip, and can’t hear well over ambient noise.

For the first time in 34 years, however, he and the members of his onetime band are putting out a new record: “The Weirdness,” which will be released by Virgin on March 6. (Careful historians will say 37 years: this is the version of the Stooges that made “Fun House,” around the time of the peanut butter concert — the brothers Ron and Scott Asheton on guitar and drums and Steve Mackay on tenor saxophone.)

In the intervening years they too have changed. As has the world around them.

Once upon a time Iggy and the Stooges defined themselves against the Lescoulies of the world: they were outrageous, truculent, elemental. But these days it seems there are more Iggys than Lescoulies. Everyone’s subversive, everyone’s perverse. What can the Stooges be, if not a band that defines itself against the rest of the world? What happens when they’re old and experienced, and punk attitudes, already in their third generation, have infiltrated so many corners of the culture? How do they climb back into that frame of mind?

"Breaking up” doesn’t exist anymore. A band only has extended periods of downtime.

The Stooges’ downtime was a little more down than others. Ron Asheton used to say that Iggy had become too self-involved for the Stooges to play together again. Scott Asheton pursued Iggy at various points over the last 10 years, and the answer was always no. “I wasn’t going to go backwards,” Iggy explains now. “And I wasn’t going to do anything to what I thought was a great band.”

At some point, however, the incentives just became too powerful: prime gigs at the best rock festivals in the world, both the best-paid and the most creatively run.

Plus, what else was there to do? Scott Asheton, who lives in Florida, had been working in construction. His brother, Ron, had been in a series of bands that hadn’t made a stir, still living in his boyhood home on the west side of Ann Arbor, where the band had its first rehearsals. (All three went to Ann Arbor High together.)

Iggy needed the Ashetons just as much. “We managed to stay in a band together during a protracted period of failure,” he said of those early days, gigging and making records and living in a filthy house. “No rewards. No approval. No money. These are really the only guys I know. That doesn’t mean, ‘Oh, shucks, I like them so much.’ I mean, we lived together.”

Besides, “I’d hit a wall playing alone, in my solo music,” he said. “I was just at wit’s end about what to do — bands, songwriting, everything.”

He invited the Ashetons to work on a few songs with him for his album “Skull Ring” in 2003. A week after they convened, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival floated the idea of a Stooges reunion show. (They did the show; Iggy wouldn’t say how much they were offered, though he does say that the Stooges now get paid much better than he did for concerts during his solo career.) And the bassist Mike Watt came on board, once of the Minutemen, to take the place of Dave Alexander, who died in 1975.

Before they all headed into the studio, Mr. Watt flew to Florida to go over the new songs, and Iggy gave him a lesson about finding his “inner stupidity.”

They were practicing “She Took My Money.” (“She took my money/And didn’t say thank you/She took my money/And immediately banked it.”) Mr. Watt has a strong melodic style on the bass, but Iggy leaned on him to play with a pick instead of his fingers, and to stay with the backbone of the song, even if it meant sounding as dumb, he explained, as the guy singing the bass notes in a doo-wop group. “Play the content,” Iggy urged. “As soon as one of us isn’t playing that, we don’t have a song.”

From left, Scott Asheton, Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, Mike Watt (foreground) and Steve Mackay backstage at the same festival.

It might have seemed like square advice, but Mr. Watt took it in stride. “Don’t get me wrong,” he said the other day. “There wouldn’t be punk without the Stooges. But after punk, things changed. And they come from the ’60s, so there’s a different sensibility there. Iggy just said: ‘Let go, Watt. Let go of ego. Learn from the source.’ ”

Over the 70 or so shows the group has played since 2003, it has developed a routine, including a repertory of 14 songs from the earlier albums “The Stooges” and “Fun House.” At least once Iggy writhes on top of the bass amp; artfully he keeps his pants in danger of falling down; he chants “I am you” during the free-jazz portion of the song “Fun House.”

You can’t be prepared for the power of a Stooges show; it still baffles you, makes you a Lescoulie. Iggy juts his hip out like a bumper, skips and punches the air, dives into the audience. On the final night of the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, which the Stooges headlined in Minehead, England, in December, Iggy encouraged about 60 people to dance onstage, endangering the backline of amplifiers. And he practices his extraordinary physical vocabulary, tilting his shoulders and extending his arms above and behind his head. (Not insignificantly, he was a backstroker on the Ann Arbor High swim team.)

Afterward, backstage, Iggy let two glasses of wine last him 40 minutes. He was in a fine mood. “I sang about twice as hard as I usually do,” he marveled. “And I was worrying. A little voice was saying to me, ‘Do you sound too demented?’ You know, you don’t want to overdo it. It happens to any musician. If you want to do really well, sometimes you take it all on yourself. And that ain’t it. You’ve got to tone down to fit into the beauty of the percolation. This is all part of finding the stupidity, you know.”

In October at Electrical Audio studios in Chicago the overall picture was of scheduled productivity. After the basic tracks for “The Weirdness” had been recorded, each band member was given his own day to make suggestions and additions. I came during Ron Asheton’s day, when he was tracking some extra guitar solos. The day before had been Steve Mackay’s day; Iggy thanked him with a bottle of very nice wine.

Around one another the three original Stooges communicate in shorthand. Iggy Pop, famous as a wildman and credible as a sage, is less well known as an organized type: a note taker, a list maker. He led the discussion on the fine points of each playback. Scott Asheton, a brooding figure who rarely left his chair, voiced a few reservations — “Too much solos sounds too amateurish,” he said at one point — and little else. (He was right, and more solos made it on to the record than probably should have.) Ron Asheton just confidently got his job done. After recording one screaming guitar overdub, he re-entered the control room. “Was I too obtuse?” he asked, feigning an epicene British accent. Nobody answered.

While recording, Iggy swam laps in the hotel pool every day before going to work at noon. During the recording of “Fun House” in 1970, by comparison, he dropped acid before each day’s session.

Still, Ron Asheton says the Iggy Pop of today is not altogether unfamiliar. “He’s more like the Jim I knew in the beginning,” Mr. Asheton said. (To old friends, Iggy is Jim.) “It’s like the better Jim times. When we first started hanging out, he didn’t smoke cigarettes. Jim and I were always more conservative, hesitant to drink, the last ones to smoke marijuana. When we got to Chicago, he had a piece of paper, and it said exactly what’s going to happen on every given day. He asks our opinion; we have a mutual pact that we all have to agree. I love that he deals with the schedules. I know that he needs to do that. He’s clear about what he wants to do.”

The resulting album takes pains to remind you that the Stooges are authentic, that their simplicity and roughness isn’t just a casual disposition, or a consequence of being messed up, but a dogma. But “The Weirdness” sounds nothing like “Fun House.” Gone are the medium and slow tempos, the glorious cosmic drone of old songs like “Dirt” and “Ann”; the band “wants less uncertainties,” in Iggy’s words, and in the process has shed half its old sound. It’s almost all fast and rough — almost a punk album, with the hard riffs and commitment to bashing that one wishes the Rolling Stones still had. The spirit is there, even when, in some cases, the songwriting is not.

Its engineer is Steve Albini, who has become known for his own dogma of simplicity: analog equipment, full-band live takes, no filters and reverb. The Ashetons’ drums and guitars are big, and Iggy, relatively speaking, is small. He pushes his voice, yelping the lyrics, which are typically zen-mundane. Stooges songs used to be about boredom, sex and hanging out. Now they are about boredom, aging, money, sex, greed and hanging out.

The best example is “ATM.” Most of its words have one syllable; it is a smart-stupid rendering of a cash machine as a symbol for money, efficiency, and aging. And it has a provocative aside. “The leaders of rock don’t rock,” he sings at one point. “This bothers me quite a lot.”

He wouldn’t tell me who he was talking about specifically, he said, but he believes that the rock business is too big, run by people who know nothing about it.

Wasn’t that always the case?

“No,” he said, decisively. “The people I met at the top in 1972 tended to be crackpots from the fringes of the lowest parts of the entertainment industry. And they tended to know their stuff. Jac Holzman” — the president of Elektra, the Stooges’ old label — “was a former record-store owner in the Village. The guy who ran the very biggest talent agency in New York had ties to the pinball industry, I guess you could say. They could really screw an artist up, but they weren’t just someone from Legal.”

He started warming to the subject: the real subject of the song, he said, was “a fairly loosely aggregated industry-slash-palace guard that has coalesced around the corpus of something called rock, and that something has grown to have something to do with units of digital information, and filling a parking lot.” He paused. “It’s impressive. It’s brutally compelling, sometimes. But it’s not enjoyable.”

He says he can hear moments of wildness in the old Stooges record that he knows he can’t reach anymore. “But some of that’s youth.”

“And the time period,” said Scott Asheton. “What was goin’ on.”

“So, you know,” Iggy responded. “I don’t worry about it too much. Other people are going to do plenty of yakety-yak on that subject for me. Who needs another comment from me?”

How is it to make a new Stooges record without drugs?

“You know, I don’t feel the difference,” he said, thoughtfully. “You?” he asked Scott Asheton.

“Ah, no,” he replied, turned 180 degrees away, smoking a cigarette.

“I feel just like I did when I was stoned,” Iggy continued. “I feel the same. The thing is, it’s wonderful to know we can’t take them,” he said, and smiled crisply.

Video Here:

[Edited by GotToRollMe]
25th February 2007 01:19 PM
glencar I just finished reading that article. This part is obviously about the Stones, no?

The best example is “ATM.” Most of its words have one syllable; it is a smart-stupid rendering of a cash machine as a symbol for money, efficiency, and aging. And it has a provocative aside. “The leaders of rock don’t rock,” he sings at one point. “This bothers me quite a lot.”

He wouldn’t tell me who he was talking about specifically, he said, but he believes that the rock business is too big, run by people who know nothing about it.
25th February 2007 01:33 PM
glencar wrote:
I just finished reading that article. This part is obviously about the Stones, no?

The best example is “ATM.” Most of its words have one syllable; it is a smart-stupid rendering of a cash machine as a symbol for money, efficiency, and aging. And it has a provocative aside. “The leaders of rock don’t rock,” he sings at one point. “This bothers me quite a lot.”

He wouldn’t tell me who he was talking about specifically, he said, but he believes that the rock business is too big, run by people who know nothing about it.

I'd say it's more about people like Michael Cohl, The Stoes are still into rock and roll, they just got warped in the machine that Iggy is talking about... That's my take on it.
25th February 2007 01:34 PM
glencar Yabbut Michael Cohl wouldn't be considered "a leader of rock" unlike Jagger & Co.
25th February 2007 01:42 PM
glencar wrote:
Yabbut Michael Cohl wouldn't be considered "a leader of rock" unlike Jagger & Co.

I probably don't want to see it that way, b/c Iggy dissing The Stones pains me....
25th February 2007 01:58 PM
lotsajizz I am SO psyched to see 'em
25th February 2007 02:54 PM
mac_daddy thanks.

love the watt content

you guys will dig the stooges gigs, for sure!

25th February 2007 03:28 PM
Sir Stonesalot Well if The Stones want guys like Iggy to stop dissing them, there is a very very easy solution.


Here it is...

The Rolling Stones should start ROCKING again. Stop the silly adult copntemporary pop crap of B2B & ABB, and fucking ROCK n ROLL. The Stones are THE BEST at that, and if they'd DO IT, then everyone would have to shut the fuck up.

Sorry. It needed said.
1st March 2007 09:51 AM
GotToRollMe From the latest L.A. City Beat:

Photos by Steve Appleford

Back On The Street

In 1969, the Stooges began a proto-punk revolution and flamed out. Now, Iggy Pop has reconvened the dum dum boys for another round of dangerous fun.


~ Still Loose: Iggy Pop ~

The man of tomorrow has skin like leather and a hot Florida tan of brown and orange. He has blond hair and a hard, lizard’s physique. Iggy Pop is about to turn 60, and he still looks like the most dangerous and intense rocker alive. It hasn’t been easy, not for him or anyone else. Some have tried to follow his path and flamed out. Others have died young and stupid. But Iggy survives. He’s been beaten, cut, and broken. He’s been unconscious, institutionalized, missing, desperate, and fried. And yet here he stands, shirtless and as ripped as a baby Bolshoi dancer, a feral iguana of a man now and into the future.

He is still a boyish size 28, calmly sculpted through years of abuse and madness and daily sessions of Qigong and Tai Chi, and a nightly ritual of singing, snarling, and dancing. And he’s doing it now, shaking it on-camera in a downtown L.A. television studio as only he can. It is a caveman’s dance, all grunts and hops and grinds and bumps and go-go twists, eventually wandering from the microphone so Iggy can rub his backside against a pole. He pours a cup of water over his head and sings a new song with an old, raging sound:

“I’m chasing a buck
I’m running on luck
My work is my wife
So is this a life … I’m fried!”

Now he’s kneeling on the cement floor, slapping his head to the beat. And behind him are Scott and Ron Asheton, boyhood collaborators from back home in Detroit rock city. Scott on drums, Ron on guitar. Together, the three of them once formed a band called the Stooges, and they changed the course of rock ’n’ roll in ways that haven’t always been clear. What the Stooges created was harsher than simple garage rock. It was glorious and sick, hopped up on adrenaline and fiery beats and guitars they could never play quite fast enough. The songs “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “No Fun” were concentrated hard-rock psychojams, obliterating the hippie dream of the moment with fast riffs and a tantrum of gloomy beats. Punk before punk. And always Iggy up front, onstage or diving right into the crowd, roaring, venting, panting, groaning, biting, slobbering, and chewing – a perverse explosion of his heroes, Frank Sinatra and James Brown.

What has brought them here tonight is the Stooges’ first album in 33 years. Few expected it. Three decades is enough time that the possibility of a reunion was rarely even discussed among fans. Ron Asheton never predicted it. The Stooges were done. Iggy had left that all behind. But what Iggy is doing on camera for The Henry Rollins Show is not so different from what he’s done for most of the years since. The Stooges are just a better band, with a rolling, throbbing, thunderous groove to match his moves.

Between songs, Iggy Stooge is impatient and ready to bop.

“Quicker is better in these situations, or it is likely to turn into an episode of The Office,” he says, waiting for the next tune to ignite. Then he jokes into the camera, “Somewhere out there is a cooking show. Maybe that can be a spin-off for Henry.”

Rollins just smiles. “Thanks.” The host watches from nearby, grinning and bobbing his head to the anxious beats. All the songs tonight are fresh, lifted from the new album, The Weirdness (due out March 6 on Virgin Records), and Rollins seems to approve of what he hears. Another veteran punk from his generation, Mike Watt of the Minutemen, is on bass guitar. (Original bassist Dave Alexander died in 1975.) The moment is almost too much to bear. Rollins had been inspired to his own extremes of loudness and experience by the example of the Stooges, patrolling stages in his days with Black Flag and his solo career shirtless and soaked, wearing nothing but black gym shorts. He once declared the Stooges his personal religion, and the album Fun House as a holy text, in a 1985 article he wrote for the back page of Spin magazine. (That essay, “My Favorite Albums,” listed only Fun House and one other, the Velvet Underground’s White Light, White Heat.) That small bit of historical agit-pop helped enlighten a new generation of fresh young punks who maybe knew Iggy only as David Bowie’s crazed little friend, and the man who cowrote “China Girl.” Proof of Rollins’s devotion came in the form of the words “Search & Destroy,” the title of a Stooges song, tattooed across his shoulder blades and right above the image of an angry, tribal sun. It was a powerful slogan, something Iggy had lifted from the U.S. military adventure in Vietnam, and Rollins embraced it as his own, as “a way to go though life. Be thorough and do it to death.”

During a break in the taping, Scott Asheton and his brother are having a smoke by the door, and I ask about all those lost years in between, all the decades in anonymous bands and working construction after the Stooges blew apart in a storm of drugs and disarray. Scott had always been the one lobbying for a reunion, but not because he believed the Stooges were popular or had changed the course of rock, presaged punk, etc., etc. He figured those few years playing with Iggy had amounted only to a regional following centered in Detroit, mostly forgotten in the decades since. He just wanted to play. And what was it that began to change this perception, to suggest that this little band from the Motor City had made a difference? Scott considers this question, and then he asks me, “Have you seen Henry’s back?”

Scene of the Crime

~ Waiting for a call: Ron Asheton ~

Only a few people call him by his boyhood name, Jim Osterberg. The Stooges, his wives, Bowie. The rest of us know him only as Iggy. The members of the Motor City 5 first knew him as the drummer of a blues band called the Prime Movers.

“We tried to hire him in the MC5,” remembers guitarist Wayne Kramer. “He was a pretty good drummer.”

Detroit was a metropolis already considered hopeless by many, DOA, still smoldering from the ’67 riots. Edge City, and it was a flaming source of inspiration for a long line of musical revolutionaries and rock traditionalists, beginning with the MC5 (and their manifesto of “rock ’n’ roll, dope, and fucking in the streets!”). The Ashetons wanted in, along with their pal Jim Osterberg, a singer not long out of the high school debate team. He’d been in a band called the Iguanas (hence the Iggy label), and now they needed their own band name. So they dropped acid and smoked some dope in Scott’s bedroom and got to thinking … .

Ron Asheton remembers it like this: “I loved the Three Stooges on TV, and I’m going ‘We’re like the Three Stooges!’ The waitress won’t wait on ya. I’d be walking down the street, the next thing I know a can of beer would just fly by my head. Always hassling us, chasing us, like the Three Stooges. How about Psychedelic Stooges? That’s it! It sounded good.”

Right. Psychedelic Stooges. “It looked really great on the posters,” Iggy says now. But it would not last. They were soon discovered by the sage record company man Danny Fields, an alumnus from Warhol’s Factory who also unearthed the MC5, the Ramones, and others. After the band signed to Elektra and recorded a debut album with producer John Cale, the label asked them to drop “psychedelic.”

Thus, young James Osterberg became – and maybe always was – Iggy Stooge [stooj; n., v.; a dum-dum boy; rhymes with “Nuge”]. He was the fucked-up gremlin exploding from the psychedelic ’60s and the disaffected suburbs just outside Detroit (de lovely Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, et al.), another local boy raised in a trailer park just looking for something to do. He was a figure of total abandon, a wildman fired up on white heat smothered in broken glass and peanut butter (extra crunchy!) onstage, flailing on his naked belly and shouting “I’m all right! I’m all right! I’m all right! I’m all right! I’m … all … right!”

The rest of the band was as surprised by this behavior as the crowd of misfits who came to the shows. “My problem was, I would be watching him and not paying any attention,” says Ron. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect that, but I wasn’t surprised. I know how he is, and it was wow, this is really cool, and it was so much fun to watch all the time. Imagine, you’re playing and enjoying the show.”

This was the late ’60s, and Ron Asheton’s cosmic riffing couldn’t be further from the Baroque blues of Eric Clapton. The sound was riveting and cruel. He sometimes wore a vintage Nazi SS jacket, and Iggy would on occasion be covered in glitter or have his face and hair spray-painted silver.

The first time Kramer saw the Stooges, opening up for the MC5 at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, he recalls, “I was floored. They were so compelling. His dancing was just primal, and the music itself was primal. It was deep, hypnotic beats, with long droning sounds. Long, stretched-out distortion. It was very rhythmic and powerful and simple. Simple is not easy.”

That first album, The Stooges, opened with “1969,” a new anthem that was definitely not part of the freak revolution, but just marked another year of malaise and restlessness. Against a sonic backdrop of anxious clatter and handclaps, fried fuzzy riffs, and general psychedelic psychosis, one of the last century’s most iconic, romanticized years was rendered as merely “another year with nothing to do … boo-hoo!” The rest of The Stooges was more three-chord sizzle from the disaffected Midwestern heart of America. One year later, Fun House was still more confrontational, beginning with the untamed ranting of “Down on the Street” and closing with a sprawling track of cataclysmic guitar jazzbo (and fried squall-bop from saxman Steve Mackay) called “L.A. Blues.”

Back in ’73, critic Lester Bangs called this “undeniably the sound and look of the future.” The ’60s were barely over, and here was a total negation of everything that was hopeful, wishful, and self-important in all that, burning down those wooden ships, musical jihadists from the heartland too anxious and too bored for simple hedonism and the hippy shake. No time to feel groovy. A new sound was coming on fast, fueled by some key influences: the New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, MC5, who all fed the punk ethos and the new noise values that would become the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Nirvana, etc. And without the Stooges, there would have been none of it. No teen spirit or punk-pop, no indie marketplace and outsider pop industry, no black parade. The Stooges were the unknowing accidental proto in proto-punk. Bangs was right. But the future would have to go on without them.

Hard drugs and infighting took a toll. The original band broke up, and then Bowie rebuilt the group around Iggy and new guitarist James Williamson, with Ron Asheton moving to bass, to record Raw Power. It was another exciting piece of work, with signs of where Iggy would go as a solo artist, and songs (“Gimme Danger,” “Search and Destroy”) as powerful as any the band had done before. But drugs (heroin, cocaine, etc.) were still a problem, and Iggy was out of control. By 1974, it was over.

It could have been worse. “Oh, my god, I think I would have been dead if there were ATMs in the ’70s, because you can get your money at three in the morning,” Iggy says of those drugged days. “In the ’70s, you couldn’t get your money ’til the bank opened.”

At first, the Stooges weren’t missed. Barely 20,000 enlightened fans had bought a copy of each album – The Stooges, Fun House, and Raw Power – when first released. Then, by the end of the ’70s, those albums weren’t even in print in the U.S., but available only as imports, coveted by cultists in the know.

Bring on ‘The Weirdness’

~ He just wants to play: Scott Asheton ~

The morning after taping The Henry Rollins Show, Iggy and the Ashetons are eating breakfast downstairs at The Standard. The décor is bright, shiny yellow. Iggy has the fish. Ron has a plane ticket back to Michigan for this afternoon. But they’re otherwise relaxed, beginning a day of interviews and photo shoots to promote the new album, ready to talk about the past and the unexpected future.

It happened four years ago, because Iggy was weary of session players. He had an idea and called up the Ashetons. They were easy to find. Ron still lives in the same house in Ann Arbor where they grew up, right above the basement where the Psychedelic Stooges first made a racket. (He still had the same number as the last time Iggy called, 25 years earlier.) Iggy told the brothers he had a “project.” Ron replied that he loved “projects.” This one would mean the first recording of new Stooges songs since the early ’70s. Scott had been lobbying for it all these years, and Iggy usually dismissed the idea. Many years ago, he asked Rollins his opinion on reuniting the band, but the feeling passed. And yet Iggy had to notice when rock mags looking back at his career always listed the Stooges albums as his best. There had been other high points – the records with Bowie, an album or two with Williamson – but the critical momentum kept pulling him back to Detroit. And he remembered a dinner with Rick Rubin during which the producer expressed a serious interest in the Stooges. He couldn’t get away from it.

Iggy Pop recognized the irony in all this. For most of his career, mainstream label execs had no interest in his old band. Too often, Ig was seen as a Bowie substitute or a potential heavy-metal icon. Punk rock was still an underground sensation for most of that time, banished from the airwaves and polite society.

“Nobody wanted the fucking Stooges or anything to do with Stooges,” says Iggy. “Anybody who was interested in anything that I had done was interested, in particular, in anything that had to do with nice, clean people like David Bowie. However, the industry has changed. And basically all those people, journalists, critics, news-o’s – they infiltrated the industry from below, and times changed, and then suddenly the band has a cachet that I don’t have. So a Rick Rubin will say, ‘I want to produce the Stooges.’ He’s not going to say, ‘Ooh, I want to produce Iggy Pop.’”

The result in 2003 was four songs on Iggy’s Skull Ring, beginning with “Little Electric Chair,” a breakneck tune in which, somewhere underneath, an echo of the molten, unraveling riff of “TV Eye” could be heard. Iggy held his breath. “One of my big fears in this thing was, ‘Oh, god, he’s learned to play … .’”

It was Iggy’s finest album in years. And when it was done, the Stooges celebrated by performing their first live gig in three decades on the epic desert field of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. This time, the critics loved the Stooges.

“I hadn’t seen Jim in many years, and it’s like all the years just melted as we went along in the studio, and it was like all that time was gone,” says Ron Asheton. “And it was back and it was fun, and I was hoping from that perhaps there would be more, and it wound up being so.”

Ron had never stopped playing. He was in the band Destroy All Monsters and toured with J. Mascis. And he spent 10 grand on a demo tape that he sent around, but got nowhere. He was turned away by everything from the finest labels to the achingly obscure. Even Lime Green Spider wasn’t interested. Slap A Ham Records turned him away.

“I had to pay more dues,” says Ron. “I was always in a band, even after the Stooges broke up. Got a band together as soon as I could, and always played. Wasn’t successful, but I always toured and made enough money to pay the rent, feed the cats, have cigarettes and some beer. Just paid my dues, and this is my reward. It’s just, now’s the time for this. It took time for the world to catch up. It took time for this band. I used to think that if we would have stayed together, we would have been like the American Rolling Stones. I thought that 20 years ago.”

For The Weirdness, Iggy had the Ashetons and Watt come to his rehearsal studio in Miami to work up some new songs. Then it was back to Ann Arbor for six days of rehearsals and to Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago to make the album. They recorded 16 songs, and put a dozen on the disc. And Watt learned something about the Stooges in the process. “I learned restraint,” says the bassist. “I remember Ig telling me: Get in touch with your stupid side, Mike.”

“I was having nightmares of my gravestone saying: Fucked Up a Stooges Album,” says Watt. “I know Albini was feeling it, too – just the weight of the legacy. We wanted to do the guys right. So I totally surrendered and took all direction. I told them, ‘I owe you my best notes.’”

Ron Asheton wasn’t worried. Iggy was worried enough for all of them.

“He’s a warrior,” Iggy says of Asheton. “I sweated it. I sweated 24/7. I sweated in my sleep. The only way I deal with it is never to take on the macro worry. Never that worry. If you take on the little bits, break it down into little bits … . In my mind, that’s how I think, until I start to say, Wait! Sounds familiar? Check. Sounds fresh and contemporary? Check. Sounds a little more advanced, a little more melodic? Check. Sounds like fun? Check.”

What emerged from the Weirdness sessions was not so unlike the harder, faster side of Iggy’s best solo work. It was the delivery that was different. And the primal snarling of the early days has been replaced by the older, wiser, funnier Iggy, with deeper messages implied or unintended: “My sister went to war/She tied a guy up on a leash/I think about it sometimes/While I’m sitting on the beach.”

His title as the “godfather of punk” is a mixed blessing. He is not impressed by much of what he hears, and has called more recent “punk” something like “pub rock with Beach Boys melodies.” And Iggy says now, “America loves cheesy imitations. It’s an embarrassment. You get somebody, you know, you get cheese.”

One popular impression of Iggy and his work is that it is all instinctual, that it’s tapped into some primal source from within, that it’s all just off the cuff, stream-of-consciousness. Which is true enough for Ron Asheton, who just plugs in and goes. Iggy works at it.

“I use notes, I think about things, and there’s some shit I just blurt out,” he says. “I could, when we started, what do the rappers call it? I can freestyle real fast. Not as fast now, but I could.”

The new album will inevitably be beloved and despised, which is a step up from the simple revulsion that greeted the Stooges the first time around. The band is now living in the musical future it helped create, knowingly or not. Punk rock is not just underground. It’s a standard. And the Iggy sound is a proven seller of luxury goods. His best solo tunes have sold fun cruise tickets on TV, and new Swedish electro-rawk by the Teddybears with Ig singing “I’m a punk-rocker, yes I am” is selling Cadillacs. (Iggy drives a Rolls back home.) No doubt “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Penetration” and “Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell” are also available for the right price, but not a taker anywhere.

He lives now in Miami, drawing inspiration from the busy scene of strip clubs and nightclubs and waves of new immigrants, much as he once embraced the presence of Russians, Dominicans, and Koreans in New York. He walks with a limp now (shattered cartilage) but spends his days swimming, driving one of his convertibles, and contemplating the palm trees. His story and presence are the stuff of Hollywood, or maybe the stuff of a torrid Grindhouse horror film. In 1998, Velvet Goldmine had Ewan McGregor as an Iggy-ish fireball French-kissing a glittery Bowie/Ziggy pop idol. (Really? He says it never happened.) Now there is talk of a biopic in the works starring Elijah Wood. Frodo as Iggy Stooge? Reality will continue to be more interesting.

“I’ve never been a fan of the merely clever,” Iggy says. “I’ve never even heard good rock ’n’ roll that depends on studio pastiche. There has to be something real.”

This year, the Stooges failed again to win enough votes to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Boo-hoo!) It is fitting and just like always. The Stooges make their own fun. And Jim Osterberg finally has his old band back on the street.

The Stooges will perform Mon., April 23, at the Wiltern at 8 p.m. Tickets: (213) 480-3232 or

[Edited by GotToRollMe]
1st March 2007 10:38 AM
guitarman53 Great article, thank you, I remember The Stooges from when they first started, & bought their first album when it first came out, I remember a T.V. special called "Midsummer Rock" with that scene of Iggy being held up by the audience by his feet while he covered himself with peanut butter, a true original.
1st March 2007 01:35 PM
glencar That's referenced in the earlier article posted(the covered in PB event...).
1st March 2007 01:44 PM
Sir Stonesalot I used to have that clip on my MySpace page. There's about 50 of 'em on YouTube. It takes some searching to find one in decent quality though.
1st March 2007 02:46 PM
Factory Girl Stonesy,

Check PM!
2nd March 2007 09:19 AM
GotToRollMe I'm counting the days till Tuesday...

No retirement plans for Chairman of the bored

Fiona Shepherd
VIRGIN, £12.99

AS NEIL Young famously sang, it is better to burn out than fade away. Legendary Detroit garage band The Stooges certainly didn't fade away, releasing three classic albums over the six years they were together as a visceral, chaotic, dangerous outfit.

But neither, particularly, did they burn out, despite conducting their business on a permanent knife edge. Raw Power, the last album before their split in 1973, is probably the most aptly named album in the rock canon. It is still an essential ingredient in the rock'n'roll starter pack, throwing down the gauntlet to today's upstarts trying to play catch-up. It remains one of the few albums that dads can foist on surly offspring without being scorned into making an embarrassing retreat.

Following the initial split, The Stooges frontman, the rock'n'roll god that is Iggy Pop, was not done. The incorrigible Dorian Gray of punk (what, you think he looks old and ravaged? - you should see the battering his portrait in the attic has taken over all those years of self-abuse) has been in fearsomely pugnacious form for years, the leathery old reprobate bounding around stage like a hyperactive tearaway, threatening to get his tackle out at any minute. He won't - or can't - grow up or give up, which has turned out all the better for his audience.

This reunion has its roots in Pop's 2003 solo album Skull Ring, for which he recruited his fellow Stooges firebrands, guitarist Ron Ashton and his brother Scott on drums (by calling, it is said, the same phone number he had last contacted them on 25 years ago). In some ways, that pulverising collection was The Stooges reunion album but, as this is the one with the group name on it, this is the one we must tune in to to hear what mature wisdom The Stooges - for many, the ultimate punk band - have to impart in their dotage. Yeah, right.

If anything, Pop appears to be regressing on The Weirdness. His voice sounds like more of a blunt holler than ever, and his way with a rhyming couplet is rudimentary to say the least. Never mind "my idea of fun, is killing everyone" from Idea of Fun, "I wanna be your friend, to the bitter end" from You Can't Have Friends is the threat to worry about. "I used to like my neighbourhood, it really made me feel good" is pointedly pre-school stuff from Greedy, Awful People. Come on, Iggy - is this the best you can diss? The accompanying music is about as basic and primitive as it gets, with Ron Asheton's screeching guitar ejaculating all over the place.

Of course, this is just the Iggster's way of saying that he's a messed-up guy in a messed-up world. He said the same thing in 1969 on 1969 ("well it's 1969 okay, all across the USA, it's another year for me and you, another year with nothing to do"). Nearly 40 years later, against a backdrop of another unpopular American president and disastrous war, he's still the chairman of the bored.

Opening track Trollin' sounds suitably nasty. It's a tight and efficient punk song. The Stooges second time round could never afford to be the self-destructive timebomb of their original incarnation, but they can still be slaves to the music. The Weirdness manages to celebrate the skills of its players without ever descending into flabby self-indulgence.

There is no pretence at updating their sound. There is no pretence, full-stop. This album is simply what happened when these guys (plus ex-Minutemen/Firehose bassist Mike Watt) got together in a room to make some noise. She Took My Money is the kind of sneering rumble on which garage rock was built. Were it not for the 21st-century production, it could have been unearthed from 1966. Passing Cloud is closer to Iggy Pop's lithe 1970s solo material, helped along by some snake-hipped playing from original Stooges saxman Steve Mackay, who also enhances the disorientated swagger of the title track.

Of the thrashier material, The End of Christianity is marginally more sophisticated nihilism, if that's not a contradiction in terms, but it outstays its welcome. Mexican Guy is more primal, underpinned by some wonderfully tight-but-loose drumming, while Free and Freaky is looser still, a slice of goodtime rock'n'roll in a New York Dolls style, featuring another gem of an Iggy insight - "England and France, these cultures are old, the cheese is stinky and the beer ain't cold". In the unlikely event of his rock career choking sometime soon, there must be some cultural ambassador vacancy he could fill. Anyone who writes a lyric for a song called I'm Fried which goes "deepfried, refried, stirfried, I'm fried" has surely got a unique handle on the human condition.

The Stooges' reunion would appear to go against the insurgent spirit in which they were originally formed but, like their comeback peers, the MC5 and New York Dolls, their return to recording - and particular to the stage - has given the next generation something to chew on.

4th March 2007 11:44 PM
GotToRollMe New York Daily News -
Gettin' Iggy with it
Sunday, March 4th, 2007

It's hard to believe but next month Iggy Pop turns 60.
Not that he minds.

"Only now in my life do I have everything I wanted when I was an adolescent," Pop explains. "Cool cars, hot sex, a really good band that people actually enjoy, proper gigs. And I don't wake up feeling ill."

Better, only at this point has Pop managed to record the first full album in over three decades with his historic blurt of a band, The Stooges. This week, the reunited group releases "The Weirdness," a 12-track spew of whiplash riffs and murderous lyrics more viciously skewed than anything out there now by guys 40 years their junior.

The decades have robbed nothing from Pop's ability to act as Id incarnate - as a throbbing spasm of desire made flesh - twitching over music every bit as serrated and pure.

"I have a unique situation," Pop says, to explain why his geriatric band has retained its fire. "The two other guys in the band only had one good group - and it broke up 34 years ago. So they're motivated. Also, I have this excitable streak."

But since Pop and his guys no longer rely on "hard drugs, psychedelics, marijuana or the Dutch courage of youth," he has to consciously stoke his excitement these days. His legendary Stooges - the band that blueprinted punk's wildness and bile with classics like "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "No Fun" - have been coming back in self-conscious fits and starts for nearly four years now.

Back in '03, Pop first dialed up the two surviving members of the original quartet: guitarist Ron Asheton and his drummer brother Scott. (Bassist Dave Alexander died in 1975 of pneumonia brought on by a pancreatic inflammation.) The trio tested the waters by cutting four tracks for Pop's 2003 CD "Skull Ring," using ex-Minuteman Mike Watt on bass. Much of the rest of the CD was cut with the singer's road band, The Trolls.

At the time, Pop's record company, Virgin, lobbied him to turn "Skull Ring" into a full Stooges comeback album. It would have been their first since 1973's "Raw Power." As Pop explains, Virgin said "the moment will pass if you don't seize it. F--ing American crap! Die, fools, die. This was a new band and we had to do what new bands do. We had to get to know each other again, get into some scrapes and build it up. We could have hired Jack White to produce the album in three weeks and had a massive hit. But we wouldn't have felt good about it."

So they hit the road instead - first playing at the Coachella Fest in April '03, then moving onto select cities that summer. After the tour, they began a long process of rehearsing and writing, using well-laid-out plans to make sure the music sounded as spontaneous as an outburst.

Happily, "The Weirdness" does. It keeps its velocity high and its sentiments vile. In the punk tradition, Pop's lyrics read like a misanthrope's dream.

"I should believe in human nature/but I don't," Pop declares in the opening track. Things go swiftly downhill from there, skidding to an all-time low (or high) with the pithy: "My idea of fun/is killing everyone."

"I kinda do hate everybody," says the singer, with a snicker. "I have lots of people on my s- list."

Mainly, those are the people he labels "normal."

He writes most avidly about them in "Greedy Awful People," aimed at the gentrifiers who move into an area and rob of its grit and vitality. "I've gotten edged out of two neighborhoods so far," Pop says of his living spaces the last decade. "First, the East Village, then an area in Miami Beach. All of a sudden the young lawyers in love came in with their SUVs and their attack dogs attached to their baby strollers. One of them accused me of giving their dog fleas. So I said, I'm moving to a darker neighborhood."

Now he lives in the Little Haiti part of Miami. Actually he has two homes: one, a mangy shack for his musical life, the other a nicer place for his "average life," where he lives with his recent girlfriend, whom he describes as "a seriously hot number."

Pop has done unexpectedly well financially, a fact he crows about in the new song "ATM." Much of his money comes from the commercials he sold his music to over the years, ranging from Nike to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. But unlike some older musicians, who get accused of selling out, Pop says "people are happy for me. Corporations are the castles of our society and the idea of Iggy Pop being used by a corporation: It's amazing."

"The nice thing about being me," he continues, "is that I have nothing to live up to. When you're Iggy Pop, nobody expects anything good of you. I'm just some guy lurking around spazzing on things."

At 60, that seems to have paid off in ways Pop never could have imagined as a youthful figure of scorn and neglect. "I turn around one day," he says, "and my life turns out to be a treasure."

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