The Godfather of Punk that is. Today we will begin to take a look at the career of one of the most influential rock bands of the late 60’s/early 70’s, whose groundbreaking music wouldn’t come to be fully appreciated until many years later. The band I speak of is Iggy and the Stooges.
James Newell Osterberg started his career as a teenager playing for several different garage bands from Ann Arbor, MI including the “The Iguanas”. Adopting the stage name Iggy Pop in reference to his former band, Osterberg would join brothers Ron and Scott Asheton along with drummer Dave Alexander to form “The Stooges”. Throughout the later part of the 60’s “the Stooges” would achieve local prominence by putting on wild and confrontational stage shows along with other local favorites such as the MC5. Iggy is often credited as the inventor of the stage dive and was also known to cut himself with glass on stage and smear his chest with raw meat, peanut butter, and/or his own blood, no doubt providing inspiration for a number of performers to follow, most notably G.G. Allin.
In 1969″The Stooges” released their self-titled debut. Produced by John Cale of the Velvet Underground, the album was largely ignored by both critics and audiences alike. Today however the influence tracks such as “1969” and “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” (a song about bondage) would have on the forthcoming garage, punk and metal genres is evident. Keep in mind this is a full five years before The Ramones or the Sex Pistols even formed as bands.
The Stooges – 1969
The Stooges – Now I Wanna Be Your Dog
The following year saw the release of Funhouse, also largely underappreciated. This album is said to better capture the energy of the Stooges live performances. Witness rock history in the making:
The Stooges – 1970
In 1973, The Stooges would team up with David Bowie as producer to release Raw Power. Once again evading commercial success, this album would go on to be considered oe of the staple punk rock albums of the 70’s.
Iggy & The Stooges – Search and Destroy
Tensions among the band members as well as issues with drug abuse lead to the disbandment of the band for 3 decades, during which Iggy would go on to persue a solo career (to be summed up in a subsequent post). In 2003 The Stooges would reunite with Iggy for several songs on his album “Skull Ring”. The band would also go on to perform a live reunion tour.
Iggy and The Stooges – Skull Ring
2007 marks the proper return of the band with the release of “The Weirdness”. The album is produced by Steve Albini and features Mike Watt of fIREHOSE and The Minutemen on bass filling in for the deceased Dave Alexander. The album was released March 6 and will be followed by a US tour.
The Stooges – My Idea of Fun
Personally I’m hoping for a late Coachella addition as the tour is currently slated to be in the area around that time and a few dates are open which would correspond. In light of these hopes today’s bonus is from Coachella headliner Rage Against the Machine, covering “Down on the Street”
Rage Against the Machine – Down on the Street (Stooges cover)