When original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton died back in January of 2009, it was a tragic cruel blow to a band that were finally getting the respect they deserved. When The Stooges originally unleashed their primal rock in the early seventies and single-handily invented punk rock, no one really gave a shit. It wasn’t until years later that their legacy and cult grew and grew.
So, when the band originally reunited with Iggy in 2003, they were finally able to financially benefit from their cult status, toured the world and even recorded an (admittedly pretty duff) new album with Steve Albini. When Ron died, everyone presumed the band was done but Iggy, Ron’s brother Scott and the mighty Mike Watt were not ready to lay down and die yet. Step in James Williamson, supreme guitarist from phase two of The Stooges when it became Iggy & The Stooges and they recorded the totally screwed up, weird sounding, David Bowie produced ‘Raw Power’ album and paved the way for the Pistols ‘et all.
Tonight, as part of ATP’s brilliant ‘Don’t Look Back’ series, they play the ‘Raw Power’ album from beginning to end and then bolster the set with a couple of first two album cuts (‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ‘1970’) and other songs recorded in the Raw Power era, but only released a million times over on subsequent bootlegs and indie releases (‘Open Up And Bleed’, ‘I Got A Right’).
Right from the get go, the band sound incredible – kicking into ‘Search And Destroy’ (best opening line to a song ever…) with Scott leaning back on the drums slamming the skins, Mike Watt hunched over pummelling his bass, Williamson standing there like he’s been working high up in a corporation for all of these years (Sony…) but free from the shackles and ripping out killer lead licks. And then there’s Iggy. This man is not of this earth. Way gone sixty, his skin is leather, his body is twisted and wild, his bum is saggy (urg), he has more energy than a room full of 14 year old Green Day fans spiked with Relentless. And he is the greatest live rock n roll performer of all time, bar none. His voice is in amazing form and physique even better (bar the bum). The Stooges, despite their collective age, are the finest rock n roll band ever. Back then and right now.
Potential gig of the year…
You Tube links from gig:
Open Up And Bleed
I Got A Right
Search & Destroy