Wednesday, October 26, 2016


As hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when the first three Stooges LPs were all out of print, nearly impossible to find. If you wanted them you'd have to find them used, more than likely in a thrift store. And this was roughly five years after Raw Power came out, so the first LP and Funhouse were long gone. Used record stores weren't as common as they'd become later, and collector types would comb the pages of Goldmine. But if you were a regular Creem reading teenager, you'd have to be on the lookout. Thankfully, my friend Ed was that kind of guy. Even though he had the Stooges LPs, he'd pick up extra copies when he ran across them. That's how I got the first Stooges LP, I bought one of his extra copies. Actually, he may have given it to me, because he was that kinda guy. He still is.

I was thinking about that the other night, the period when I was first getting into that LP, and how the sound seemed so much more menacing then the punk bands that almost universally cited the Stooges as an influence. Even when compared to other iconic bands. Take for instance, the New York Dolls' Too Much Too Soon, a perfectly fine proto-punk rock 'n' roll album, and the Ramones first LP, an absolute template for hundreds of punk bands, and compare those two landmark LPs to the Stooges Funhouse. Gads is right. Holy fuckin' shit. Completely different ball game. This is apples and rotten oranges. I think there might be a punk rock version of the Beatles/Stones thing buried in there. You're a Ramones person or a Stooges person. Of course you can like both, just like you can like both the Beatles or the Stones, but you're going to lean one way or the other. In another time I may have considered myself a Ramones person, but after many listenings and much dissecting over the years, I am definitely now a Stooges person. So where does that leave the Dolls? Well, they'll just have to be the Who or the Kinks in this equation.

Jim Jarmusch has a new film out about the Stooges. If you know him, you know his movies are always worth checking out, so one on the Stooges should be pretty good. What few glimpses there are of old footage there is in the trailer looks like it's been cleaned up pretty well, especially when compared to earlier versions. The film opens in selected cities this Friday and then goes all over the place. Don't fret if it doesn't get to you, it'll end up on DVD soon enough. If you have Iggy on the brain, and need some other sort of fix, he's on Austin City Limits this Friday. Yee haw.

The Stooges - Real Cool Time mp3 at ATumblr (?)
The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog mp3
at Olcros (?)
The Stooges - 1969 mp3
at Olcros (?)
The Stooges - Down on the Street mp3
at Olcros (?)
The Stooges - 1970 mp3
at ATumblr (?)
The Stooges - Dirt mp3
at Quit Mumbling
The Stooges - All three LPs
(streaming) back to back at YouTube
The film site:
Gimme Danger - A Film by Jim Jarmusch
Check the Press Kit page for huge high resolution versions of the above photos.


Espen E. said...

Caught "Gimme Danger" some weeks ago, and while it’s certainly worth a watch, it’s a shame that it took so long for someone to put something like this together, 'cause what you get is pretty much Iggy’s version of it all, and I’m sure this would’ve/could’ve been a stronger effort with the Ashetons alive (Ron) and coherent (Scott) enough to give their side of the story. Jarmusch apparently (so I’ve read) being long-time buddies with Pop is also a detraction to the same effect IMHO. Still - caveats aside - absolutely recommended, though.

(And maybe my hopes were too high, but I was crossing my fingers that "Gimme Danger" would be in the same league as "MC5: A True Testimonial" from about 15 years back - my benchmark when it comes to music documentaries. Seen it Tom? Not sure if it was ever officially released, 'cause Wayne Kramer apparently stopped the project right before it was due to be. Have a bootlegged version myself somewhere - will mail you a duplicate if you want.)


Tom G. said...

What the...? How did you get "Gimme Danger" over there before we got it? Fucking Jarmusch...

For me Ron Asheton was the essential ingredient, on guitar that is. Why the hell would you yank him and put in Williamson? I'm sure if I did my homework I'd know, but as much as I like Raw Power, Funhouse (and the first one) is so much more primal. Fuck, the into to "TV Eye"?! The extended wigging out of "L.A.Blues"?!

I haven't seen the MC5 thing, so it's nice of you to offer a dupe. I had wondered why there was so much ballyhoo about it and why it never materialized, Fucking Kramer. He's supported a lot of good causes, but I remember a few years back he was touring with whatever the band was at the time and the tour was sponsored by Levis. "But they're an American company..." Dude, they're a corporation. You were MC5. Don't you see the conflict? A dark spot for sure, but still as mighty high on my list as he was/is, it would take more than that.... So yeah, if you want to send it, that's totally cool, but don't feel obligated. I still owe you a care package!