Nobody ever accused Ron Asheton of being a nice guy. “Any guitar player worth his salt is basically a thug,” his lead singer, Iggy Pop, once said. “They test you with that thug mentality. They ride you to the edge.” Asheton was the Detroit punk who made the Stooges’ music reek like a puddle of week-old biker sweat. He favored black leather and German iron crosses onstage, and he never let not really knowing how to play get in the way of a big, ugly feedback solo. In 2003, Asheton joined Iggy and the other Stooges for their first gigs in nearly thirty years. He still sounded like a thug.
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This week we announced that Ray-Ban was debuting some new tweaks to its iconic aviator frames, but what’s a proper announcement without a seriously celebratory fête?
Ray-Ban took to Williamsburg – specifically Brooklyn’s Music Hall – with its troupes of campaign models including Iggy Pop and The Stooges, new wave group The Virgins and on-the-rise classic rock group Free Energy. Each band was selected for their contemporary embodiments of the 1970s rock sound, and also as ideal representatives of everything the aviator frames signify – namely old school aviation and a modern, understated cool.
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650 piece limited edition Shepard Fairey screen print of a Bob Mathieu photo of Iggy and the stooges.
“Search and Destroy” is, of course, the all-time badass anthem. “I’m a street-walkin’ cheetah with a hide full of napalm / I’m the runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb” is as undiluted and perfect a distillation of fuck-you rock ‘n’ roll attitude as anything Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson ever came up with. The album it’s from is Raw Power, and the 38 minutes of feral mania that follow constitute one of the finest, bloodiest Dionysian works of art ever made. If it’s not the best, it’s only because the Stooges had already done it with Fun House. It’s not fair that anyone gets to be as awesome as Iggy Pop.
This new Cadillac reissue restores David Bowie’s original mix, which is apparently something of a big deal. Originally much-criticized for being too trebly and thin, it gained some credibility after Iggy’s remix for a 1997 CD reissue attracted its own flak for being too shiny and digital. The Bowie mix is better, as it happens, though it doesn’t necessarily seem like it should be. It pushes the vocals and guitar way out front, leaving the drums and bass just low enough to still be audible. It seems kind of tinny at first, but the real focus of the album lies in Iggy’s vocals and James Williamson’s stinging guitar leads. Stripping down the music around them is an excellent case of less being more. Iggy’s old mix, by comparison, sounds a little too conventional for music this ferocious.
So, there’s your 10 right there to begin with. There are two versions of this reissue coming out, though, with various configurations of additional material.
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New York City fan alert – Don’t miss the New York premier screening of “Search & Destroy: Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power” at the 92Y Tribeca on May 7 followed by Q&A discussion with legendary photographer Mick Rock discuss his iconic images of the band and other great rock stars of the 1970s! Get your tickets HERE.
In this brand new documentary, Iggy Pop and other members of the Stooges relive the making of Raw Power, considered one of the most influential rock albums of all time. As Iggy tells it, in 1973 The Stooges could barely get a gig, but an audience hungry for the burgeoning punk movement made it clear that the energy of the band was exactly what was needed. Interviews with the likes of Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) and Johnny Marr (The Smiths & Modest Mouse) reiterate the continuing importance of the album. Featuring rare photographs as well as live footage, Search and Destroy provides an insider’s look at this great band.
Just when you thought it pretty damn weird that the Stooges have been back together for nearly a decade, their tale has taken another turn, and doesn’t seem to be sputtering. Despite the tragic loss of original guitarist, Ron Asheton in 2008, the band has decided to keep kicking and made the next logical step last year by bringing back guitarist James Williamson, who took over lead git when Ron Asheton moved to bass for the band’s third and final album, 1973’s Raw Power. The band’s recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a slot on the upcoming All Tomorrow’s Parties New York fest fit right into the plan. And now Raw Power is being reissued next month by Sony/Legacy, featuring a massive stash of demos and a DVD documentary that can be had in several configurations, including a deluxe edition available only through the band’s website. Turns out this isn’t the first connection to Sony for Williamson, who completely dropped out of the music scene altogether after the Stooges fallout and a few Iggy Pop solo recs dusted their working relationship at the end of the ’70s.
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If you ordered the Limited Deluxe edition of Raw Power, you should be receiving it shortly if not already! Let us know what you love the most about this awesome set and post your review or link to a youtube video review in the comments!
Still haven’t ordered it? Get it exclusively at the Iggy and the Stooges store before the Raw Power runs out!
Today, April 21st is Iggy’s birthday. Leave him a birthday wish in the comments of this news item.
Iggy Pop sat down with “Nightline” at theWhisky Blue Bar in New York City to talk about the artists that influenced him.
Check out the eMusic Q&A: The Stooges’ James Williamson below: