Iggy Pop, James Williamson interviewed
Iggy And The Stooges

1974. After seven years together, with only three albums in that time, The Stooges, after increasing frustrations over the lack of success and a growing resentment towards each other - not to mention spiraling drug habits - finally imploded.

Their all-too-brief existence was as explosive as it was important - touched by the hand of David Bowie, they burst out of the Sixties with a primitive force that found a cult audience, and paved the way for what would become punk rock.

This is the story of a band who never caught the breaks, whose frontman refused to give up hope, and who, after thirty years, are finally getting the success they deserved.

The Stooges’ story begins in Detroit - the Ann Arbor area to be precise. Ron Asheton was making his name as the bass player in The Prime Movers and The Chosen Few, a local covers band, while Jim Ostenberg was the drummer for The Iguanas, from which derived his nickname, Iggy. Following his muse to be a blues singer, Iggy struck out on his own, eventually hooking up with Ron, his younger brother Scott, and friend Dave Alexander, to form The Stooges.

Living together in the self-styled Fun House, the band developed an uncompromising sound, a rough garage rock music quite unlike anything the Sixties had yet produced. It was born from a heady cocktail of drugs, drink, sex and the relentless unpredictability of their singer.

Upon arriving in Detroit to sign the MC5 in 1968, Elektra Records scout Danny Fields took a chance on their little-brother band, The Stooges. Two albums - ‘The Stooges’ and ‘Fun House’ - failed to live up to expectations and, amid mounting heroin problems, the band - now with additional guitarist James Williamson - were dropped.

A meeting with self-confessed fan and rising star David Bowie led Iggy into The Stooges’ next phase, which led the band to London, to a new level of success, and to their classic album ‘Raw Power’.

On the eve of the release of the remixed and expanded ‘Raw Power’, Iggy Pop and James Williamson pick up the story of the band that burned too brightly - the pioneers whose time slipped away - and celebrate the legacy of the godfathers of punk.

Read the Iggy Pop interview transcript
Read the James Williamson interview transcript

Words by Simon Harper

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