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The Stooges

By

The Stooges

The Stooges

Courtesy of Alison Brod PR

Formed:

Ann Arbor, MI, 1967

Original Lineup:

Iggy Pop - vocals
Ron Asheton - guitar
Dave Alexander - bass
Scott Asheton - drums

Current Lineup

Iggy Pop - vocals
James Williamson - guitar
Mike Watt - bass
Scott Asheton - drums
Steve MacKay - saxophone

Iggy:

The man responsible for forming and fronting one of the first American punk bands, Iggy Pop was born James Newell Osterberg. "Iggy" was a nickname given to him in reference to one of his earlier bands, the Iguanas.

For a while he went by Iggy Stooge or Iggy Osterberg. "Pop" came later, a nickname he earned when he shaved off his eyebrows. A friend of the band named Jimmy Pop had lost his hair, including his eyebrows. The last name of "Pop" was a reference to this shared feature.

The Stooges Live Shows:

From early on, The Stooges were more well-known for their live performance antics than they were for their music. Pop was well-known for his high energy and unpredictable nature, which included cutting himself, flashing the audience, playing items like vacuum cleaners as instruments and stage-diving (some say he invented this maneuver).

Elektra Records and The Stooges:

The Stooges were regulars at Detroit's Grande Ballroom, where they shared the stage with Detroit's other early punk powerhouse, the MC5. This actually lead to the band's first record contract. Elektra Recods scout Danny Fields had traveled to Detroit to see and sign the MC5, and ended up signing both bands to contracts. Fields would also discover and sign the Ramones.

In the three years the band was with Elektra, they released The Stooges and Fun House, which were poorly received. The band also got into heavy drug use and the band became even more unpredictable live. Elektra dropped the band.

David Bowie, Columbia and Iggy and The Stooges:

After Elektra, Pop became friends with David Bowie, who got Pop and guitarist James Williamson a deal with Columbia. They brought the band back together (with Ron Asheton on bass) to produce 1973's Raw Power, the band's strongest album and one of the founding sounds of punk music today. Like their first two albums, it sold poorly, but years later, many musicians and music fans would come to recognize it for the strong musical work it is.

The band then toured for several months before breaking up in 1974 as a result of Pop's worsening drug problem.

After The Stooges:

After the Stooges, Pop went into rehab, then went on to enjoy a successful solo career, both as a musician and as an actor, appearing in films, TV shows and as a vocal talent.

Ron Asheton was a part of Destroy All Monsters, another influential Detroit punk/performance art group that also included Michael Davis of the MC5. Asheton was found dead at his home on January 6, 2009, victim to an apparent heart attack.

In 2009, it was announced that, after being nominated eight times, the Stooges will be in the 2010 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Reunion(s):

The Stooges reunited in 2003, adding former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt to their lineup. In 2007, this lineup released The Weirdness, the first new Stooges material since 1973.

Now, in the wake of Ron Asheton's death, the lineup consists of Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Mike Watt, Steve Mackay and another former guitarist James Williamson.

Selected Discography:

The Stooges (1969) Compare Prices
Fun House (1970) Compare Prices
Raw Power (1973) Compare Prices
The Weirdness (2007) Compare Prices

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