Flashback Fridays: Ghost of Music’s Past – Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Flashback Fridays / Music / August 19, 2011

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The Stooges in 1974. Left to right: front – Iggy Pop, Scott Thurston; back – Scott and Ron Asheton, James Williamson

Is there really any need to give Iggy Pop and the Stooges an introduction?

There are few bands nowadays that get credit for being pioneers or innovators — and the Stooges helped shape rock ‘n’ roll to what it is today. Their sound was punk rock in its earliest form — screeching raw electric guitars, screaming vocals, and hard-pounding drums.

The band’s lineup has seen a slew of changes but the original lineup is comprised of Iggy Pop on vocals, Scott “Rock Action” Asheton on drums, brother Ron Asheton on guitar, and Dave Alexander on bass.

The surviving members of the band today are Iggy and Scott, while Ron and Dave have since passed away.

The Stooges released their eponymous debut album in 1969, which included the highly covered track “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “No Fun,” in addition to the single “1969.” The albums that followed were the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll legend: “Fun House” in 1970 and “Raw Power” in 1973.

At the time, their music was critically ignored, but went on to inspire countless of great artists.

Legendary musicians have credited the Stooges with creating perfect rock ‘n’ roll; among their fans were Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Jack White of the White Stripes, and Henry Rollins of Black Flag.

And their music has been covered by renowned artists like the Sex Pistols, Sonic Youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

But what really made the Stooges such a memorable and influential rock band was Iggy Pop himself. The nickname came from his high school band the Iguanas — he was the drummer who called himself Iggy; and the rock veteran went on to perform shirtless at shows and popularized stage diving.

In addition, his stage antics (which he often credited to being influenced by Jim Morrison of the Doors) showed a persona that was intense and unafraid, as he rolled around in broken glass, cut and exposed himself, and even vomited a few times in the name of rock ‘n’ roll.

Today, one band seems to harness the spirit and stage antics of the Stooges — the Black Lips. Known for their loud punky garage rock and psychotic performances, this rock band released their first record in 2003. They’ve since released five more albums, most recently 2011’s “Arabia Mountain,” which was produced by Mark Ronson.

What makes the Black Lips most like the Stooges isn’t exactly their sound, but their fearless attitude towards performing.

They’ve seemingly done everything onstage, including vomiting, urinating, exposing themselves, setting guitars on fire and making out with one another.

In addition, they make a point to tour all over the world in places that aren’t on a regular artists list, including Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Russia, Turkey and India. Their punk rock spirit seems to make them the lost grandkids of the Stooges.

And for that, we salute them.

Listen to “Katrina” by the Black Lips


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Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta
Yohana Desta is currently obsessed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, everything Dave Grohl does, and listening to Arctic Monkeys on repeat.




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Flashback Fridays: Ghost of Music's Past - Iggy Pop and the Stooges