There’s a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk — every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-’60s/early-’70s band, the Stooges. Born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, MI, James Newell Osterberg was raised by his parents in a trailer park close to Ann Arbor, in nearby Ypsilanti. Intrigued by rock & roll (as well as such non-musical, monotonous, and mechanical sounds as his father’s electric razor and the local automobile assembly plants in Detroit), Osterberg began playing drums and formed his first band, the Iguanas, in the early ’60s. Via the Rolling Stones, Osterberg discovered the blues and formed a similarly styled outfit, called the Prime Movers, upon graduating from high school in 1965. When a brief stint at the University of Michigan didn’t work out, he moved to Chicago instead, where he played drums alongside the city’s bluesmen.
Iggy Pop and the Stooges
Raw Power – “Search and Destroy” (1973)
This album, the third from Detroit rockers Iggy Pop and the Stooges, was released in 1973. Hardly a commercial success at the time, it has nonetheless, had an extraordinarily active afterlife. It was a primary inspiration for the punk rockers in London and New York who were just starting to make noise in 1975 and the West coast punks who followed a few years later.
The album has curious origin stories. Plagued by various addictions, the Stooges lapsed into an extended limbo after the band’s second album, Funhouse, flopped in 1970. David Bowie, then flying high in his Ziggy Stardust guise, encouraged Iggy Pop to try again. Pop-known to New York Times readers as Mr. Pop and to his mom as James Newell Osterberg-agreed to a deal brokered by Bowie, which gave the star control over the final product. (Bowie mixed most of the album, attempting to correct what he heard as sonic flaws; Pop did the wilder mix on “Search and Destroy”).
To most rock ears, the initial version was plenty edgy for a rock record in 1973-its torrents of distorted buzzsaw guitar, from newest Stooge James Williamson, proved the perfect counterpoint to Pop’s howling, proudly lewd declarations. But Pop and the Stooges knew that the original tracks held more sonic mayhem – elements Bowie’s mix didn’t exactly optimize. Fans of the record knew it too, as bootlegged versions of pop’s original mixes circulated widely.
So, when Columbia invited Pop to remix Raw Power in 1997, he seized the chance to right an old wrong. Sure enough, the new version expands the smudgy guitar distortion into an enveloping roar, and ramps up the rhythm section so that even when it is playing things straight, on a genius song like “Shake Appeal”, it sounds like it’s blowing rock convention to bits. This, of course, was Pop’s guiding vision all along – music so brutal, it carries a physical jolt. Mission accomplished, Mr. Pop.
SEARCH AND DESTROY
Fan vid for IGGY POP and the STOOGES’s “search and destroy” The movies are “Full metal jacket” and “Apocalypse now”.
LUST FOR LIFE