Here's a couple of letters to the Metro Times in response to the Iggy & James interviews a couple weeks back...recollections from a couple guys who saw them in MI in '73.
FYI, St. Clair Shores, where this show took place is a very average, some say boring, working & middle class Detroit suburb. It also happens to be where Sonic & Patti Smith bought a house on the water to raise their family. Their kid Jackson still lived there as of a couple years ago, not sure now, as you might have heard he's now married to a certain pale & statuesque drummer...
BTW, the second letter references "Pine Fucking Knob", PK is the old name for the place that the '03 "Detroit" show happened...it's been renamed for a local utility company, I give them enough $$$, don't need to give them any free adverts...
Hooked on Iggy
Re: "Kill city dreaming" (Oct. 7), thanks for saying what I always felt: The first two Stooges LPs were great but Raw Power was the one! What cemented it for me was seeing them live at some gymnasium. Catfish Hodge opened; then Bob Seger. Seger wore a big hat and said he didn't want to do any of his old songs. He got booed. Then he got booed some more by those yelling for the Stooges. When the Stooges came out, the crowd stood and rushed the stage. I was a ways back and could only see Iggy from the waist up. Fortunately, he leaped around so high, I could see the thigh-high boots and his tight underpants. They only played for 30-odd minutes but, by the end, I was hooked — for life. —Paul Zimmerman, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Scene of the Crime
Read the interviews in the most recent Metro Times and had to respond. I got to see the James Williamson incarnation of Iggy & the Stooges when they played the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena back in 1973. I was 18 years old at the time. Left a hell of an impression on me, not altogether favorable.
Don't get me wrong. I loved them then and I love them now, but at the time I was fresh out of Pontiac State Hospital after a nine month stay and, in the fragile state I was in, they scared the shit out of me. Iggy had on bikini briefs and knee-high platform boots, nothing else; his skin looked powder-white but it could've been metallic platinum, and I could be wrong but I seem to recall Ron and James were dressed as SS storm troopers, with makeup on their faces that had them looking like they'd walked off the set of Night of the Living Dead.
It was a triple bill, with Catfish Hodge opening and Bob Seger. Catfish Hodge pulled some shit whereby they handed out watermelons, followed by gigantic bags of caramel corn. It was July, hot as hell in the arena, so think about it. Caramel corn mixed with watermelon juice on the floor, a sticky, gooey mess underfoot.
Between sets, after Seger and before the Stooges, I smoked a joint with a friend. Big mistake. Smoking that pot definitely put a cockeyed spin on what ensued before me. I recall there were a lot of bikers in the crowd, and I'm sure they were there for no better reason than to start some shit. That increased my anxiety level, and, at one point early on, I could swear I heard Iggy use the word "buttfucker" in a song, I think the line was "buttfuckers tryin' to run my life." I thought it was an aural hallucination; I was hearing it but I wasn't hearing it, if you know what I mean. So I look around me and see young, shirtless males everywhere and assumed the worst: that the world had gone gay while I was hospitalized. This was at a time when androgyny was all the rage, what with Iggy, Bowie, Lou, Bolan, et al. coming across the way they did back then. Well, I didn't want to be gay. I liked being hetero, so I guess you could say I freaked out and left the concert maybe three songs in.
A couple years later I heard Metallic KO and realized that my ears weren't playing tricks on me, I really did hear that slang term for sodomy after all.
I love Raw Power; to me it's the most ferociously magnificent album of all time; perhaps the Velvet's "Sister Ray" comes the closest. I love Fun House too, but, in all fairness, comparing it to Raw Power is apples and oranges, the former is Ron's finest hour, the latter Williamson's.
And here I was ready to swear off any more concert-going, but to see Williamson play is an absolute must. I just hope to God they don't play Pine Fucking Knob (I refuse to refer to it by its corporate name). I hate that place. —Guy Budziak, Detroit
As someone who has followed the Stooges closely for well over 30 years now, I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best interview I've ever come across. Thank you so much for making it happen. —Ev Cochrane, Ames, Iowa