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 Iggy's bass players

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brett allen



Number of posts : 7
Registration date : 2013-10-20

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PostSubject: Iggy's bass players   Iggy's bass players Icon_minitimeSat Jun 13, 2020 4:27 am

Ive been writing a series of facebook posts about each of Iggy's bass players who have passed away. Here's what I wrote about Dave Alexander....

Lest we forget - the lost bass players of Iggy Pop.

#1 David Michael Alexander (1947 - 1975)

Cause of death - pulmonary edema associated with alcoholic pancreatitis.

Dave "Zander" Alexander was a founding member and critical element of the early Stooges. He played on and contributed to the writing of the first two albums, "The Stooges" (1969) and "Fun House" (1970), both hard rock/proto punk classics, released on Elektra Records.

Michigan born Alexander was a high school droput and teenage friend of guitarist Ron Asheton and drummer Scott Asheton.

Iggy biographer Joe Ambrose: " Bass player Dave Alexander was the Ashetons' young weirdo neighbour and their pal".

Ambrose credits the Ashetons and Dave, rather than Iggy, for "the ground breaking outsider stance of the Stooges".

Dave had played bass in a band called the Dirty Shames, with the Asheton brothers and Billy Cheatham. The Dirty Shames did not progress beyond the garage, but the lineup later formed the basis of the Stooges.

Another Ambrose quote from the earliest days of the Stooges : "Neither Scott Asheton nor Dave Alexander were willing to work, taking a sort of beer-guzzling, hillbilly, alternative society stance".

Dave Alexander's bass playing was relatively primitive, with what sound like occasional mistakes in the recordings, but it perfectly suited the first two Stooges albums. (His playing develops and becomes more melodic by the time "Funhouse" is recorded.) He played all of the Stooges live shows from 1967 until 1970, including their triumphant televised performance at the Cincinnati Pop Festival on 13 June 1970, where Iggy famously walked out across the hands of the audience.

Ron Asheton provided the following quote to Paul Trynka:

"He (Dave) was the catalyst for so much of the Stooges, he was so ahead of his time.......Iggy was a straight-laced puppy-dog frat high school regular dude when Dave Alexander was a fucking true rebel, man. Dave Alexander was a big fuckin' part of.....I was going to say perverting us, maybe that's true too".

...............................................................................................

MC5 bass player the late Michael Davis described Dave's bass playing in Brett Callwood's book "The Stooges - A Journey Through the Michigan Underworld":

"I was a little bit amazed by Dave Alexander's bass parts (on the Stooges self titled debut album) There's a bit in "I Wanna Be Your Dog" where he plays two or three notes that are a departure from the bass line. I was in awe of how simple it was and how well it worked".

Brett Callwood also offered his own opinion:

"The rhythym section of Dave Alexander and Scott Asheton were very much on the same wavelength, however simple that wavelength may have been, and this fact covers up any technical limitations they may have had. "

Callwood's book also notes Dave's musical improvement between the recording of " The Stooges" and " Fun House":

"Dave Alexander was starting to have more input into the writing, notably coming up with the riff to the song that would later become " Dirt" and the bass line to " Fun House".

................................................................................................

The "Fun House " album is reviewed in Robert Matheu's coffee table book " The Stooges - the authorised and Illustrated History".

"Listen to how loud the bass is in the 'Fun House' mix - Dave's tone pure liquid and rubbery, drowning out the guitar and leading the entire mess".

........................................................................................

Dave was fired from the Stooges by Iggy after apparently freezing up on stage due to intoxication, and forgetting how to play, in front of more than 200,000 people at the Goose Lake Festival in Michigan on 8 August 1970.

Paul Trynka summarises the events in his Iggy bio:

"At some point - no one seems to agree on when, or how - Stooges bassist Dave Alexander simply became overwhelmed by the spectacle and lost his place. Some say he lost the beat, others, including Iggy, say that he forgot every song. The singer felt naked, exposed, and after the performance demanded that Dave be fired. The others objected, according to Ron, but finally gave in. The first of the Dum Dum Boys was gone."

In his 1997 autobiography, Iggy explains "I love to fire people. Oh, it's the greatest feeling in the world......You're fired! Fuck you! You don't work for you, you work for me, cocksucker!"

In a much later and more circumspect comment, directly about Dave, Iggy told Paul Trynka:

“I have a wonderful ability to forget things, which has been really good for me. But I’ve been reminded since working with the group again from time to time, that at one point I said, No I won’t work with Dave any more on bass, and that... the whole thing began to slide apart. However, there I was out on a stage at Goose Lake and there was no bass. He just had a complete mental lapse, too stoned, and he couldn’t play a ┬ánote, he couldn’t play the songs, he didn’t know what he was doing, and er, that’s traumatic, for somebody that… I was serious about this shit. So there began... the group never had a focus after that.”

From the Ambrose bio:

"He (Iggy) had never been entirely comfortable with heavy drinking bass player Dave Alexander, a band member very firmly located in the Asheton camp. When the Stooges played the (Goose Lake) festival in August, things finally came to a head between irritated Iggy and dysfunctional Dave, a boozer since childhood with various drug and personality problems"

"Iggy didn't dig Dave's attitude, his lack of interest or whatever" - Ron Asheton.

............................................

"The Wild One - The true story of Iggy Pop" written by Per Nilsen, describes the departure of Dave in the following terms:

"He was drinking heavily, and it was almost impossible to rehearse and perform with him. After several gigs where Dave was so loaded that he forgot the tunes on stage, Iggy decided to kick him out."

...........................................................

Robert Matheu's description of Dave Alexander's dismissal suggests that he had pretty much been replaced, even before the Goose Lake Festival:

"Given that the band had been rehearsing without him recently due to similar lapses, it's a move that probably came as no surprise to anyone - except perhaps Dave".

................................................................................................

Reports of a recently uncovered sound desk recording of the 1970 Goose Lake performance suggest that there may have been no major problems with Dave's playing that night, and that the longer term difficulties arising from his alcoholism were behind his dismissal.

From the website of Third Man Records, who are releasing the Goose Lake live recording next month:

"Would you believe that...Alexander actually DID play bass on this occasion? Or that, despite grievous failures on some songs, Alexander is damn solid on others? Especially on the bass-led songs “Dirt” and “Fun House”? "

Third Man Records have made a digital version of "TV Eye" available prior to the release of the full Goose Lake recording. Even with a careful listen through headphones it's hard to pick up much bass, but there does seem to be something there, low in the mix.

https://youtu.be/RupgNCPGEkg

"https://thirdmanrecords.com/news/third-man-records-announces-the-stooges-live-at-goose-lake-august-8th-1970-out-on-vinyl-cd-and-digital-on-august-7-2020
................................................................................................

Dave Alexander faded back in to alcoholic obscurity after being fired from the Stooges. He died in 1975.

In 2017 Todd McGovern wrote a detailed article about Dave for pleasekillme.com, which included the following information about his life after the Stooges:

"(Friend and Detroit musician) Scott Richardson said he had irregular contact with Dave during this period. “You have to put this in the context of the heavy price that people pay to do what that job requires. It’s just an unbelievable pressure on anybody who’s ever done it. And some people handle it and some people don’t."

“It was a pitiful life,” former girlfriend Esther Korinsky reminisced. “He had a minute of fame, you know, then that just fucking crashed.”

...............................................................................................

Paul Trynka's Iggy bio recounts Iggy's reaction to being told of the death of his former bass player:

"Zander's dead and I don't care because he wasn't my friend any more" .

Paul Trynka - "But behind Iggy's feigned indifference, reality gradually sank in. Scott Asheton reckoned that the death was the final straw, that Iggy was now comprehensively crushed and right in the middle of a real mental breakdown."

..........................................

The last of the Stooges bass players, Minutemen veteran Mike Watt, went out of his way to commemorate Dave Alexander when the Stooges finally re-formed in 2003.

"Watt, a scholar of punk music and true legend of the genre, performed Dave’s classic bass parts and even wore a Dave Alexander tee shirt on stage at the show. This was a fitting homage to a simple person who made an extraordinary contribution before he died. ┬áHe was 27 years old."

http://www.chimejewelry.com/dave-alexander


Last edited by brett allen on Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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brett allen



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brett allen



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brett allen



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