Better 40 years later than never: The follow-up to the first record ever to bear the Iggy and the Stooges logo–the immortal proto-punk masterpiece Raw Power–will finally be out April 30, when Fat Possum Records releases the all-new Iggy and the Stooges studio album, Ready To Die.
Ready To Die finds Iggy Pop, guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton reunited for a full album of all-new material for the first time since the legendary Raw Power sessions, with Mike Watt filling in for the late Ron Asheton on bass. The results are the closest thing to a time capsule to 1973–or at least to Iggy’s subsequent efforts with Williamson, including 1977’s Kill City and 1979’s New Values–that rock ‘n’ roll is likely to proffer in this millennium. The new album’s opening one-two of “Burn” and “Sex & Money” pair sublimely blunt and self-explanatory subject matter with back alley razor-blade guitars and a troglodytic rhythmic stomp as intensely single-minded as Iggy’s lyrical statements of intent. Elsewhere on the album, anthems abound in the form of the most dead-on rallying cry for the lower-working-class dispossessed to date–the succinctly and aptly titled “Job”–as well as a title track that mixes a signature Iggy Pop mission statement of angry desperation with guitar pyrotechnics that recall those halcyon opening salvos of “Search & Destroy.”
Just as Iggy exhumed the original Stooges name when he reunited in 2003 with the Asheton brothers, the revival of the Iggy and the Stooges moniker that first appeared on the cover of Raw Power heralded the return of guitarist James Williamson to the fold in 2009, or as Iggy put it then “although ‘the Stooges’ died with Ron Asheton, there is still ‘Iggy and the Stooges’.” As far as the decision to record and release a new Iggy and the Stooges album for the first time since 1973, Iggy recently commented:
“My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal. It’s just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group when they’re an older group they also make fucking records. They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money…”
PREVIOUSLY: Loud, lewd and anarchic, The Stooges emerged from the dark side of the 60’s like a bad moon rising, and while they were largely misunderstood if not altogether despised back in the day, both their sound (the prototype of both punk and metal) and vision (hearts full of napalm, 10 soldiers and Nixon coming, apocalypse now) would prove prophetic as the Age of Aquarius curdled into the 70s. Wednesday night, Iggy and his Stooges — which includes charter members Ron and Scott Asheton on guitar and drums respectively, and ex-Minutemen legend Mike Watt filling in for the deceased Dave Alexander on bass — played like their hair was on fire, opening with Funhouse’s classic one-two punch of “Down On The Street” and “Loose,” and then following it up with “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Iggy — the man who no shirt can hold, who more or less single-handedly invented the notion of lead singer as human cannonball — swung his ripped physique about the stage like a bullwhip, while Watt dug in deep, Scott Asheton beat the drums like they owed him money, and brother Ron unloosed his patented six-string cosmic roar. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: Ron Asheton, the original guitarist for the Stooges, is widely regarded as one of the Top 20 rock guitarists of all time by the people that make such subjective decisions. Recently, Phawker called up Ron and talked about both the ancient and modern history of the Stooges, the needle and the damage done, the stylish evil of Nazi uniforms, how to evade the Viet Nam draft, who gave Iggy the peanut butter and what it feels like to be choked by Bam Magera’s Uncle Vito. MORE
BILLBOARD: Ron Asheton was not around to see the Stooges inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. But the group’s late co-founder was saluted on Tuesday in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., with what was, appropriately, the loudest wake you can imagine. Organized by his sister, Kathy Asheton, and curated by Iggy Pop, the two-and-a-half hour bash at the Michigan Theater mixed words and music — but mostly music — to pay tribute to Asheton, who died on Jan. 6, 2009, at the age of 60. It was a typical night of Stooges-style brutality but in an even more passionate form, as the group and its guests took a wide swing through the repertoire, clearly moved by the sense of occasion and the cacophonous spirit of the 1,700 fans who snapped up tickets for the concert in less than an hour. MORE