This CD cover image released by Fat Possum Records shows "Ready to Die

Age no obstacle for Iggy & the Stooges

When Iggy & the Stooges broke up in 1974, almost no one who’d heard of the band had actually heard it. More than 40 years later, Iggy Pop’s band has a new album Ready to Die, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and growing reverence for its place in music history.

NASHVILLE — When Iggy & the Stooges broke up in 1974, almost no one who’d heard of the band had actually heard it.

More than 40 years later, Iggy Pop’s band has a new album Ready to Die, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and growing reverence for its place in music history.

It’s one of rock’s stranger success stories, but what do you expect when it comes to Iggy Pop and the proto-punk band everybody used to hate, but really loved?

“It’s true, it’s a funny arc with us,” Pop said in a phone interview.

“That is the way it is, actually, in all the various numerical yardsticks of all this crud — it’s bigger than it was. We have the advantage that it was so tiny when we started. It was really really tiny in numerical scope, but it’s grown and all those old records still sell really nice and steadily, and they’re heavily licensed. People get to hear them at sports events and on movies and in adverts.”

When historians and critics sort through the band’s legacy, Pop notes, they always point out the Stooges’ initial commercial failure: “But I always felt I was never making them for a quick buck. I was always making them forever.”

The Michigan-based Stooges broke up in 1974 after dropping three albums, including the highly influential Fun House and Raw Power.

The group with Mike Watt on bass reformed in 2003 and guitarist James Williamson rejoined the band in 2009 after guitarist-bassist Ron Asheton passed away.

The 66-year-old Pop spoke to The Associated Press about getting better with age and the possibility of more Stooges in the 21st century:

AP: What do you think accounts for the band’s continuing growth in popularity?

Pop: It got more to the general public maybe somewhere in the mid-’90s. It just sort of got to be everybody was ready to go, “Oooh, OK.” I think part of that is there were fewer and fewer people doing sort of quote-unquote rock ’n’ roll. It’s become less and less available on a daily basis.

AP: Your guitarist James Williamson returned to the band after a long break from music. Did he struggle to get back up to speed?

Pop: There are little nuances that I hear of things that he can do that he couldn’t do a year ago or two years ago. That’s interesting. Ultimately in a group of this vintage, there are certain things that you can’t do quite as much of that you could do when you’re in your 20s. If you’ve got soul and know how to marshal your intelligence, you can more than make up for that by the depth you can bring and the intelligent decisions you can make as a musician when you’re in your 60s and I’d say that’s kind of what he does.“

AP: The experts say your ability to pick things up slows down as you age. Do you agree?

Pop: No, that’s a lot of cold s—. In fact, playing an instrument really well is almost a detriment to playing music if you want to play it for your own pleasure or play it as an author, as originator. … If you read Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie, the first chapter it starts out he’s hoboing on a train, and he’s using his guitar to shelter him from the rain, he’s getting into fights with it. It doesn’t even have a guitar case. And everybody knows Woody Guthrie couldn’t play but three chords. I guarantee you you could start in your 50s and learn how to play guitar like Woody Guthrie really quickly. He pulled music out of his box. That’s what it’s about really, pulling music out of your box.

AP: You had a reputation for high-energy shows during the first go-round with the Stooges. Is it more difficult to perform to that standard now?

Pop: My personal ability to project physical energy probably didn’t peak until only about six years ago, seven years ago. It was in my mid- to late 50s and that’s because when I was younger I didn’t work at it at all. Also the big difference was I was a little ahead of my time, seems to be the general rap on me, and so I didn’t get the audience feedback then. It’s really hard. You can come out and bust ass and keep that up for about three songs, but if a bunch of people are just giving you the cold stare, it gets hard to sort of not to wither. So it was kind of like fighting skirmishes. I would skirmish and regroup, skirmish and regroup. But later as people started to accept it more … I would go to bed early, take my nap, sleep all day, rehearse really hard, and really, really get ready for that moment on stage. A

“nd then I bust a move and go home that night, and go ouch!!

AP: Do you think there will be more Stooges music down the road?

Pop: You know that’s a good question. By the time I got done with this one, I been in the mood like, ‘Oh, f—, am I glad that’s over with. Let’s get this thing out.’ But that’s also the tension of a modern marketing plan. They start rattling my cage and hassling me like two months before the thing comes out. … So right now I think there’s a very good chance we could and I put a lot of time into the politics of the group and trying to improve, harmonize, placate and correct the various members, none of whom are professional entertainers and all of whom are sort of in varying degrees of childish. So it takes a lot of effort. If all goes well it would be great to do something again up the line. That’s the goal.

Online:

http://iggyandthestoogesmusic.com

Just Posted

1,200 runners came out to Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Matthew Hope ran in the Woody’s RV World Marathon for… Continue reading

Two men steal 16 year old’s car at gunpoint in Alberta

RCMP are looking for two men who allegedly produced a handgun and… Continue reading

Mother of five who died in hit and run in central Alberta a huge loss to family, police say

Rocky Mountain House RCMP continue to investigate hit and killed case on… Continue reading

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

EDMONTON — Environmental groups targeted by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are shrugging… Continue reading

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says two people are dead after… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of 2019

The event is held every Saturday in the Servus Arena parking lot

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Speaker stuns Morehouse grads, to pay off $40M student debt

A billionaire technology investor stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College… Continue reading

Unions increasingly at odds over replacing troubled Phoenix pay system

OTTAWA — The federal team charged with finding a replacement for the… Continue reading

Sisters of Ste-Anne hold unique garage sale before giving up Montreal convent

MONTREAL — The Montreal-area Sisters of Ste-Anne are hosting a unique garage… Continue reading

Canadian pilot Patrick Forseth killed in Honduras plane crash: sister

TRUJILLO, Honduras — A British Columbia woman says her pilot brother was… Continue reading

As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

ATLANTA — As multiple states pass laws banning many abortions, questions have… Continue reading

Pelosi being honoured with JFK Profile in Courage Award

BOSTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being honoured with the 2019… Continue reading

India’s marathon national election reaches the finish line

KOLKATA, India — Voting in India’s mammoth national election ended Sunday with… Continue reading

Most Read