A lot of my readers are big Stooges and Iggy fans I decided to shoot a few photos to show them was it looks like around here (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Michigan)

At the suggestion of my friend Heather Harris, I just finished reading Open Up and Bleed the biography of James Newell Osterberg Jr. (Iggy Pop) by Paul Trynka. This book was fantastic and so well done for an author from the UK (any author for that matter). It was the best book! Just loved it and Heather does too.

It brought up a lot of memories for me although I am a bit younger than Jim and the Stooges I did see them around Second Chance. It made me want to get my cameras out and go shoot landmarks as they appear now. I started with Coachville.

Scott Morgan and I plan to shoot more this summer around where the Rationals, Sonic's Rendezvous and all his other bands played and lived. The landmarks and the history of Ann Arbor rock n roll is best told by the Master himself and Scott remembers it all!

Mark Sisto (The Visitors Radio Birdman) was in town and we took a little tour around the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area. I drove Mark through the Coachville Park as I had never been through it myself! After spending my entire life living here I must have driven by this tiny park thousands of times and never noticed it. My friend Doug Davis is one of the owners of Miles of Golf where Jim played golf with his dad.

In the old days of the 1960s the park had such small old time trailers like the Long Long Trailer Lucy and Ricky took to Hollywood and some of the larger ones were actual trailers. From what I have read, the trailer Jim lived in was so small it would be more of an RV than a trailer. Not sure maybe it was a full trailer but I heard something about it being like 30 feet long. With three people that was an awfully tiny place to live.

This area of Carpenter Rd is and (was) considered Ann Arbor or more specifically Pittsfield township, not Ypsilanti. The real cross road from Ypsilanti into Ann Arbor is Golfside just west of the Washtenaw Country Club. I grew up in Country Club Park a subdivision built between Packard Rd and Hewitt Rd. This was definitely the West Side of Ypsilanti.

Washtenaw County is a strange place to grow up for all of us natives. Lately I have had several conversations with people, (some famous rockers) some normal fans, about whether or not Jim (Iggy) grew up with his parents in Ypsilanti. Michigan. He did not.

Jim went to Carpenter Elementary School, Tappan Junior High and Pioneer High School all ann Arbor Schools. My point being.. Jim was never from Ypsilanti he was was Pittsfield Township Ann Arbor . I can see why he rather claim Ypsilanti though! We were much more rebellious, blue collar, and down to earth people. Ypsi had it's own code of behavior and I am proud to be born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

One thing that made no sense to me from Paul's book was why did Jim's parents the Osterbergs (both gainfully employed) choose to raise their one child in this tiny trailer park? The stigma from living in trailer parks continues to this day. Even though they call them a nicer term (Manufactured Home Communities). I live in one with one teen age daughter because I am a single mom and need the cheap rent to afford the money it takes to care of a teenage girl (!!!!$$$$)

But Jim's parents had a lot more money with the two incomes so WHY did they not move to a better home so their son would not have to grow up in snobby Ann Arbor with that trailer park Stigma?? Jim had to go to the richest kid Jr. High School, Tappan and that had to be really brutal on him.

This environment must have taught him his skills in performing along with his anger and rebellion. Just my opinion.

Nice cozy little park where Jim grew up across from the old Carpenter elementary school which was moved to Central Street in a newer subdivision.

I highly recommend you buy this book! Click on the link below and you can get a new or used copy. Just don't lend it to ANYONE! You'll never get it back!


Fast Film said...

There is such danger inherent for journalists to project about their subjects' personalities that some of us veer away entirely. I'm glad you didn't in this piece, because I think you really got close to the heart of his personality in your observations of the Ig's real life environment, and how it couldn't help but affect a bright boy in Michigan.

I'm going to send a link to this to Paul Trynka via Facebook.

Deniz said...

I had the opposite situation. We lived in a nice house, big by the standards of the day, north of town near the river. My dad was a U.of M. professor. Because of geography, I went to Forsythe Jr High, where a lot of the the tough kids went. Unlike Tappan, Forsythe had a substantial underpriviledged and multiracial population. Growing up in that milieu shaped me significantly. I'm sure Jim was influenced by his experience too. Thanks for the insightful post. - D

GhostDancer said...

Don't get the idea that Im an Iggy fan, I am not, never was .
I liked the stooges inspite of him, I'd say i dislike him.
Mark Sisto

Retro Kimmer said...

Mark Sisto just happened to be with me when I made the detour into Coachville. No inferences were intended as to whether or not Mr. Sisto was an Iggy fan.


A piece of history from a long time ago.

Pittsfield Resident said...

Another reason why Ypsilanti is referred to more than AA or Pittsfield is that area of Pittsfield (like the area I currently live in) has an Ypsi mailing address. Pittsfield has an identity crisis. All the ZIP codes that serve the township go by other names: Ypsi, Ann Arbor, Saline, etc.

Paul T said...

Heather told me about this, thanks for the comments on the book, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I did have a few people debate whether Coachville was Ypsi or Pittsfield Township - I went for the consensus, mainly because his elementary schoolmates, from Carpenter, described it as Ypsi, too. If I'm proven wrong, I'll do a geographical update!

Yes, why James Sr chose to live in a trailer is still something of a mystery - I think of it as a kind of inverse snobbery. One day I'd love to sit down with Iggy and talk about his dad - not sure that will ever happen, sadly.

Dennis Allen said...

"Coachville, baby, Coachville!! Carpenter Rd.

Anonymous said...

That trailer park is considers a ghetto now in the hip hop generation
although it's too small to be a ghetto lol

it really ann arbor only "hood" or low income to affordable housing.
funny point made....

Anonymous said...

Deniz did you live by Arrowwood on the northside ? that once was low income housing on the north-side of the Huron river.

Retro Kimmer said...

Coachville is in nice shape now. just a small but neat manufactured home community more than the trailer park is used to be. That's why I shot photos for folks to see. Thanks for stopping by!

Deniz Tek said...

@ Anon...The answer is no. We first lived at 3050 Oakwood in Pittsfield
Village, then we lived north of town at 60 Underdown Rd in what is now
Barton Hills.


Anonymous said...

I grew up literally across the street (lot 76) from Jimmy's mom. My only claim to fame. I imagine that I was there ('76-'87) when he came to visit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...