After some of the usual antics like pounding his chest with the mike after it was swung around until the cord was wrapped around his neck, it was time for Iggy to get up close and personal with the audience. We had seen this before.
Showlist for Eastown
JUNE 6 /FRIDAY: Eastown Theater Lineup
Illinois Speed Press,
At Detroit’s Eastown Theater just off the stage was the orchestra pit with a steel rail protecting it to insure that no one could fall in. Iggy would use this as a prop to climb down off stage wrapping himself around the rail, knees popping out of torn up jeans, legs and crotch exposing the ever present vibrant red underwear.
Iggy and the Stooges 1969
On this particular night young Jimmy feeling extra frisky left the rail and was wading his way through the tightly packed crowd sitting on the wet sticky floor. The crowd opened up and made way for the singer. The boys in the audience weren’t quite sure what to make of this guy, you didn’t want to get to0 close, but for sure the girls knew what it was about.
He had to step over the heads of some of these young innocents still sitting on the floor and as he did he gave a little pelvic thrust flipping his red package of rock roll love drug while his eyes remained fixed up and out at some distant spot.
On this night there was one girl’s boyfriend, probably some close to the edge greaser from the east side, that didn’t quite appreciate this raging animal getting so close to his date. He stood up, challenging the rock-n-roller to back down, back down or there was sure to be trouble. The kids were curling up and moving out of the way.
Arching his back assuming this cobra like pose the Stooge was ready, bare chested, torn jeans, dog collar, it was a showdown, there could be a rumble right here in The Eastown.
It was 1969 OK, all across the USA, all the peace love and brotherhood being celebrated at the time was coming down to this, a mating challenge. The boyfriend wasn’t going to back down. He stood up, the spot light was on him, on stage the band is still playing but every one is watching this confrontation.
The two men soon become engaged in this cryptic mojo of hand signals, one like a magician depicting a puff of smoke as if I will make you disappear, the other a shooing of a bothersome fly. This was not going to be a physical battle this became some tribal ceremonial display of prowess.
Iggy gave the boyfriend his top of the cranium flip top hand salute, the boyfriend got closer, chest to chest. Finally Iggy brought both arms up and right in front of their two faces simulated a breaking in two, something like a Indian chief breaking a handful of arrows, the breaking of a treaty, letting it go, letting it loose.
It was clear this was one Street Walking Cheetah a boyfriend had better be sure he could go all the way with, one way or the other. And that was it, by some simple sign language and pantomime the confrontation was over, the band never missed a beat, Iggy turned, shook his ass and moved on back to the stage.
This audience was now charged, this was excitement, this is raw energy, this was very, very strange and different, this was a challenge, this was rock-n-roll on a June night in Detroit. Iggy Stooge shaking it down like a future member of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.
Thanks Danny great story from someone who was really there! xxoo RK