The Stooges at the Whisky photo Richard Creamer

Just saw that stooges poster from the whisky on your page. I never buy reproduction merch but I actually bought a reproduction of that poster from an online catalog last year - BECAUSE I WAS THERE.

The Stooges played at the Whisky a whole bunch of times in '73. The first stand was in June and it was 5 nights if I remember right, and the opening act (a truly bizarre pairing) was RUFUS featuring Chaka Khan.

Chaka Khan

For real. I always remember bizarre details and I remember her shoes - she wore these Candies wooden platform sandals adorned with black cherries... don't ask me why I remember details like that, but I do. I have a b+w pic from that show I promise to share when I get my pix out of storage. Promise.

The Stooges were a good draw but this stand was helped because Bob Hilburn the rock critic for the LA Times had done a big article about Iggy during the week of this stand (his weekday column came out on Wednesdays) and it was typical Stooges article describing his infamous peanut-butter-smearing and stage diving antics.

Whisky A Go Go circa 1970s

This gig was the first time I saw the Stooges live, and in fact the first time I went to the Whisky. It was an all-ages show and I was barely 16 and had to bribe someone to go with me the first night cuz I was afraid to go by myself. It was so awesome I did go back by myself every other night for the rest of the week.

The club was completely packed every night, SRO, and this was the era when Iggy wore those silver leather pants and had his hair bleached out platinum to match. Ron Asheton used to wear this very pimpish stretchy black button down shirt that had twinkly lurex running through it, and James Williamson used to have this insane black satin jumpsuit that had rhinestones and cutouts.

There was a lot of banter back and forth, Iggy would insult and/or spit on audience members who annoyed him, and these were great performances. They played the Whisky at least two other times in that time period toward the end of the Stooges, that 3 night stand in September (from the poster) and once more, the last one being something like 8 nights in a row... which was a pretty intense time because it was very close to the end and Iggy was going on stage in a serious state of intoxication.... he did one set there on a night where he was so high he simply lay on his back on the floor of the stage singing, or trying to... and often held on to the mike stand to hold himself up.

The road manager at the time was Doug Currie and he used to make sure someone (often me) was for sure down by the stage to hold on to the base of the mike stand when Iggy needed to be held up. It was pretty grim.

The Stooges had a roadie named Eric Haddox. Eric's wife Deedee worked at the Whisky and may have had something to do with them getting these gigs. I'm just speculating on that. There was a lot of tension, a lot of worry whether they'd make it through the night each time, and concern whether he'd drop the mike into the audience and if so would a fan steal it, and so forth. Increasingly, there was a sick faction of Iggy watchers in the crowd who were fascinated by how bad a scene this was. And it was pretty grim.

There was a period even closer to the end when the stooges were working up their last (post Raw Power) new material at the practice studio SIR. I remember Iggy was doing a lot of quaaludes... during one session he announced that he was going to take a 'lude and did so, then someone asked him a question, which distracted him, then a minute later he was mumbling "I was gonna do something... I was gonna take a 'lude" and despite several witnesses trying to tell him he'd already taken one, he stubbornly downed another, and maybe one more after that.

The big practice room at SIR was where bands blocked their arena tour performances, with a full raised concert stage. Across the room was a wall of mirror so the band could see for themselves what their antics looked like from the stage. The day Iggy was taking all those quaaludes, he fell off the stage flat on his face and knocked himself out and I think that ended the session. It was very close to the end then....

Thank you Annie for the story and Goran for the photos from Jesus Loves the Stooges RK


Lawrence Boyd said...

"What Great stories and experiences she must have had....RIP Annie

Gerald Kuskowski said...

"Thank you, Dennis and Kim...very interesting"

Big Rich said...

"A STOOGE Testimonial!"

Ted Purdy said...

"sry for your loss D"

Gerald Kuskowski said...

"stooges forever"

Anonymous said...

can also read Danny Sugerman memoir for more on this crazeee time

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