Happy Holidays to everyone in the blogo-sphere...
Tonight I thought I'd share some thoughts that came to me after I read Iggy: Open Up and Bleed" by author Paul Trynka. This book really takes the reader into the life of the most unique rock n roll icon, James Osterberg aka Iggy Pop.
This fitting biography from a former editor of Mojo magazine finally tells the full story of Iggy's life, rescuing coherence from a tale of thrills, contradictions, debauchery, betrayal, and (ultimately) redemption. David Siegfried
The story of the MC5 and The Stooges is a familiar one in my hometown. We rubbed elbows with them and my friends knew someone who knew the bands etc... We played keep-away at the swim club with Jim Osterberg back in the day. We hung out at the Hill Street House... So I guess we kind of took them for granted.
Ann Arbor had a couple of big success stories like Bob Seger or maybe Ted Nugent but we only liked their early music. Once they went "commercial" we bailed on them. But once the 80's decade began we pretty much forgot about the MC5 or the Stooges. It really didn't dawn on me just what a huge impact these bands would have on music history of the world and their legends still grow...
Christopher Coppola and Dennis Thompson
I met Dennis Thompson ten years ago at Silver Lake in Pinckney. I really liked him so much and Den wanted me to help produce a show he was planning at the State Theater (Fillmore). At that time my daughter was young, my car was crappy and I had a day job. As I couldn't help out I promised that one day I would find a project Dennis and I could do together.
Nine years later, February 22, 2009 we launched Machinegun Thompson's Blog. It was a huge hit right out of the gate. The fans were enthralled with Dennis' stories, his humor, his politics, and just his all around down to earth common sense. This was the beginning for Retro: Kimmer...
My re-education with the Stooges started a little earlier it began in January of 2009 with the unfortunate passing of Ron Asheton. Retro: Kimmer's blog was new and as I lived near Ron and my cousin was the police investigator of the case, I was compelled to write about Ron. (story here). My cousin was in charge of the investigation of Ron's death.
My daughter Lesley went to elementary school down the street from Ron's house. As I drove past Ron's house everyday, I used to see him occasionally on his front porch after school. He always waved as I drove by! I waved back but I at that time I had no idea that man was Ron Asheton.
Ron's story brought a lot of blog traffic and new contacts. Gradually over the past two years I began meeting more and more people that have MC5 and Stooges connections. People find me at shows, online and even find my phone number and call me. Of course I met a ton of people through Dennis Thompson. I met Chris Taylor, Al King both from Powertrane because I wanted to do a mock tv talk show featuring Dennis talking to young musicians.
Then Facebook took off like a raging wildfire! The former social site for college kids was suddenly discovered by the rest of the world. This new way to communicate opened the world to their long lost friends, celebrity heroes, and much more. It is not unusual now to find the actual celebrity communicating directly with their friends and fans on Facebook.
Al King introduced me to so many people. I met Johnny Bee Badanjek famed drummer of The Detroit Wheels and Rockets. Al also introduced me to Scott Morgan. Then I met Deniz Tek through Scott Morgan and Chris Taylor. The beat goes on as they say...
I have met tons of new friends online and some I have met by phone and in person. Little by little I have obtained bits and pieces of rock history from all the different folks I have met.
My life over the past two years has been almost like a rock n roll archaeological dig. Each person I have encountered has given me more pieces to the historical puzzle. The bits of history of the fabulous bands like: The Detroit Wheels, MC5, The Stooges, The Rationals, Sonic's Rendezvous Band, SRC, Destroy All Monsters, Radio Birdman, The Amboy Dukes, Frost, The New Order, The New York Dolls, Detroit, Ascension, KJ Knight and the Knightriders, Circus Boy, The Ruiners, Jim McCarty and Mystery Train, The Secrets, The Sillies, Alice Cooper, Gang War, Muruga (Steve Booker), Flirt, and The Quatros Are all parts of the puzzle. What I find most interesting about these bands and players is how these excellent musicians all intersect.
Ramones Fred Smith and the Ashetons
For example: Iggy had Fred Sonic Smith's band back him on tour, Ron Asheton played with Dennis Thompson and Jimmy Recca, Deniz Tek played with Scott Morgan, Dennis Thompson, and Ron Asheton. Scott Asheton played with Sonic's Rendezvous and Scott Morgan, Scott Morgan has played with everyone, and Patti Quatro knows everyone! Mind boggling! This is my puzzle. The kaleidoscope of so much fantastic music all evolving from Southeast Michigan is just staggering.
As I read Paul Trynka's fantastic Iggy bio I realized just how many people I have met that are in his book! My word I knew just about everybody! Or should I say, I have communicated with just about everybody? Most live elsewhere so I have had emails, messages, and lots of phone calls. The messages are usually about web design, social networking, promotions, or just pure chat.
The folks I have met usually want my help with their internet business as I have created many blogs for musicians, artists, and photographers. Or they want to share their version of their band's history.
Anna Maryse (Annie Apple)
I received an email from one of the people in Paul's book "Annie Apple". Annie wanted to share some stories related to The Stooges and The New Order with me. As I really don't enjoy "interviewing" I suggested she guest post for my blog. Annie wrote two great stories and sadly Anna Maryse recently passed away (RIP Annie). Annie story 1 Annie Story 2
Another person in the book just recently sent me a lovely gift of cds and dvds. A lot of people have sent me tons of music and memorabilia I think to educate me or at least help me catch up to their favorite bands and music.
My charming friend Heather Harris has sent me just the most fantastic packages of music, movies, books, and photos. Heather really has been my 1960's and Stooges guru. She is one of The Stooges' biggest fans. Heather introduced me to Natalie Schlossman perhaps their ultimate fan. Natalie shared tons of her stories with me from her new Stooges box set from Easy Action. Fascinating stories of a fan with such a passion for this band and their music.
Dennis Thompson introduced me to his friend Michael Tipton producer of the Stooges film Metallic KO. He told me the back story behind his film. He told me about hiding with Machinegun from mean bikers terrorizing a gig. Such fun! Mr. Tipton knows everything and everybody! He has (thank you...) coached me on business end of the music. It's a tough business that is certain.
Heather suggested I forward my photos of Coachville the small trailer park where Iggy grew up to Paul Trynka. She thought he might like them. So I did and Paul wrote me a lovely email. Paul's book filled in a lot of the missing pieces of the Stooges. I really am looking forward to his new book on David Bowie.
Stay tuned for the next installment.... :)
Read more on RK
Machinegun Thompson's Blog
KJ Knight's Book Excerpt
Where in the World is Jimmy Recca
Deniz Tek Jimmy Recca and The Godoys Meet Heather Harris
Stooges Pop Fan Club Package