Dysfunctional Musicality

In his opening pre-amble, as Iggy Pop looks on, writer/ director Jim Jarmusch describes the Stooges as “the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band ever.” Thus, this is not an objective portrait of the proto-punk pioneers. Instead it is a revelatory, surprisingly lucid musical memento mori.

This is a 50-year journey through the wilderness and hinterlands of American rock as told by arguably its most surprising survivor. Iggy and the Stooges were the aggressive antithesis to the peaceniks, an antidote to manufactured pop, with a focus on speed and quasi-simian stage pyrotechnics, emerging at a time when a generation of rock royalty – Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison – was dying en-masse. “Nobody had ever seen anything like what we did,” recalls Iggy.

Dangerous, decadent, defiantly different, Iggy and his cohorts in The Stooges embarked on a death trip through the 1970s. It was a grungy, heroin-fuelled revolution that took in detours through rehab and collaborations with David Bowie. Out of it stepped a pure exponent of raw, unfettered, dysfunctional outsider musicality.

Available now courtesy of Dogwoof.

Tony Earnshaw

Stay in touch @Aestheticamag

1. Jim Jarmusch, Gimme Danger (2016) (film still).