Monday, April 22, 2013


I haven't played and replayed a release like I have Ready To Die by Iggy and The Stooges and still obtained enjoyment anew since... well, the Age of The Titans a la Sticky Fingers or Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones.

Fond as I am of the title tune with its lyrics' innate simplicity contrasting over the noisily complex, hardest rockin'  Stoogesound, the final two songs, multi-guitar-textured slow ones "Beat That Guy," and "The Departed," the latter a military melancholia evolved from "Ron's Tune" first heard at Ann Arbor's Tribute to Ron Asheton in 2011 (photo of its debut below with an emotional Iggy Pop  and guitarist James Williamson on Weissenborn steel guitar) are the ones looping in my head for infinite hours. There are musical parts that sound like acoustic guitar layered upon steel guitar interspersed with electric. Sublime. 

To quote In the Hands of the Fans filmmaker Edwin Samuelson, "I think James Williamson went to the same crossroads as Robert Johnson. There's just no other way to explain it. I don't know how someone could be away from the guitar and music biz for 30 years and just pick up where he left off. Amazing."

Actually, Ready To Die by Iggy and The Stooges remains a home run for all its players, Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Mike Watt, Steve Mackay, Scott Thurston, Petra Haden on violin plus background vocals, Toby Dammit on percussion and all three members of Toronto band Three Metre Day on lap steel, pump organ and violin. 

Forty years after Pop, Asheton, (the late) Asheton and Williamson roared into music history with "Raw Power," 3/4 of the same crew has followed it up spectacularly with modern but signature sound production by Williamson. Fresh, fun, crazed, inspirational, loud or contemplative, they've all defied every categorization imaginable with this work, even that of being my own superannuated age...

Also, check out Ken Shimamoto's excellent ruminations on Ready To Die here: LINK and LINK.

                          Back cover of Ready To Die with band photograph by David Raccuglia
Preview listen: LINK 

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