Monday, February 24, 2014


James Williamson and Linda Williamson at the 2.20.14 ceremony for James' induction into his alma mater Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering Hall of Fame which features permanent displays of all its inductees, his own seen above. This makes the former technology corporate executive and current guitarist of Iggy and The Stooges the sole member of both the The Engineering Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Williamson co-wrote and shredded on 1973's game-changingly influential LP "Raw Power."

The newly unveiled Engineering Hall of Fame ceremony marked the 55th anniversary of the college and took place outside between the two Engineering buildings in Pomona's warm February weather, where we find Linda and James, below. Inspired by nascent computer technology, James attended and graduated after Iggy and The Stooges broke up in the mid-1970s with its eventual resurrection in the the 2000s and James rejoining in 2010. Cal Poly Pomona is part of the Claremont, California complex of world-renowned universities, and its engineering school vies with Stanford and Cal Tech as one of the three top tech destinations on the West Coast.

Below, Dr. Mahyar Amouzegar, Dean of the College of Engineering, far left, addresses all 22 recipients in the Hall of Fame's unveiling ceremony with James at far right amidst assorted "Captains of Industry."

Favorite part and understatement of the century, when all new Hall of Fame members' positions and accomplishments were read to the audience with a momentary, surprised pause at "James Williamson, Vice-president Sony Corporation, Technology Standards, retired, and member of Iggy and The Stooges band...well, that's interesting!"

Left, James obliges with autographs for 
Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering Stooges' fans. Center and right, James in his other Hall of Fame role, 1973 and 2013.

When queried on his decision to switch gears from music to computers in the 1970s, James quoted his own honorarium, "My advice to the kids at Cal Poly on my Engineering Hall of Fame Plaque (is) '20 years from now the only regrets you'll likely have are the passions you didn't pursue.' I would have missed a lot if I'd had a hit record back then and we would most likely have killed ourselves. . . much better to be obscure in our case." Posterity now celebrates James Williamson as an inventor in both music and technology, expressions of his truest passions.

Guest photographer of the next three pics after her portrait, Amy D'Allesandro (below left) and I planned our Pomona trip to include visiting the Kellogg Arabian Horse Center at Cal Poly, part of its Equine Sciences program. The Kellogg Arabians' stud farm has been going strong there since 1925: its West Coast bloodstock Crabbet Arabian Horses (see breed savior Lady Anne Blunt's story in LINK) had been cast as Rudolph Valentino's mounts in his silent films "The Sheik" and its sequels. The delightful 1 and 1/2 week old foal who greeted us attests to the center's current breeding program success.

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