Iggy Pop – Live San Fran 1981/ Iggy & The Stooges – Live In Detroit

With Iggy and the current incarnation of The Stooges recently in Auckland for a Big Day Out appearance, these two DVDs seem ripe for the pickin’.

            The live in 1981 disc is a low budget (two cameras) recording of Iggy and his band playing in a small San Francisco bar. The band features Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar. Actually, Alomar is one of three guitarists, which may have been one too many. Iggy himself looks a little worse for wear. Missing a few front teeth, he is dressed in a leather jacket and cap and a black mini skirt complete with stockings and garters. Very fetching. Unfortunately this was when Iggy was still imbibing in various drugs and it shows in his performance. His version of 1969 sounds tired and even Lust For Life is rather listless.

            Twenty-two years later and Iggy is in much better shape. Recorded in Detroit in 2003, this reunion show with The Stooges crackles with life. Iggy is clearly enjoying the hometown crowd, many of whom join him on stage during Real Cool Time. Guitarist Ron Ashton (since deceased) throws out classic riffs left and right. Songs like 1969, I Wanna Be Your Dog and TV Eye prove what a great band The Stooges were. New song Skull Ring doesn’t have the same impact as the classics, but it holds it’s own.

            Technically the sound and vision on this disc is miles ahead of the earlier one. Also, the bonus feature of Iggy, Ron and Scott Asheton playing in a tiny New York record store is excellent. The fifty-minute clip finds the trio playing stripped down versions of Stooges greats while in-between songs, Iggy gives quite a bit of detail about the writing of each tune. An addition bonus feature finds bass player Mike Watt reading his journal entry for the Detroit show. Great stuff.

Marty Duda