Punk Record Review: The Stooges

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In the latter half of the 20th century, the American punk rock and punk garage rock band The Stooges gained popularity. Lead vocalist Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton, and bass-guitarist Dave Alexander created the group in 1967 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In essence, they had a strong attachment to performing a raw and primitively defined type of rock and roll, which Iggy Pop viewed as a necessary component of the lifestyle they supported. Following the idea of naturalism and “coming as you are”, he stated in his interview with Pam Brown that he likes to eat raw meat and brown ricem as well as seaweeds and “dirty” hot-dogs. Therefore, this presumably has great impact on arise and development of special punk rock style in music that means death sentence to disco. In the context of Iggy Pop’s black humor, he stated to prefer to “turn around and break up” rather than hearing compliments. Instead, he praises feminine-like “long” muscles that let him paint nurses with “long” needles that they stuck into heads (Brown).

As for psychotic reactions this music brings out into human beings, there is high rate of escapism that youth is in search for to get liberated from burdens of dominant pop-culture. As an alternative music style, punk is music that drives emotional arousal by means of setting sharp tones, growl-like vocal intonation, sounds that resemble breaking and tearful patterns in mind. The popularity of punk is justified by the fact that punk has gained “the status of a more than slightly humorous teenage phenomenon, theme music for suburban high school kids freaked out on reds and puberty and fantasies of nihilistic apocalypses” (Of Pop and Pies and Fun 31). As garage-based alternative music, it helped young people to express themselves by means of practical openness and honest speaking out what they truly think and feel. In Roberta Bayley’s phone conversation with Sid Vicious, the journalist revealed that the former member of Sex Pistols prefers taking drugs of valium and methadone, being defiled by disparity and loneliness. It’s just a period in life that comes and goes. In some cases, punk rockers set up unique performances that attract audience with shocking events and coming outs. For example, another band member of Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten, in his interview by Mary Harron admits he likes to travel in a van and spend time having fun with fans at their concerts, when they “just stand up against the wall with a microphone” (Harron).

The Stooges is more famous for their two albums: The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970), and Raw Power (1973). For example, in the composition “1969”, Stooges express feeling of disparity and failure of expectations that young people experience as the year in the list of others when “nothing to do”. As allusion to the famous song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, in which the leading character does “nothing, but aging”, while others “staging” and act in habitual patterns of daily-routine duties and assigned tasks. However, the mood of punk rock is “raw”, rude, and strict in its simplicity. It reflects the spirit of generation that put liberation as the highest priority in life, while freedom is only possible, when they choose to put away fear of death, duties of all types, and any relations that draw people far from original “innate” state of enlightenment and purity of mind.

Works Cited

“An Afternoon with Iggy Pop.” Interview by Pam Brown.

“A Phone Conversation with Sid Vicious.” Interview by Roberta Bayley.

“Johnny Rotten – To The Core.” Interview by Mary Harron.

“Of Pop and Pies and Fun. A Program for Mass Liberation in the Form of a Stooges Review, or Who’s the Fool?”

April 13, 2023
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