February 20, 2010 / 5:37 AM / 10 years ago

Iggy Pop and Stooges prepare for "Power" play

DETROIT (Billboard) - For Iggy Pop and the current incarnation of the Stooges, plans involve “a three-year cycle” that will include the expanded re-release of 1973’s seminal “Raw Power” album, touring and likely some new recording.

Member of the rock band of the Stooges Iggy Pop performs at the Musicares MAP Fund benefit concert in Los Angeles, May 8, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

“We’ll give it a good, sharp poke for the next three years and then step back and see where we are, see what we can do with it after that,” Pop told Billboard.com. “After that we should step back and pick our shots once in a while,” he said of the proto-punk rock band, which is about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Hopefully we can be like something that convenes for certain occasions.”

In the wake of founding guitarist Ron Asheton’s death in January of 2008, Pop rekindled his relationship with guitarist James Williamson, who joined the group in 1971 and was Pop’s chief collaborator on “Raw Power.” Original drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton remains, as does bassist Mike Watt, who’s been a Stooge since the group’s 2003 reactivation, and saxophonist Steve Mackay.

Pop said he expects the band — which played a November “warm-up date” in Brazil — to do “not more than about three months” on the road this year; 25 shows are already booked, he said, starting April 14 in Bourges, France, and including a September 3 performance of “Raw Power” at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Monticello, N.Y.

“This year will probably be heavier on the international (dates),” Pop said. “We haven’t booked farther in the States because right now the world has made better offers ... But I’m certain that sometime within the cycle we will do a proper U.S. tour as long as no one else expires or breaks. I’ll see to that.”


Pop also hopes to do some recording with the current Stooges lineup and is in the midst of writing new material.

“Once I stared working with Ron and Scott again,” Pop said, “it was important to me intellectually that the group be resurrected, not just reunified. So that meant we had to be writing and releasing new material.”

He’s working on some ideas that the Ashetons cooked up shortly before Ron’s death — including one song about the Three Stooges — while Williamson, who has resumed his music career after retiring from an executive position with Sony Electronics, “is already on me like a greased cat. He’s sending me riffs, so I did some vocals to a couple of them and it’s starting to sound like something.”

Pop said he’s also considering recording heavily bootlegged Stooges songs that were rejected by record labels between 1970’s “Fun House” and “Raw Power” and material written after the latter was released. “Ultimately I’d like to get into the studio with the group and maybe have a couple old songs, a couple new songs and then a little time to just jam and see what happens,” Pop said.

The Stooges — joined by “Raw Power”-era touring member Scott Thurston, now of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers — will perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 15 in New York City.

“Raw Power” comes out in two versions — a two-CD Legacy Edition with a “George Peaches” live recording and a three-CD/one DVD Deluxe Edition with a rarities disc and documentary — on April 13.

Williamson, meanwhile, is remixing the post-Stooges “Kill City” album he and Pop recorded in 1975 and released in 1977 for reissue later this year.

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