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Is there a difference between The Stooges and Iggy And The Stooges?
“Yes. He started playing material that me and Ron weren’t involved with. By then, he was just Iggy Pop. It’s still Iggy And The Stooges, but I think the band name’s just used for the draw now. To me, there is no Stooges. It just doesn’t seem right.”
Were you aware during the Raw Power era that the band wouldn’t last much longer?
“We were all young and, to me, being in England, living in England and recording that album, I was just having a great time. I didn’t think much about money, I didn’t think much about the future, it was all in the moment. We were just having a good time. It wasn’t until later that we could actually see the business end of the whole deal and I felt kinda slighted. We worked hard on that album. It took a long time. We rehearsed a lot, we practised a lot. There were a lot of songwriting sessions. We worked all night, every night.”
How was the experience of playing with MC5 guitarist Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith in Sonic’s Rendezvous Band?
“Playing with Fred, I found out real quick why they called him Sonic. He had a way of playing his guitar that just had this incredible energy that no other guitar player I ever played with had. I enjoyed it very much and we were getting really good. People were loving the band, and that’s when he met Patti [Smith] and the band fell apart. Patti started a family after that, and there was no more band. There would have been an album, but Patti came along at the wrong time.”
Are there any other between-Stooges projects that you’re proud of?
“Besides SRB, I’ve played with lots of musicians. I played with Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman, I played for years with Scott Morgan from the Rationals. Scott had a chance at a career when he was younger. Blood, Sweat & Tears wanted him to be the lead singer of their band but he turned them down for The Rationals. Of course, Blood, Sweat & Tears went on to be a worldwide-known band.”
You, Ron and Mike Watt (Minutemen and Firehose, now bassist in The Stooges) went on tour with J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr, playing Stooges songs, and it is that which led to the Stooges reunion, correct?
“In Jim’s own words, if we weren’t out there doing it and we weren’t getting the response that we were, he probably would have never wanted to do it. It was working and it was good. J is a good guy.”
Were you surprised at how well-received the Stooges reunion was at first?
“Jim was the one who had doubts. He said to my brother, ‘I don’t know if I can stand up there and sing these songs.’ Ron told him, ‘No, man – these are the songs that people want to hear. Believe me, it’s going to work’. It did, right from the very beginning. It was a really good run and I was really happy. Now, I’m not sure how much longer we can go on.”