Friday, April 6, 2007


Easter is here again: the time of resurrection. In honor of the concept, I'm resurrecting my love for live music by going to see two of my favorite rock muscians of all time this month: Iggy Pop (Iggy and the Stooges) and Patti Smith. While Ms. Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, her predecessor -- and, certainly one of the most influential voices of the genre -- has been rejected yet again. Not that awards are necessarily important, but as long as you're honoring the greatest of a particular field, you may as well do it properly.

Here are some compelling reasons to give this man his due:

1. I&TS's "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is widely accredited as the first punk song ever (some contend it remains the best punk song ever.

2. Iggy is himself a model of resurrection, rising from the drug & alcohol infused gutter of rock stardom into which he descended, to acheive new artistic success with the help of David Bowie on 1976's "The Idiot."

3. Iggy continues to create with a new no-holds-barred album at least every three years. Lyrically, he continues to take on the pillars of society including TV, moronic group thought, politics, organized religion and American denial of the normalcy of aging and death.

4. As a live performer, no one tops Iggy. Though Patti Smith, live, is close to being an equal.

Spoken like an obsessed fan, you say? Hell, yes!--and proud to be!

The strangest thing about his upcoming show on Monday is that it will be held at the United Palace theater, at 175th and Broadway. It opened in 1930 as the elegant Wonder Theater and featured vaudeville and movies, then was purchased in 1969 by the Christ Community United Church (which still owns it). This is not a place that normally features rock concerts (or anything close). Hence, the juxtaposition of Iggy and the Stooges in this amazing venue should be interesting in itself. I'll let you know...

(photo courtesy United Palace Theater website)

(photo of Iggy performing in August 2004 at Little Steven's Underground Garage Rock Festival at Randall's Island, by Shelly Riff, courtesy of Richard and the Young Lions website)

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