Category: New York Dolls

soundsof71: shareechilders: soundsof71: Iggy…

soundsof71:

shareechilders:

soundsof71:

Iggy Pop wears Jim Morrison, Los Angeles 1974, by Gijsbert Hanekroot

I thought they didn’t care for The Doors. Pretty funny.

The Doors, specifically Jim Morrison, actually inspired Iggy to start his first band! 

The relationship between Iggy and The Doors is a long one, too rarely told – so ima tell it here at length. LOL

Iggy had already dropped out of the University of Michigan, but used his student ID to get into a Homecoming dance where The Doors played. Jim Morrison came out after the rest of the band had already started playing, drunk and/or high, insisting on singing only in falsetto (wtf) and generally abusing the crowd – who booed, then left in large numbers. Details here.

Needless to say, this was right up Iggy’s alley. As he told an interviewer in 2011:

So, here’s this guy, out of his head on acid, dressed in leather with his hair all oiled and curled. The stage was tiny and it was really low. It got confrontational. I found it really interesting. I loved the performance but the music sounded terrible because they didn’t have the sound system together. They had a really unique style and it wasn’t easy for them to sound good live, at first. 

Part of me was like, “Wow, this is great. He’s really pissing people off and he’s lurching around making these guys angry.” People were rushing the stage and Morrison’s going “Fuck you. You blank, blank, blank.” You can fill in your sexual comments yourself. The other half of it was that I thought, “If they’ve got a hit record out and they can get away with this, then I have no fucking excuse not to get out on stage with my band.” It was sort of the case of, “Hey, I can do that.

(btw, “I can do that!” was also Patti Smith’s reaction to seeing The Doors in New York, although it took her a few years longer than Iggy to actually make her way to the stage, which she first did as a poet with guitarist Lenny Kaye accompanying her in – you guessed it – 1971.)

Iggy had a lot more Doors ahead of him, particularly as he developed a relationship with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

The photograph above was taken at a Jim Morrison tribute concert in LA organized by Ray Manzarek on July 3, 1974, the anniversary of Jim’s passing in 1971. After playing some of the songs off his new solo album, Ray sang “Light My Fire,” then brought out Iggy to sing “LA Woman,” “Maggie M’Gill,” and “Back Door Man.” Can you even imagine what that must have sounded like? You’ll have to, because no recordings have yet surfaced. 

More details here, but in the meantime, here’s a photo that includes Ray playing with Iggy, via old-school-fools.

image

Right after this, Iggy was out of the Stooges, and signed Denny Sugerman to manage him. Denny had managed The Doors, and was managing Ray, who now retreated with Iggy for months of intensive rehearsals for a new band they hoped to form. (Info here, on Ray’s official site.) 

There was at least one more concert together in October, the “Hollywood Revival and Trash Dance” at the Palladium, headlined by The New York Dolls, and featuring Iggy, Ray, and a band they put together for the occasion – including James Williamson of The Stooges on guitar! Violence, chaos, and a general mess ensued, but, says Ray, the band “rocked like a motherfucker.” 

The band fell apart when Ray couldn’t find a way to fit his nuanced sound into James’s squall, closing what might have been a very interesting chapter in these fellas’ careers. (Details of the October show and the band here.)

I should note that a lot of information from this period is sketchy at best. There’s not even a solid consensus on who else played with Ray and Iggy at these various dates, although there’s some interesting speculation here.

Ray and Iggy apparently tried to form a band again in 1977, details here. Iggy’s 1977 tour had David Bowie playing keyboards, rather than Ray, and I have no idea what transpired between Iggy and Ray – both of whom wrote autobiographies, neither of which mentioned this period. 

In fact, Iggy’s autobiography doesn’t mention Ray at all, and Ray’s autobiography only mentions Iggy once, in the context of that University of Michigan show. “It was a total fiasco,” writes Ray, “but the sheer audacity and outrageousness of Jim Morrison convinced Iggy that a life of anarchic rebellion was the only way to fly…and he’s been doing it ever since.”

This is, needless to say, more explanation than most people need LOL but still not the whole story, not by a long shot.  Still, this is in fact the first time that I’ve seen even this much of the story gathered in one place. With the exception of the mysteries that I’ve mentioned that may never be revealed, the links I’ve included will get you a good long way down the road.

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, so thanks for giving me the excuse. 🙂

New York Dolls in Santa Monica, 1974, by Bob G…

New York Dolls in Santa Monica, 1974, by Bob Gruen, via bobgruen.com

vampirefoxblr: New York Dolls

vampirefoxblr:

New York Dolls

David Johansen of New York Dolls, my edit of o…

David Johansen of New York Dolls, my edit of original via legsmcneill

New York Dolls in LA, 1973, by Bob Gruen

New York Dolls in LA, 1973, by Bob Gruen

Todd Rundgren with David Johansen at New York …

Todd Rundgren with David Johansen at New York City punk mecca, Max’s Kansas City, by Bob Gruen, via dietcokeandsympathy.

Todd on producing the Doll’s eponymous debut album in 1973: 

The New York Dolls weren’t presented to me – they were just part of the milieu I was involved in at the time. I was still living in New York in an apartment that was walking distance from Max’s Kansas City which is where everything was happening. There was no CBGB yet.

For the most part I went through David. I used him as a translator to get to the rest of the band. The challenge of making the record was that the control room was a freaking circus; everyone wanted to know what was going on with The New York Dolls – the critics’ favourite band. 

I was pretty sober throughout the entire thing, my only working drug was pot. While these guys would smoke pot they would also do everything else. The sessions involved politics, psychology and crowd control. And at a certain point I had to surrender to the process and accept that the surrounding insanity was going to be a part of the character of the record. 

More on New York Dolls and other Todd productions in a gloriously wide-ranging interview at Louder Sound.

The section on recording that album at Wikipedia is also unusually entertaining. Famously fastidious in the studio, Todd is reported to have yelled at one point, “Get the glitter out of your asses and play!”, but it’s overall very clear that the chaos was part of the appeal for Todd in working with them, and at the heart of what he was trying to capture on the record. A highly underrated album and collaboration, imo, very much worth another spin.

New York Dolls in Paris, 1973, by Bob Gruen vi…

New York Dolls in Paris, 1973, by Bob Gruen via dietcokeandsympathy

glamidols:New York Dolls Love them so much! Da…

glamidols:

New York Dolls

Love them so much! David Johansen and Johnny Thunders on The Real Don Steele Show on KHJ channel 9 in Los Angeles, September 8, 1973, by Richard Creamer.

New York Dolls getting dolled up: David Johans…

New York Dolls getting dolled up: David Johansen, front, Jerry Nolan, Johnny Thunders, Killer Kane and Sylvain Sylvain, pose in an NYC dressing room, 1972, by P Felix

David Johansen, New York Dolls, 1971, via diet…

David Johansen, New York Dolls, 1971, via dietcokeandsympathy