“But I want to go out there, it’s a big party” a murmur from the contained Iggy Pop before the band kicked into 1970 live at The Goose Lake on August 8th of that year.
If you are a stooges fan, and I am a die hard fan, you’ll have seen the footage of Iggy Pop walking across the top of the audience and smearing peanut butter all over himself at a festival in Cincinnati, an iconic piece of rock and roll history. This was exactly the kind of behaviour they were trying to stop at The Goose Lake Festival.
What was meant to be Michigan’s version of Woodstock penned to have 70 thousand attendees ended with 200 thousand and festival organisers weren’t going to be caught with their trousers down like over in New York. This was Michigan!
…you’ll have seen the footage of Iggy Pop walking across the top of the audience and smearing peanut butter all over himself…
Cyclone fencing and barbed wire surrounded the festival grounds keeping the rowdy youth contained and watched by low flying planes and helicopters. But this would mean Iggy himself was chained to the stage, somewhere he owned sure but, also somewhere he would often depart to throw unsuspecting crowds into chaos.
This was the biggest show in The Stooges career and Pop had told the band no booze and no drugs before we play. This was a rule the band and he himself did not follow. As soon as Dave Alexander (Bass) and Scott Asheton (Drums) rolled in to the parking lot they we greeted by an English roadie from one of the other acts who offered them a hit of a mysterious white powder they assumed to be cocaine.
This was not the case.
And unfortunately for Dave, this would be his last show with The Stooges due partially to that fact.
Before I go any further I want to take a moment to mention, I have been playing in bands now for over a decade and unreliable members and members turning up too stoned or drunk to play is the fucking worst!
I have been that guy, the one too out of it to function and trust me the rest of the band are never happy, especially if you turn up early drink all the rider and have pissed off the manager and the soundie before you even walk on stage.
It seems, Dave had been that member for the past few months in The Stooges. And Iggy was pissed! Just how pissed? Well pissed enough to sack him post set at The Goose Lake Festival.
Stooges roadie Leo Beattie said about Dave “He was blotto! I never saw him in that state after drinking at the house — mostly just beers and hash.
But that day, if he was a cartoon character he would have had little X’s over his eyes.”
Live at Goose Lake, which is being put out by Third Man Records, a personal favourite label of mine is proof of what transpired on the night that ended the original Stooges lineup.
The Stooges if you’ve made it this far into the article without knowing what the fuck I am talking about are often called a proto punk band. They are held up as one of the original acts that bought rock and roll away from the stadiums and 10 minute guitar solos and back to the beer soaked dives and songs that often either fell apart before they got to the 3 minute mark or just weren’t that long to start.
Their self titled debut put out in 1969 only got to 106 on the US charts but the Detroit band’s wild live shows and out of control behaviour on stage from front man Iggy Pop (sometimes known as the Godfather of Punk) had cemented them in as infamous and the mums and dads were scared of what doors this was opening. Put yourselves in the shoes of conservative parents it’s just after dinner and the kids and you are sat down in-front of the radiation box and the local news is showing footage of some guy smearing himself with peanut butter all over his bare chest while the crowd hold him aloft almost Christ like… Yeah I just pee’d a little myself too. Is this the greatest live album ever? No. But it is a very interesting look at a band that were making waves and scaring the squares.
Is this a live album you should get a copy of? Fuck yes it is. The world is full of new bands that are trying to sound like this on record and rarely manage it.
These guys are like mecca for rock and roll and raw attitude. Third Man Records are a great label doing great things and you should dive into their catalogue as well. I have been to both storefronts in Detroit and Nashville and they get music. Give them some love and grab a copy of this amazing piece of history, a treasure found in a farmhouse basement, a historian’s wet dream, something that came so close to being lost to the sands of time.
Or maybe just grab it because The Stooges fucking rock and you need more of them in your life.
The Stooges – Live at Goose Lake 1970 is available from Third Man Records August 8th. Go and Find out if you think Dave should have been sacked.