Succinct Stooges Bio Looks Beyond Iggy Pop

The Stooges: Head On By Brett Callwood Wayne State University Press, 176 pp., $19.95.

While there have been a number of books written about the Stooges and Iggy Pop, this slim but substantive volume is the first to really give the non-Iggy members their due both biographically and musically.

And while an unabashed fan, author Callwood - who also penned The MC5: Sonically Speaking - also brings solid journalistic cred to the pages, buoyed by his original interviews with most band members, related musicians and scenesters.

His telling of one of rock's fieriest, most revered and most chaotic acts, with all the lows, highs, and lows in tow, is dovetailed with a more impressionistic take on the unique Detroit rock scene of the '60s and '70s.

And really, with their reputation resting on just three releases, none of which sold that well at first (The Stooges, Fun House and Raw Power), has any band cast such a heavy influence or whose music has been more lasting than the hard-charging Stooges?

Probably not - sorry, overrated Sex Pistols.

The original edition of Head On was published in England in 2008, and this revised take covers the band's surprisingly busy recent history: The death of Ron Asheton, reformation of the Raw Power lineup with James Williamson, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and new touring.

Callwood includes several new interviews, including his first with drummer Scott Asheton. There's also a forward from Alice Cooper and afterword by Glenn Danzig.

The compact volume is required reading for any Stooges fan, but perhaps the best recommendation comes from Iggy himself in a blurb to the author: "It's a good book. I thank you for writing it."

Short and succinct. Just like a great Stooges song.

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