ben blackwell - The I-94 Bar

Mining unearthed Stooges gold is a labor of love for Ben Blackwell

iggy in repose

Nobody loves a band more than a diehard follower of the Stooges. Through thick and thin, they cling to whatever recording detritus or tidbit of lore is handed down, like a drowning man clutches a life preserver in an ocean liner sinking.

They chase every bootleg with the fervour of a pre-urban renewal Cass Corridor junkie hustling a hit. They celebrate the band’s posthumous legend status and annoy non-believers with trivia, simultaneously living vicariously through the stories of the Stooges' addled (pre-reunion) stumbles and falls.

All this and more is why the news that broke in June this year about a high-quality desk tape concert recording of the original line-up materialising, a full five decades after the event, hit the faithful like a phalanx of neighbourhood leaf blowers at 7am on a hungover, suburban Saturday morning.

The gift of Goose Lake and why you need to unwrap it

stooges promo 1969The original Stooges.

Ben Blackwell is one of the most important figures to come out of the Detroit music scene in the past 30 years. Whether it be his drumming with the Dirtbombs, his work crewing for and archiving The White Stripes or his running of Third Man Records, Ben is yet another in a long line of significant musical names to have come from the Motor City.

Third Man Records has just dropped the Stooges album “Live at Goose Lake”. Recorded back in August 1970, the show it documents is a seminal and infamous moment in the band’s history. It was the last gig the band played with bassist Dave Alexander.

The Stooges at Goose Lake a landmark release

stooges goose lake 1970 smLive at Goose Lake: August 8th 1970 - The Stooges (Third Man)

Are you kidding me? This is conniption material. A high-quality soundboard recording of the original Stooges, plus saxophonist Steve Mackay, at a time when they were at the primal peak of their considerable powers? It’s proof-positive - not that it’s needed - that the Stooges of 1970 were indeed America’s Most Dangerous Band.

The Stooges were a few months fresh from recording the epochal “Fun House” album and in a mind to confront Middle America on the sort of scale that could only be achieved off the back of substantial record sales.

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