In discussions of greatest bands and greatest albums of all time there are always the ubiquitous four: The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, and Led Zeppelin. After that people start talking about Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, hopefully the Velvet Underground, and it kind of goes from there. That is all well and good. Those are great artists with great albums, no question, but if you are one of those people that is continuously leaving The Stooges, Raw Power and Funhouse off your lists, you should seriously consider having your head examined. It really doesn’t get much better. With a deluxe reissue of Raw Power out now, in a must read interview at eMusic Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye talks to Stooges’ guitarist James Williamson about joining the band, working with Iggy, and pushing the limit in LA. Here’s a taste:
What was your songwriting method with Iggy? Would you be sitting on thecouch coming up with riffs and he’d be adding words, or would you be
delivering more completed songs?
First of all I would write them on acoustic guitar, almost exclusively. I’d work them up in my room in Seymour Walk, in London, and I would deliver mostly riffs, with maybe some turnarounds and bridges, not necessarily meant to be firm. I’d come with the things I could stand to play more than once, and then if it resonated with him, we’d start fooling with it, come up with some working lyrics, and then we’d iterate and get a bridge going, just like that. That’s the way we originally worked. Later on, I became a little more sophisticated and would provide more finished music, and we’d tweak it here and there. That’s kind of how we’re working today. We have new material we’re working on; it’s like time collapsed and we’re writing again, virtually the same as we ever did.