East Coast Rocker

Putting You in the Front Row

Iggy Pop: The California Desert Is Vast and There Are Other Places to Live, But ‘I’m Staying in Miami’

Pop Talks to Sweat Records at Miami Bow of ‘American Valhalla’

By DONNA BALANCIA

Iggy Pop moved to Miami for its “peaceful” nature, he took on the radio gig on BBC6 because it keeps him fresh, and he respected Post-Pop Depression partner Josh Homme long before they collaborated, he told an audience gathered for the North Miami screening of American Valhalla.

The Q and A that preceded the Miami screening of American Valhalla at O Cinema was moderated by Lolo Reskin, owner of Sweat Records, the Little Haiti-based store with whom Pop developed a good relationship since his appearance there at Record Store Day a few years back.

‘American Valhalla’ screened in Los Angeles a month ago

Last July, American Valhalla screened in Los Angeles, where Homme was on hand for a Q and A.

See the Dan MacIntosh REVIEW OF AMERICAN VALHALLA in California Rocker HERE

The Miami Vice

Pop, who has lived in Miami since the 1990s said he moved to Miami to escape from New York and purchased his home from a “trust fund” guy named Brock on “the poor side of the street” across from then-Miami heartthrob Ricky Martin.

“I want a house where like the lizards are coming in and the vines are crawling,” he said he told the Realtor who found him the home. “She said ‘I know the place!’ She took me to this man’s house. He was an old ‘smoothie’ named Brock and Brock was a trust fund baby who had gotten into his 60s and he wanted to leave. I said ‘I’ll buy your house’ and I bought his house. I was on the poor side of the street across from Ricky Martin. One day I saw this handsome guy and said, ‘Hey that’s Ricky Martin.’ Then A-Rod came in and spoiled the neighborhood.”

He said back in those days, Miami was less crowded and was a great place to relax and enjoy the beach and the sky.

Jacuzzi Boys hang out with Iggy Pop in Miami – Photo courtesy of BeachedMiami.com

Post-Pop Depression

American Valhalla is the documentary film that recounts the making of the Post Pop Depression record and tour that features the recollections of Pop and other players in the superband that also featured Homme. The movie has been well-received around the country, playing to indie houses.

He said meeting Homme and getting to know the desert was an enlightening experience, and the vastness of the California desert is a stark contrast to the fast pace of today’s Miami city streets.  He has Southern California friends who make a point of bringing the music to people in the desert, he said. Mike Watt is one of those, he said.

“There are these little communities and they’re just out there,” he said. “Now some of it like Palm Springs became famous and has become prosperous and I was there in the ’80s messing around for a while, getting away, but just outside of Palm Springs you have Indio, there isn’t much of anything there, then Palm Desert,  and Joshua Tree is starting to prosper because of escapees from LA, who decide to start a thrift store and calm down and stare at a cactus. But as you get further and further out there, there are just these vast areas. the point being, it’s important for peole like Mike Watt, to play a gig out there.”

Iggy Pop at FYF Fest - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop enjoys the California desert but loves the Miami lifestyle – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Pop Loves French Music and Hosting Radio

Pop said he first fell in love with French music in his teen years.

“I heard Debussy, I was 15 or 16 and my father bought me a classical record,” he said. “And without knowing it I was listening to Sinatra, I was listening to French songs with the words changed.

Pop said the radio show he has been DJing for the last few years on BB6 Radio on Fridays is fun and serves the purpose of keeping him engaged.

“After a while it’s easy for resistance to new things to creep in,” he said. ” When I was doing this show I wanted to include new and obscure, it gives me glee. It opened me up to a lot of new stuff without putting it through some horrible judgmental system of ‘Is it good?’ I like it right now. I enjoy finding things like ‘Moonlight Serenade’ by Glenn Miller Orchestra, like that followed by ‘Rise’ by Public Image. Sometimes it’s good to play a Francoise Hardy cut then hear an obnoxious track by a doomed punk musician.”

Iggy Pop still has the moves, but he's not moving from Miami he says - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop still has the moves, but he’s not moving from Miami he says – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

‘Sticking a Sword’ in Contemporary Music

Pop said the reason he and Homme got together for Post-Pop Depression is he was a fan of Homme’s work.

“I needed to make something of considered quality that would interact and stick a sword into the actual American contemproray music scene,”  he said. “I adore singing old songs in French, doing punk rants. What I first heard from him that I liked best were the two ballads on the ‘…Like Clockwork’ The Vampyre of Time and Memory.’ I thought wow it’s such fine work, it’s head and shoulders above the work anyone can do right now but based on the classic rock that happened in the peak of the 1970s.

All in all, Pop said he loved the desert experience, and he’s looked for other places in the world to live, a hot place, but inevitably he decided Miami is his home.

Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz Revive Punk’s Dead Boys with New Album and Tour

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With Cheetah

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Dead Boys have come back to life.

Cheetah Chrome is touring with a renewed Dead Boys band and will be releasing a new album, Still Snotty: Young, Loud & Snotty at 40! 

It’s a reunion of sorts as drummer, Johnny Blitz, from the original Dead Boys rejoins Cheetah with Chinchy on guitar, Detroit punk legend Ricky Rat on bass and vocalist Jake Hout from ‘zombie’ Dead Boys tribute band, the Undead Boys. They launch their tour in Dallas on Sept. 7 and the album drops Sept. 8 on Plowboy Records.

“We have a band together now, and we have the opportunity to use the name,” Cheetah said. “And now I’m in the merch business.”

Cheetah Chrome is touring to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dead Boys’ ‘Young Loud and Snotty’ – Photo by Heather Harris

 

Reunited and it Feel So Good

How does it feel to reunite with Johnny?

“Johnny”s totally happy to be back in the fold,” Cheetah said. “He says ‘You’re a good man, Chrome, this is fun.’ Me and Johnny have been playing since we were 15. We’re going back to the beginning with me and him. To have him come back and playing and having a great time getting along is really wonderful,” Cheetah said.

The Dead Boys Featuring Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz Perform at The Bowery Electric on Sept. 17.

The Dead Boys were formed in 1976 and they put out the Young, Loud and Snotty album in 1977, which gave the world one of the most well-known punk songs, “Sonic Reducer.” After a second album, the band split in 1979. There were a couple of reunion gigs in 1980s, but after frontman Stiv Bators died in 1990, it was pretty much the end.

The Dead Boys featuring Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz – Photo by Heather Harris

Dead Boys as Darlings

The Dead Boys were the darlings of the punk world. They’ve worked with everyone who was anyone in punk, ranging from Blondie to The Ramones. And there were rivalries in the punk world, especially between Stiv and the godfather of punk himself, Iggy Pop. But Iggy took Stiv’s death very hard and underneath all their competitive ways there was a great mutual respect, Cheetah said.

“We did three or four gigs with Iggy in the old days in the midwest,” Cheetah said. “And he joined us on stage in Cleveland one time.”

Cheetah Chrome and the Dead Boys are touring the East Coast – Photo courtesy of Cheetah Chrome

Cheetah Chrome and Facebook

Cheetah reconnected with another member of the Stooges, James Williamson after a few years.

“He disappeared and went to Sony,” Cheetah recalled. “As soon as he came back, he friended me on Facebook.”

Well now we went and did it, we mentioned the “F” word.

Cheetah has had some issues with that social network so he’s laying low these days. There’s been an unusual issue of not being able to use the name Cheetah Chrome. Instead, Facebook wants him to use his birth name.  It’s been something Cheetah has been fighting but to no avail. to no avail.

“Social media used to be fun,” he said.

But he hasn’t got a lot of time for it these days as the band has been touring and will put out a new record.

What would Stiv say if he were alive?

“He’d say ‘Why ain’t I involved?'” Cheetah said. “But of course if Stiv were alive he would have been asked to be involved.

What was his personality like?

“Stiv was a nut job on stage and a calmer nut hob off-stage,” Cheetah said. “Off stage, he was more softspoken and subtle. He was great.”

Jake and Cheetah Chrome – Photo © 2017 Heather Harris

Breakups and Reunions

Recalling the breakup of the Dead Boys, Cheetah minces no words: Seymour Stein cast the seeds of mistrust among us,” he said. “We imploded and we fell for old trick.”

What old trick is that?  Cheetah says management pitted the guys against each other.

“If the band goes away, it gets them off the hook for spending more money,” Cheetah said. “Seymour was saying ‘Punk is dead.’  The unity of the band was screwed up. We had gone from being ‘One for all’ to ‘Everybody for themselves.’  They wanted us to be something we weren’t. They wanted us to be The Cure and we couldn’t do that.”

What could the Dead Boys have done differently?

“The only thing we could have done was stick together,” Cheetah said.

Are there any tracks on the record Cheetah doesn’t like?

“‘Big City,’ ” Cheetah said. “I hated it, it’s a horrible song.”

The original album, Young, Loud and Snotty  wasn’t intended to be released as is, Cheetah said.

“We were told it’s going to be a demo so we could go back in and record.  But the next thing you know, they said, ‘We like the way it is, we’re not going to re-record.’ So we didn’t.”

Check out the Dead Boys on Facebook 

Video courtesy of Bryan Macnamara

 

Iggy Pop Collaborates with Danger Mouse on a Tune for TWC’s Matthew McConaughey Film, ‘Gold’

File Photo by HEATHER HARRIS, Story by DOTTIE PARIS

Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse have collaborated on a song for Gold, a Matthew McConaughey film to be released by TWC-Dimension in late January.

The new Iggy Pop-Danger Mouse song is not featured in the two-minute theatrical trailer to the film, instead the Styx song, “Renegade” is used.

Pop continues to creatively collaborate with a range of artists, most of them younger than the “Grandfather of Punk.”  It’s a good strategy, as more and more artists push to stay relevant in an industry that is ever more challenging financially for musicians.

Pop is coming off a successful worldwide tour with Josh Homme in support of Post Pop Depression.

See ‘Iggy Pop At The Greek’ in CaliforniaRocker.com

Gold features a bald-headed McConnaughey as a semi-sleazy financial trader who chases a scheme to get gold in the mountains of Indonesia. It’s slated for a late January release — buried between the holiday seasons. The trailer indicates a Christmas release.

The film’s director Stephen Gaghan and composer Daniel Pemberton also worked with Pop and Danger Mouse on the song.

McConaughey starred in the 2016 releases Free State of Jones, and as a voice character in the successful 3D animated film, Kubo and The Two Strings.

Drummer Scott Asheton, Stooges Co-Founder Dies at 64

Scott Asheton Stooges drummer East Coast Rocker

Scott Asheton

Scott Asheton, The Stooges co-founder and drummer has passed away.  Asheton was 64.

Asheton played on the albums The Stooges (1969), Fun House (1970) and Raw Power (1973).  He was a founding member of The Stooges, the Michigan band whose music was profoundly influential on the punk rock movement.

In a posting on Facebook, Stooges frontman Iggy Pop wrote that Asheton and his guitarist brother Ron who passed in 2009, left behind a music legacy.

“Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton,” Pop wrote on his Facebook page.

“He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Ashetons have always been and continue to be a second family to me. My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.”

The exact cause of Asheton’s death was not immediately known, but his health was cited as a reason he cut back on touring.

When The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, Asheton briefly spoke, thanking his family and his brother, Ron, with whom he would miss making music “probably for the rest of my life.”

Though Asheton’s influence on music was indisputable, the soft-spoken musician gave his brother, and Pop, props for being the band members who gave the group its sound.

The Stooges broke up in 1974, but reunited to play together in 2003, then toured and released an album last year called “Ready To Die.”