Mojo

Originally Published: April 2007

"Basic. Dumb. Sex-charged!"

The "anti-Beatle" debut

Author: Alice Cooper

"The first Stooges album was true street Detroit music. We played the Grande Ballroom with Ted Nugent, The Amboy Dukes, the MC5 adn The Stooges, with The Who headlining. That's not a bad show! But the only band I didn't want to go on after was The Stooges. They would just wear the audience out because they were so good at what they did.

"The girls loved Iggy. He was Detroit's Jim Morrison. Totally unpredictable. A song like I Wanna Be Your Dog on this album was a perfect Iggy song. Every girl out there was fantasising abou tthis guy and probably some of the guys too! One time Iggy saw this girl out in the audience. She was with a marine. Iggy goes out there into the crowd, grabs her and this marine jus knocks him out cold. The band never flinches and carries on playing. Someone wakes Iggy up, gets him back on stage and he just resumes the set. The fact that we were on the same bill together meany time just made me work hard.

"We came fom LA and were used to playing with The Doors and Love, and while we were hard rock, we were more like The Yardbirds crossed with West Side Story - a little bit more sophisticated. We were listening to early Pink Floyd and Stockhousen. When we put on the first Stooges record I had never heard an album like that before. I had always listened to bands that were trying to be The Beatles, trying to find the best guitar player of the greatest drummer, whereas this was absolutely anti that.

"The guitar player doesn't play anything that he doesn't have to play. There's no amazing lead guitar on it, the drummer is straight down the middle, the bass lays tehre on that one note but they're smart enough to let Iggy's lyrics and personality really take over, to be the music and work.

"I Wanna Be Your Dog is like their School's Out. Who would have the audacity to sing something like that? If the Sweet would've done it, no one would have believed them. Same with Thin Lizzy. But with The Stooges is was perfect. I'm a lyricist so I listen to lyrics before anything else and with Iggy it's that street poetry going on. No fun, for example, you can't take it down to anything more basic, street or dumb than that but when you talk to The Stooges they're not dumb. They're on top, funny guys, but the sexuality was oozing out of them, particularly Iggy who was this really free hippy guy. Is the track 1969 anti-hippy? Maybe, but the attitude is so cool.

"People used to try and stir up that competition between us. Who's freakier? Iggy or Alice? It was apples and oranges. What I did on-stage at that time was really weird, like a cerebral creep show. I was aiming above the belt while Iggy was aiming more at your genitals. The guy's just the sex-charged champion of Detroit!"

As told to Phil Alexander