Any touring band trying to move from one coast to the other MUST hit the Great Lakes. Big population centers in relative proximity to each other makes for multiple tour stops with relatively short drive times. Toronto is practically adjacent to Buffalo, which is a couple hours from Pittsburgh, the arch-rival of nearby Cleveland, which is a couple hours from Detroit...Ontario...Toledo...Chicago...Milwaukee...the list goes on. And almost all these cities have one major thing in common: blue-collar residents who like sports, beer, and guitars.
Moving on, in the late 60s the average Joe could purchase a relatively inexpensive device known as the Super 8mm camera. Combine that with the burgeoning reel-to-reel bootlegger scene, and you've got the makings of a whole lotta mini-memories.
Are you pickin' up what I'm startin' to lay down?
In January 1974, Iggy and his Stooges hit the Allen Theater in Cleveland. Opening for Slade, the Stooges were the exact opposite of their headlining brethren. Iggy was the Wang to Slade's Yin, so to speak (that's a Gerard Malanga joke for all of you in the know). A very detailed record of this event, including snapshots, can be found at the amazing Kicksville 66 blog. To quote Miriam:
Another great review can be found at the i94 Bar. It's a little more revealing of what actually happened onstage, which was an incredibly shambolic performance on Iggy's part:"Nowadays, you may not bat an eyelash at the thought of gents opting for ladies wear, but speaking for myself, fresh from the boondocks and totally uninformed, my pea brain positively exploding with the unbelievably fantastic, super loud mess of class favorites blasting at us, combined with this guy Iggy, who was the most muy macho personage I'd ever set eyeballs on, despite the no-fly zone unmentionables, heck, I was ready to burst in flames right then and there and be toted home in an ash can."
"It was a mess, man. They did like three or four songs. The band came onstage and they riffed on “Raw Power” I don’t know how long; that was like half the show, I think. Because they were all waiting for Iggy to come out. I think they just pushed him onstage, because he came out flyin’ on the stage. And he was totally, totally fucked up." - Chris YarmockNow, I wasn't lucky enough to be there. In fact, I was nary a month old when Miriam apparently first fell in lust. That said, I have still experienced this event in some rapid, fuel-injected shots of noise and image. "And how the fuck did you manage that," you're askin' yourself? Well, let me put it to you simply: This event was recorded. Not the whole thing...and not professionally...but good enough to put a smile across my face.
One day, the owner of these recordings is gonna kick the bucket and hopefully one of us will be lucky enough to grab 'em. It'll be a revelation, sorta like the legendary Norm Dolph acetate. You have neighbors like him, stubbly old stick-in-the-muds who had their best times spending their paychecks after the factory let out. No kids, just cigarette butts, empty cans of once-carbonated-now-flat drinks, and a perfectly manicured lawn - think The Deerhunter. They'll spin a yarn better than anyone...but in this case, he's got what with to back it all up.