Popped - The Stooges (Easy Action)
The Golden Age of the Stooges is upon us and the onetime "biggest joke in SW Michigan" (so described by more than one person who saw them in their original incarnation) now has almost universal critical respect. From derided to celebrated and the latest news is that Easy Action's latest offering, "Popped", does them justice.
More than a CD release, "Popped" is best described as a "fan pack/celebration". Yes, there's a disc of live material ("One Thousand Lights") that's probably more for the completist than the casual listener. It sitas with a bunch of previously publicly unseen photos of the band circa 1970-71 and six editions of the newsletter, "Popped" - all the work of uber supporter Natalie "Stoogeling" Schlossman. Topping off the package is a T-shirt and a reproduction handbill. It all comes in a presentation plastic box.
The newsletter is very much of its time, a stream-of=consciousness by a obsessed fan. There's nothing up with that but if you hasn't guessed Natalie had a fair crush on Rock Action then you haven't read the thing properly. Hormonal gushings to one side, there are some interesting asides about what songs had been recorded, or were earmarked for studio treatment,
and some intriguing interpretations of band member departures. Natalie obviously wasn't exposed to the seamier side of certain Stooge behaviours (or if she was, she wasn't letting on.) The road crew - a few of whom were pointed out by others as a big drug influence for the band - merit lots of space.
The live disc is a 10-tracker and has been culled from Natalie's own collection. They're better than average audience recordings for the most part, with a particularly stinging "Fun House" from Chicago in July '70. Audio from the infamous peanut butter TV broadcast in June that year is also appended.
If you missed the "You Don't Want My Name, You Want My Action" set, Ken Shimamoto's long interview with missing Stooge Jimmy Recca (in an ideal world it would have been part of it) is included, in deluxe booklet form.
Easy Action sets the standard for packaging (props to artist Les Clark) and this collection is no exception. A handful remain, evidently, so get in fast.