Seen as a band instrumental in the rise of punk rock and influential to alternative rock and heavy metal, THE STOOGES’ history is considerably different to that of most legendary bands. The original incarnation of the band never sold many albums and played the majority of shows to indifferent and hostile audiences. Lead singer Iggy Pop’s live performances were often erratic and unpredictable and drug use put a holt to the bands imminent rise before anything big could ever happen. When they re-united the band recorded a now illustrious album that at the time was considered a failure, they would break-up again and re-unite over 20 years later finally gaining the recognition they deserve before one of the original members would pass away unexpectedly. Here are the key points in the rise, fall and rise again career of the truly unique band.

April 22nd 1947- James Newell Osterberg is born.


 Osterberg joins high school band The Iguanas.

 Osterberg is nicknamed Iggy by his current band The Prime Movers after his former band.

1967- 1968

 Iggy comes up with the idea for The Stooges after meeting blues drummer Sam Lay during a visit to Chicago, he decides that copying other blues musicians isn’t enough and wants to create his own brand of blues.

 Iggy recruits brothers Ron (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums) and Dave Alexander on bass, Iggy takes vocal duties.

 The band nickname him, Pop, after a local character, he begins using the name Iggy Pop which he has used ever since.

 The band play their first gig at their house in State Street.

 In January 1968 the band play their second gig.

 The band play the Grande Ballroom in Detroit Michigan under the name the Psychedelic Stooges.

 The Stooges sign to Elektra Records, after the label send scout Danny Fields to see MC5 who were also signed.

1968- 1971

 The band release self titled album, but it doesn’t sell well

 The band release second album Fun House, The Stooges play a show at the Cincinati Pop Festival during which Iggy jumps into the crowd and covers himself in Peanut butter, he is held aloft by the crowd, this would later become and iconic rock image.

 Dave Alexander is fired after turning up to Goose Lake International Music festival too drunk to play.

 Zekke Zetner joins on bass but is later replaced by James Recca.

 The band expand their line-up and add saxophonist Steve Mackay and second guitarist Billy Cheatham who is soon replaced by James Williamson.

 Apart from Ron Asheton, the band all start using heroin. Iggy has trouble performing on stage and shows become unpredictable. They are dropped by Elektra and go on hiatus for several months with the remainder of the line-up consisting of Iggy, the Asheton brother, Recca and Williamson.

Hiatus Period

 In September 1971 Iggy meets David Bowie who is at his height of fame with Ziggy Stardust, they become friends and Bowie takes Iggy and Williamson to England and gets them a deal with Columbia Records.


 Iggy and Williamson attempt to re-create the band with British musicians but eventually bring the Asheton brother back with Ron now on bass. The line-up is billed Iggy and The Stooges.

 Third album Raw Power is recorded with Bowie taking over mixing duties in somewhat controversial manner. The album sells poorly and is regarded as a commercial failure.

 The band add piano player Bob Sheff and quickly replace him with Scott Thurston.

 The band tour for several months and record a number of songs that would later become the Detroit Rehearsal Tapes.

 The band disband due to Iggy’s continuing drug use and erratic behaviour, but play their final show at the Michigan Palace which is captured on the classis live album Metallic K.O.


 Iggy enters rehab.

 Iggy begins solo career and releases albums such as The Idiot and Lust For Life he also tours with a band that included David Bowie on keyboards.

 Williamson works as producer and engineer for Iggy on his early solo releases.

 The Asheton brothers start a band called The New Order which quickly falls apart.

 Dave Alexander dies of Pancreatitis.

 Iggy re-mixes and re-leases Raw Power.

2003- 2009

 Indie rock legends J Mascis and Mike Watt team up with the Asheton brothers and begin playing Stooges covers and some other material and are billed as Asheton, Asheton, Mascis and Watt.

 They catch Iggy’s attention and he asks the brothers to appear on his Skull Ring album.

 The Stooges re-unite performing shows in the US and Europe with Watt on bass and Mackay on saxophone completing the line-up.

 Re-issues of the first two Stooges albums are released by Elektra records.

 The band release new album The Weirdness and contribute a cover of ‘You Better Run’ to the album commemorating the passing of blues artist Junior Kimbroughs.

 The band play more live shows across five different continents, and perform two Madonna covers at the ceremony put on to celebrate her induction into the rock and roll hall of fame.

 The band play final show with Ron Asheton on September 29th 2008 in Slovenia.

 On January 6th 2009 Ron Asheton is found dead at his home having suffered a heart attack several days earlier, in a statement the band call him ‘Irreplaceable’.

 The band fail for a seventh time to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame after not gaining enough votes from committee members.

 In May 2009 Iggy states that himself, Scott Asheton, Mackay and Williamson would begin performing Raw Power as Iggy and The Stooges. He also states that ‘The Stooges died with Ron Asheton but there’s still Iggy and The Stooges’.

 May 2010 the Stooges destroy Hamersmith Odeon over 2 sold out nights and get ready to hit the stage at Sonosphere festival in August.

Their influence and famous fans.

 Iconic punk writer Legs McNeil was especially fond of Iggy and the Stooges, and championed them in many of his writings.

 The Sex Pistols recorded the first high profile Stooges cover, "No Fun", in 1976, introducing the Stooges to a new generation of audiences, particularly in England, where Pop was then based.

 Sid Vicious also regularly performed "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "Search and Destroy" and "Shake Appeal (Tight Pants)" in his post-Pistols solo shows, and the first two feature on his Sid Sings album.

 Jello Biafra says he bothered his whole neighborhood as a kid by blasting Stooges records on his stereo. He also says he bought the first Ramones album because "they looked like they played music in the style of the Stooges."

 In 1983, Sonic Youth recorded a cover of the song "I Wanna Be Your Dog" on Confusion Is Sex. Thurston Moore has said when he was starting to play guitar, he would play Stooges songs when he got frustrated.

 Henry Rollins devoted much of a 1985 Spin magazine article to Fun House (the rest was about The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat—Rollins considered these to be the two best rock records ever made); in his 1994 book Get In The Van: On The Road With Black Flag, he would also declare of Fun House, "Everybody should own a copy of that album."

 Kurt Cobain consistently listed Raw Power as his #1 favorite album of all time in his "Favorite Albums" lists from his Journals.

 Jack White of The White Stripes has said Fun House is the best rock and roll album ever made.

 In August 1995, all three Stooges albums were included in British music magazine Mojo's influential "100 Greatest Albums of All Time" feature. Fun House was placed the highest, at 16.

 Lead singer of Gypsy Punk band Gogol Bordello, Eugene Hutz, says this about Fun House: "the usual, you know, the best rock album ever made."

 The Stooges' "Search and Destroy" was featured in RedOctane's Guitar Hero II for the Playstation 2.

 In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Stooges #78 on their list of 100 of the most influential artists of the past 50 years.

 Skateboarding team S.A.D. (Skate and Destroy) got their name from the Stooges' single, "Search and Destroy".

 The Norwegian punk band Wannskrækk recorded a tribute to the song "I Wanna Be Your Dog" called "Doggen" ("The Dog" in English).

Back to blog