Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I know, I know. This isn’t country music or anything close to it. But it’s The Stooges, damnit! Therefore, it’s fair game. The movie Gimme Danger came to theaters on October 28, 2016. It is the story of The Stooges narrated by the members of the band, most notably Jame Osterberg (AKA Iggy Pop). This is their story in a film by Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law, Mystery Train, Dead Man, etc.). I couldn’t think of a better filmmaker to make this documentary than Jarmusch. It doesn’t hurt that he has been a Stooges fan most of his life. I guess it takes a little away from the objective nature of documentaries, but who cares. It’s The Stooges!
It’s also about time. The Stooges had been marginalized for years and excluded from any radio play other than college radio and maybe a few indie stations. The Stooges were most definitely ahead of their time. They still may be. During a time in the late 60s and early 70s when peace and love was everywhere, The Stooges had nothing to do with any of that nonsense. Their music was loud, aggressive, sloppy, irreverent, not played particularly well, but none of that mattered. The whole was certainly greater than the sum of its parts. There were basically the opposite of every other band in existence during that time save The MC5 and The Velvet Underground. You will never hear The Stooges played on classic rock stations even though their music is square in the timeline for classic rock. The closest you may get is Lou Reed singing Sweet Jane or Take A Walk On The Wild Side.
The movie contains a lot of never before seen footage and interviews of the band. That alone is worth the price of admission for Stooges fans since the footage up to this point has been very limited. This is definitely a movie for any rock and roll fan to see. For a fan of The Stooges, it is a must.
The soundtrack isn’t anything spectacular or groundbreaking really. As far as rarities go, there are two songs that I am unfamiliar with: Asthma Attack and Lost In The Future (Take 1). There are also two outtakes from the Raw Power sessions: I Got A Right and I’m Sick Of You. Other than those tracks, the rest of the songs are all relatively common Stooges songs. There are also songs by The Iguanas, Prime Movers Blues Band, and of course The MC5. The songs on the soundtrack are the remastered versions so they sound fantastic. If you are a Stooges fan, this is a must have to round out the collection. If you never heard of The Stooges, give this a try. It is a good training record and you can tell all your friends that you have been a huge Stooges fan since you saw them at Woodstock (just kidding, they didn’t play Woodstock).