Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Stooges-HAVE SOME FUN: LIVE AT UNGANO'S CD (Electra/Rhino Handmade)

Well we sure hadda wait a long time didn't we, like why couldn't this've manifested itself in 1977 when it woulda had a bigger impact on the frazzled brains of suburban youth who were a little more'n ticked off at Robin Trower. Really, this recording of the Stooges at the beginning of their 1970 FUNHOUSE tour live at the infamous New York hanger-outery Ungano's woulda made a dandy bootleg back then pressed on cheap vinyl with a paper insert, or better yet Skydog coulda put it out in one of their low-fidelity covers like they did with METALLIC KO complete with that wondrous European-styled budget sleeve design. Some enterprising young fan coulda done wonders with this tape!

As it is, the packaging is about as good as a major operation could get. The Leeeee Black Childers snap of Iggy flipping the fingers seen in that old Richard Robinson/Andy Zwerling ROCK SCENE book makes for a fine cover, plus the flip box package with inserts (including an actual mimicked clipping outta THE VILLAGE VOICE and some postcards) remind me of those old promos of the early-seventies only not as elaborate but at least getting the goods out to da people 'stead of the industry wonks! The enclosed poster even reproduces the bird-flipping cover in case you want to pin it up on the bedroom wall to send your parents a message, and not only that but on the other side's an essay on the show written by none other than Lenny Kaye! Did I ever tell you that when I was in my late-teens the one person I really wanted to look like in this world was Kaye???

The disque begins with a snippet of recording from the party which would record the show on a standard cassette of the day, with high-larious talk about whether or not Iggy was a member of the MC5 as well as his persona with one girl expressing disgust at his stage diving since in no ways would she want his cooties to get on her! The funniest part of this segment is when some guy describes Iggy as being a "baby Jagger" which I'm sure conjured up a whole load of bizarre images in these teens' beanies as to what was gonna be in store for 'em this evening!

Throughout the standard bootleg-quality recording is a band that sounds as if they're trying to get a bearing on their new material. The familiar FUNHOUSE numbers just barrel on; some might think that's because it's "under-rehearsed" but I prefer to think of it as the Stooges were tackling their material the way General Sherman tackled Georgia in his march to the sea. No holds barred attack here, and it sure is a pleasure hearing the FUNHOUSE show live and sounding fresh in its own way considering that Iggy was supposed to be thrice as wild on stage as his was in the studio.

The lack of "LA Blues" sending the listener into mind-boggled loathe of life is bound to upset those of you in for the purer aspects of the quest but don't fear...the addition of a new track entitled "Have Some Fun"/"My Dream is Dead" is bound to reach the upper echelons of Stooge mythology with its equally atonal bleat (thanks to Steve Mackay's boundless sax playing) and utter scraping above and beyond the ken of human comprehension. I wonder if this track (which starts off as a bizarre swipe of the Stooges' own "1969" riff) is in fact the legendary "Way Down in Egypt" showstopper during gestation? Whatever, this truly is avant garde jazz-rock that had just as much of an importance within the realm of the really new thing as much as Archie Shepp or Pharoah Sanders did, only it's being made by a buncha looped-out guys who were playing free jazz filtered through the hard rock explorations of the late-sixties bound to upset more than a few cultured DOWN BEAT-bred critics out there!

I'm sure there's more in the poop-chute waiting for release. Really, one only wonder whether any of those really early Stooges rehearsals survive let alone more of the FUNHOUSE-era gigs which were rumored to have been taped nightly in anticipation of a Stooges double live set of Budokan dimensions. Personally I believe it's all extant and bound to make it to our abodes with much fanfare and self-backpatting and at the most opportune time, like as soon as the record labels have milked their previous platters for all they can! I only hope that Rhino or Easy Action or one of those grey area labels gets this stuff out immediate-like now that the Stooge star is shining bright and you know it's a lot more salable'n the same retreads heard repeatedly ever since the first big Iggy putsch of early '77 had us all wondering...isn't that the baby Jagger who jumps in the audience and spreads his cooties???

11 comments:

The Hound said...

Don't you think Have Some Fun/My Dream Is Dead is LA Blues mistitled? Also, I can only hear one guitar, do you think Bill Cheetam is really playing? I've seen photos from that show where he seems to be watching from the side of the stage. The voice at the start of the CD saying "we're going to see the Stooges" is Patti Smith.

Christopher said...

I don't think that the final track is "LA Blues" mistitled as the Stooges had been doing their freak out feedback showstoppers before and after "LA Blues" (which in fact grew out of such codas to various Stooge tuneage). Look at "Open Up And Bleed" for one good example. As far as Cheatham goes, I will say if he is playing his guitar is buried in the sound. Maybe you're right about him sitting this one out despite what the package notes say. Any Stooge scholars out there to set us straight? And if that is Patti Smith on the tape as you say (did I miss something in the liners?) who are the others? I thought those comments were pretty funny and probably typical of the early-seventies wannabe hippie types who were aware of the Stooges yet not quite ready for a full frontal assault unit like that!

The Hound said...

"And if that is Patti Smith on the tape as you say (did I miss something in the liners?) who are the others?"

There's nothing in the liners, I got that from Danny Fields who recorded it, Lenny Kaye also verifies it's Patti's voice. Not sure who the others are yet.

Anonymous said...

Billy only played on stage one night at Unganos. He did play in September of 1970 in Maryland and Virginia. I have a photo in the booklet that accompanies the 1000 Lights CD of Billy, Zeke and Scott. Most of my photos in that booklet were taken at Unganos but Billy was not playing the night I took the photos.

Christopher said...

Leee Black Childers...is that you?

Natalie said...

No, it is Natalie leaving the comment. I did not make myself anonymous. I am not sure why my name did not show up. The booklet I am referencing is for the Popped package that Easy Action records released recently.

Anonymous said...

yar!

Anonymous said...

Having listened to this a couple times now, a few conclusions: 1) "Have Some Fun" is a new tune, with lyrics and all, the emerges without segue out a "Funhouse," with Iggy semi-adlibbing lyrics over a Bo Diddley beat, 2) only Ron Ashton's guitar is recorded here, despite what the liner notes say, 3) you can title the free-form freakout that ends this performance whatever you want, "LA Blues," "Down in Egypt," "My Dream is Dead," or whatever, but it *is* just a free form freakout; and 4) this is an absolutely essential aquisition, probably the best live concert we have from the Stooges, though I can't claim to have heard all of what's available.

LalesXes said...

I just read an article about the concert in an excerpt from Circus.

http://stoogesforum.freeforumboard.net/t2019-unganos-august-1970?highlight=unganos%7CReview

Actual Page:
http://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/12/06/30/71/img75210.jpg

It says that it did end with "L.A. Blues" and that it turns into a "Musical Free-For-All". Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

Who can really tell if their is a second guitar - most of the rhythm sounds like bass and the bass itself is hard to pick out at times. No one can be sure without the way back machine. By the way if that's really Patti at the opening her comments are kind of square, no? Never a big fan of hers...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a rhythm or second guitar buzzing away on TV Eye to me...