By MARK COLEMAN
Iggy Pop is a geek. Like any good
sideshow draw, he achieved noteriety
by blowing up his idiosyncrasies to
larger-than-life dimensions and
parading them on stage. Iggy never bit
off chicken heads, but his perverse, un-
predictable stage presence set a
precedent for shocking theatrics in rock
,and roll. Unlike the showbiz fakery of
Alice Cooper that followed, Iggy's an-
tics were brutally honest.
Backed by the heavy-handed
>rimitivism of the Stooges, he redefined
the role of lead singer by ignoring every
convention and inhibition available.
Jerking and shaking in a spastically
coordianted dance style rivalling
James Brown, Iggy voiced the essence
of teenage frustration with a howl of
simple, even stupid eloquence: "And'
now .iwanna be your dog."
Iggy neverstopped at just emptying
the dark side of his nature on stage. He
confronted his audience, and forced
them to confront his music with a
belligerantly intense yet somehow
tragic stage presence that Johnny Rot-
ten never understood. Iggy pushed his
anger further and further past
desperation to the point of humiliation
and, ultimately, self-destruction. When
I saw the Stooges in Cincinnati in 1970,
they rocked with an intensity unheard
in the city before or since, as Iggy
threatened the audience, then assaulted
them by hurling globs of peanut butter.
BUT IGGY decided he didn't want to
be a geek any more. All the negative
energy that fueled the Stooges kept ex-
ploding until the band burned out in a
mire of drugs and bad dreams Iggy laid
low for a few years, and came back
with a decidedly new sound and image.
Who else but David Bowie could have
resurrected the rock and roll circus
freak, everybody's favorite asshole,
and convinced him that he was an Ar-
tist? But it wasn't until his third post-
comeback album that the Pop's energy
and spirit showed through the bleak,
synthesized landscapes bf his modern
So I attended Iggy's "homecoming"
concert at the Michigan Theater with
pretty high expectations. Everything
seemed right: An interesting new
album and a tight, talented new band,
an enthusiastic crowd, and the most
arresting stage performer of his
generation. But there was something
the crowd, on
into a dance of
want to com'
what he once
ding a large p
level with th
The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 15, 1979-Page" .
ly wrong, with Tuesday now thoughtful and brooding, showing
mance. flashes of anger and actual joy through
E START, Iggy was a sullen, mournful demeanor.
taring questioningly at Iggy's voice was in fine form, and he
ly occasionally breaking sang a well-balanced mix of old and
r his signature lizard-like new material. Brian James' post-punk
the stage. He seemed to rhythm guitar raving lent an ap-
municate with his eyes propriate bite to classics like "Your
did with his body, spen- Pretty Face is Going to Hell." But no
ortion of the show at eye matter how tight the band, the sen-
ortinhe. show anee seless energy and wreckless abandon
nd demanding, Iggy is See THE, page 7
Stephen Dunning and
Reading from their works.
Thursday, Nov. 15
Homemade Soup 8
AND THE ERA"
Friday, Nov. 16, noon
802 Monroe (corner of Oakland)
ARE YOU UNINFORMED?
For the latestiSCOOP on..
Daily Photo by MAUREEN O'MALLEY
Ann Arbor's own Iggy Pop (he's the one with no shirt) cavorts with an
audience member during his Tuesday night "homecoming" show at the
Steve Forbert gives Second
p OD n°_ aee_.._
Chance a dose of sheer
By PATTI DIETZ
"I'm just really sick of being called
the new Bob Dylan,",Steve Forbert
lamented to WIQB DJ Mark Owens
over the airwaves Tuesday afternoon.
A flustered Owens politely tried to
retract the comparison, one that has
plagued the 24-year-old
singer/songwriter from Mississippi
since his arrival on the music scene last
But a triumphant appearance at
Second Chance Tuesday evening made
the Forbert-Dylan connections seem
trite and ill-conceived. In fact, the only
real resemblance between the two is
the fact that Forbert wears a har-
monica harness. Never was Dylan so
loose. Never was he as accessible as
Forbert. In fact, if one must make
comparisons to sum up a Forbert per-
formance, more contemporary per-
formers spring to mind-for Forbert
has more energy than Bruce
Springsteen and legs more rubbery
than Elvis Costello's.
BACKED BY A five-piece ensemble,
Forbert reworked most of the material
from his debut album, Alive on Arrival.
His punkish stances and All-American.
boy looks often border on the obnoxious.
But Forbert's energy is clearly un-
paralleled by his more experienced
peers. He punctuates his performances
with jerky, marionette-like movemem
ts, and his facial gyrations alternate
between sneers and Chesire cat grins.
Some of Forbert's tunes didn't fare as
well in concert as on record. During
"Grand Master Station" and "Steve
Forbert's Midsummer Night's Toast,"
the band nearly overpowered him.
Other tunes, like "Big City Cat" and
"Goin' Down to Laurel," benefited
from the extra dose of funk.
MIDWAY THROUGH his set, For-
bert, sans band, stomped (literally)
through four acoustic tunes, a welcome
return to the acoustic format he offered
last year as opening act on several
major tours. His technical ability on
electric rhythm guitar is certainly not
as polished as his acoustic playing, as
was amply demonstrated on "Smoky
Windows" (with accordion help from
organist Paul Errico), an unrecorded
This is Forbert's second extensive
tour-timed to coincide with the recent
release of his second LP, Jackrabbit
Slim-and this time he's playing
mainly as a headliner. He still has
problems with awkward time lapses
between songs, funbling for the right
harp or dashing off a few guitar licks
while deciding what to play next. But to
fault the Rolling Stone New Artist of the
Year for his inexperience seems a
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premature evaluation. If the crowd's
response (there were four encores) at
Second Chance was any indication,
you'll be lucky to get' a ticket for For-
bert's show the next time around.
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