Unlike acts like U2 and The Rolling Stones, whose live performance media spectacles are only enhanced and further caricaturized by the cuts, pans, and excess lighting of cinema, no piece of cinema has managed to come close to capturing the beautiful raw chaos of The Stooges/Iggy & The Stooges’ live… the quintessential live experience of Rock’N’Roll of all-time… but MVD Visual have sure given it the good-ole college try… In the past decade the company has released Iggy & The Stooges: Live in Detroit, which documented the band’s first homecoming gig in nearly thirty years and Iggy & the Stooges – Raw Power Live: In The Hands Of The Fans, which saw the band performing their third LP at All Tomorrow’s Parties 2010 (Both releases of the reunited proto-punks more than three decades after their founding proved to be far more invigorating and exciting than any DVD capturing any contemporary act… by a long shot…) Well, this Tuesday, June 18th, MVD Visual is putting out Tribute to Ron Asheton, Featuring Iggy & The Stooges + Special Guests. The DVD captures the April 19th, 2011 concert, performed at the Michigan Theater to pay tribute to late Stooges guitarist/bassist Ron Asheton, who, let’s face it, has never really gotten his fair due for, you know… setting a standard for Rock’N’Roll guitarists. The performance covers all of the band’s sides, from their sleaziest anti-ballads that would sound at home in the filthiest middle-Western brothels, like “Open Up and Bleed,” and “Dirt;” to the 20th century’s greatest anthems for aliens, like “Search and Destroy,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and “No Fun;” and arguably the most progressively and postmodernly brilliant pop songs of all-time, “TV Eye” and “Real Cool Time.” The performance even included two of Mr. Osterberg’s famous, invited stage invasions… despite the posh theater setting. In addition, it includes the evening’s often-overrated emcee, Henry Rollins, giving a personal eulogy of sorts to Ron which is nearly as potent as Raw Power itself (Albeit in a different manner… The first time I watched it, I was crying for the fourth time by ten minutes in.) Honestly, the DVD is not exactly brilliant, and the cinematography is far from transcendental (like The Stooges were), but for any record collecting nerd in your life, who actually corrects people on the difference between The Stooges and Iggy & The Stooges (There is a huge difference…), with a soft spot that they are only willing to admit to every leap year, this may actually be the perfect gift.
(While you’re at it, see if you can spot your longer-haired humble narrator in a husband beater, onstage with The Stooges during their last Philadelphia appearance.)