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Sunday, June 2, 2013



Tribute To Ron Asheton (MVD Visual) :: The first time I met the Stooges was back in August 1963. That’s right, 1963. Which means I ain’t talkin’ about any latter day Jimmy come lately run of the mill Stooges, I’m talkin’ about the bona fide original Stooges. The one and only now and forever real Stooges. The Three Stooges.

Hot on the heels of their recent television and cinematic successes, the trio had just finished performing their new act “The Three Stooges Meet The Gorilla” in front of a screaming matinee crowd of 35,000 who’d packed the Canadian National Exhibition’s “Grandstand Matinee Fun-Fest.” My father, who had arranged the meeting, introduced me to them in an impromptu on the run meet and greet session conducted between the five of us in a backstage tunnel that led to their getaway cars. We exchanged a few words, shook hands, and then they were gone.

I was nine years old and for the first time I profoundly knew what people meant when they said that they shook somebody’s hand and didn’t want to wash theirs afterwards.

Then, in a fortuitous fluke of cosmic confluence, exactly 45 years later in August of 2008, I was fortunate enough to meet another member of the Stooges: guitarist Ron Asheton, who was introduced to me by photographer Robert Matheu backstage at Massey Hall. I thanked Ron for his music and held out my hand, at which point Ron Asheton—the world’s greatest Three Stooges fan who proved it by naming his group after them—shook the hand that had previously shaken the hands of Moe Howard; Larry Fine; and Curly Joe DeRita, thus completing a circle that had opened back in 1963.

Four months later, we were all shocked to learn that Ron had died.

This celebratory concert filmed at the Michigan Theater captures that one memorable night in April 2011 when Ron Asheton’s band took the stage to honor his musical memory. As might be expected, it’s a great concert that draws extensively from the Field Marshall’s Stooge Staffel song book—but that’s not why you’re gonna go out and buy this DVD.

You’re gonna go out and buy this DVD to behold the sincere introductory oratory eulogy that family friend Mr. Henry Rollins gives before the band takes the stage. It’s a twenty-two minute long class act that’ll leave you slack-jawed in admiration.

A wise man once said that passion is no ordinary word and Mr. Rollins’ passionate presentation is, without a doubt, the singularly most insightful and heartfelt piece of astute analytical rock criticism you’ll ever hear or read. Sure, you may be a life long Ronnie & The Stooges fan, but the reason why Mr. Rollins is effortlessly able to explain why you’re a fan is because he’s a fan, too; he’s been where you’ve been and bought what you’ve bought and he still listens to what you still listen to.

But lest you start thinking that this is some kinda dry as dust professorial lecture, lemme tell ya that’s it’s also one of the most entertainingly humorous homilies you’ll ever encounter. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing him rap, Mr. Rollins has a naturally warm self-effacing homespun charm that always enables him to get his erudite message across without ever nodding you out—no mean feat at the best of times and especially an accomplishment when you’re standing alone on stage talking for almost half an hour in front of a packed house of jacked up Stooges fans.

Then, because actions speak louder than words, just to show that he’s not too warm and homespun, Mr. Rollins ends his dissertation by ripping into a Henry & The Stooges version of “I Got A Right” that’s the unvarnished apex of what rock ’n’ roll is—’cause, you know, y’gotta go out there and, like, top the big guy, right?

It’s a hard to beat act to follow, but Iggy & The Stooges prove that they’re up to the challenge. Of course they are. Is there any other choice?

Be seeing you!

Sun, June 2, 2013 | link 

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