The Stooges Vintage Pics

 Live from Farmington High School in Oakland County

DECEMBER 5TH 1970

On December 5, 1970, The Stooges played a show at Michigan’s Farmington High School. That’s Zeke Zettner on bass, James Williamson AND Ron  Asheton on guitar as well as Scott Asheton on drums.  Jim Edwards (lead singer of Detroit band The Rockets) saw these pictures taken by Syd Ganon at the gig and immediately shared them on his facebook page. I heard about it much later through Please Kill Me. Here they are now posted with everything I could gather around their story and various comments from people who sat their asses in this gymnasium that happen to be the theater of one the very first real Stooges Concert. 

Iggy and the Stooges (22)

”He was 45 minutes late because they were “busy” in the john with needles and such, or so rumor had it. It was my lap he landed on, shocked the crap out of me. You can see the side of my face in the pic, lol. I remember I kept tapping his shoulder, “Sir? Excuse me, sir?” lol His tongue freaked me out, full of what looked like holes to me. I remember I was sitting next to my friend I called “Bucky”, I think his name was Mark McCallum? Could be wrong there, but I was begging him to get Iggy off of me! tongue Probably a good experience, all in all for me, as it was an “in your face wake up call” to show me what the end of the “path” I was teetering on actually looked like.”

Iggy and the Stooges (28)
Above, a young James Williamson plays his first live gig with the Stooges.
Iggy and the Stooges (3)
Short-term Stooge Zeke Zettner on bass, Iggy and drummer Scott Asheton.
Iggy and the Stooges (17)
A great shot of Ron Asheton. Looking at their gear, it must have been pretty loud in that gym.
Iggy and the Stooges (10)
In late ’71, Zeke Zettner left the band & enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam, allegedly to get cheaper heroin. Zeke died from an overdose on 10 November 1973.
Iggy and the Stooges (5)
“I was there as a sophomore…The show also featured Brownsville Station and Mitch Ryder. Iggy only played four songs before collapsing in the middle of the gym floor on the lap of another one of my pals who was in ninth grade at the time.” —Pete, Farmington High School pupil in 1970
Iggy and the Stooges (25)
”The show was late due to Iggy being arrested earlier in the night – and then bailed out by band members. Iggy did not start until midnight – way too late for the kiddies in attendance….”– Pete
Iggy and the Stooges (9)
Has Iggy ever worn a shirt?
Iggy and the Stooges (8)
‘’I see at least five members of the student body in the crowd – that are now dead. Yet Iggy rolls on. How cool!’’-Peter
Iggy and the Stooges (19)
Gatta love the scoreboard in the background!
Iggy and the Stooges (27)
Wonder what the kids were thinking with all that noise blasting them in a gym? Can’t imagine the acoustics were very good. Funny to see them sitting down as Iggy crawls all over them.
Iggy and the Stooges (24)
The Stooges look they stepped off the first album cover and donned stage clothes and wham! Check out the dog collar on Iggy!
Iggy and the Stooges (26)
Scott Asheton ”beating his heart out” on drums.
Iggy and the Stooges (11)
When I see pics like this I always wonder if the kids had any idea what to expect with a band like this. Did they dig it, or were they going, “Eeww, gross. And what’s all that racket?
Iggy and the Stooges (20)
Despite the leather and dog collars and of course Iggy, it all looks so innocent and … fun.
Iggy and the Stooges (21)
What did the administration think? “Hmmm, The Stooges… How bad can it be?
Iggy and the Stooges (16)
I wonder who got fired for booking that band!
Iggy and the Stooges (2)
It’s almost jarring to see what basically became punk rock played out in a Woodstock-era high school gym, 6 years before the movement broke in England. Iggy is timeless.
Iggy and the Stooges (1)
It’s even cooler that the show is during that brief period with both James Williamson AND Ron Asheton on guitar.
Iggy and the Stooges (18)
And nobody could even yell- “Freebird! ”
Iggy and the Stooges (15)
I can only imagine what these poor, unsuspecting, teens were thinking when “that nervous little shirtless feller” started gruntin’ and hollerin’ as the band churned up a deafening wall of noise. I bet it was even weirder when “that nervous little shirtless feller” started convulsing, doing back flips, and THEN dove on top of those kids seated on the floor!!
Iggy and the Stooges (14)
Legendary on-and-off stage stunts…
Iggy and the Stooges (23)
Iggy and the Stooges at Farmington High School in Oakland County, 1970
Iggy and the Stooges (4)
”Sorry I’m a little late! If you only knew all that happened you’d be really happy I was even able to show up!”

All photos by ©Syd Ganon

Here is a comment I got from Jennifer Saffran that would make sense on the events that took place before the show:

Not the story I heard. I graduated from this high school later, and did not see this show. My history teacher told us what happened. He said that Iggy was shooting up right before the show in the bathroom. The police had been trying to “catch” him, and they found him with the needle, ready to go. The police were about to arrest him, but it was agreed they would let him do the show, then arrest him at the end, since the gym was full of kids waiting. He collapsed. No administrator approved the Stooges, exactly. A group of students picked th bands and no one really ran it by an adult, or if they did, no one knew what they were in for. After that, the admin. made sure they screened what happened at school dances more carefully. I never heard of a live band performing after that, only DJs.

Whatever happened that day, it is now part of the legend. Iggy is now 70 years old, alive and kicking! Check out Gimme Danger, Jim Jarmusch documentary on The Stooges!

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13 thoughts on “The Stooges Vintage Pics

  1. They all look great. The one weird thing I thought was the comment about this being “six years before the movement broke in England”. Well, it didn’t “break” in England. It broke in New York City at least a year earlier, that’s where it was started, invented, defined, whatever you want to call it. Credit Iggy as the Godfather, the Dolls as immediate catalysts, but get your history straight.

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  2. Wow, can you imagine if something like that were to (somehow) happen today? Everyone would loose their jobs and the kids would be required to enter therapy! Great story, thanks for sharing 🙂

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    1. I feel I blog very selfishly sometimes. I feel my blog is more like an encycolpeadia of the things I find trippy in one way or another and on one hand i want the world to know about them but on the other hand I’m scared people just won’t appreciate them so I kinda try and write stuff for my own pleasure in other to not get deceived BUT the more I wirte the more I find people are receptive of what I like. I wish I would know what proportions of the likes I get are really ”likes”. I do feel I have alittle core of hardcore followers which is motivating enough for me plus I have a mentor who is worth all my efforts to delve into the 70s and the late 60s! I will be reviewing John Cale autobiography co written with Victor Bockris soon, That should be interesting for a lot of people!! I just hope I’m going to be up to their expectations. I do feel more and more pressure to write really good stuff as time goes by.

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    2. Don’t! You shouldn’t feel that you need to live up to others expectations. Your blog is doing well because you are writing what is important to you. Your passion comes across in your stories and style. Readers will respond to honest interest more than those who write just to get likes or sell a product. Your writing will improve with practice, don’t force it, let it happen and be proud of your pieces 🙂

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    3. Thnak You I’m really doing my best!! Thank you for your good comments. It really does make a difference when you’re a writer, or try to be one… Im in a period of my life where writing is the only thing that alllows me to give my life significance, apart of family of course. I been though a very tough patch and even if the worst part is over. I still see a lot more tough times to go through so I will try and put all my ebergy in stuff that makes me feel proud of myself. The feeling I get after writing a piece I am proud of beats any high and the most wonderful thing is that it stays with you!!

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