The Stooges: Head On: A Journey Through the Michigan Underground Paperback – Sep 1 2011
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About the Author
Brett Callwood is a music journalist whose work has appeared in the Metro Times, Metromix, Modern Drummer, and Classic Rock, among other publications. His first book, MC5: Sonically Speaking, was published in the U.S. by Wayne State University Press in 2010.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Iggy takes something of a back seat as Callwood coaxes interviews out of the late Ron Asheton, his brother Scott and other associates, including an account of the former's time in the often-overlooked Destroy All Monsters. Originally published in 2007, with foreword by Alice Cooper and afterword by Glen Danzig, the story is extended to last year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, including Ron Asheton's shock death in January, 2009. The interview with Ron is one of his last and longest, while the rare words from Scott reveal his struggle to play in the Stooges without his brother after Iggy brought in James Williamson. Above anything, this quote-stacked work stands as an ultimate tribute to the quiet titan who `will be missed for as long as people are playing rock `n` roll.' Kris Needs
When reviewing a Stooges bio, you don’t have to say whether or not the story was interesting. It’s practically impossible to write a boring book about a band that had everything you could ever want to read about: killer music, eccentric personalities, excessive behavior and an extreme intensity they practically invented. The only thing left to discuss is how well the author, in this case Brett Callwood (who also penned an excellent biography of The MC5), captures and conveys the story. On that front, Head On is heavily flawed. While it was noble of Callwood to take the road less traveled and ignore the more sensationalistic aspects of Stooge lore, it also short changes an important side of the band. Let’s be honest here, this was band that loved the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle, and to diminish that isn’t true to the spirit of the band. The other fatal flaw here is Head On’s extreme brevity. At just 146 pages, I get the feeling that the author took whatever limited interview time he had with band members and other participants, and made a book out of it, regardless of whether or not it felt complete and fully realized. On the flip side, it’s refreshing to hear the story of the band largely told from the point of view of the under-appreciated Asheton brothers, and not the typical Iggy-centered version of events that you normally get (although I get the feeling that limited access to Iggy played a role in this decision). It’s also really interesting to hear what everyone in the band did after the Stooges 1974 breakup, which is something that you don’t normally get to read about. Even Ron Asheton’s forays into the world of B-movie horror acting are recounted in considerable detail (and they better be, considering the book is about The Stooges and they’re broken up by page 66!). While it may not be perfect, there are enough interesting and revelatory moments in Head On to make it recommended for Stooges freaks, if not the casual fan.