“DD Review: Gimme Danger.”

Score: 8.5/10
I don’t know anything about The Stooges. That’s the attitude I have. That’s the attitude you have to have watching a thing like this, otherwise you won’t learn anything, whereas if you think you already know everything, you won’t learn anything anyway.
Related to this, Jim Jarmusch of Cleveland suburb who also directed another one of my favorites Coffee and Cigarettes [1] gets Iggy Pop for copious, copious interviews here, and this is this film’s primary cap-feather. Unfortunately, aside from saying nowhere near enough about Iggy Pop’s parents, who were actually really cool people letting him practice drums in their Ann Arbor trailer, Jarmusch has an annoying habit of draping the cinematography with excerpts from other contemporary films (including you guessed it, The Three Stooges). I don’t think I’ve ever in my life put on Iggy and company and had summoned to mind images of Larry, Curly and Moe, but nonetheless, there they are, in this flick, over and over. Hope they’re getting some royalties.
So what did I learn about Iggy Pop in this video? Uck, way too much of the lead singer’s anatomy. I don’t think that man ever dressed well in his entire life.
Also, along these same lines, with how many shots you get of him, there are two things sorely lacking from this enterprise, musically—Iggy’s solo stuff including the song and album “Lust for Life” (which contemporarily had him opening for the Pretenders in sold-out arenas, so I hear), as well as the Stooges’ underrated 2013 album Ready to Die.
Gimme Danger is not a biopic, it’s a documentary, and indeed features a regular processional of fine interviews with Iggy Pop and other Stooges like the brothers (Scott and Ron) Asheton and… Mike Watt. Mike Watt? Yes, the Minutemen bassist is included sporadically, and you never know why until at the end you discover he eventually joined a Stooges cover band with a couple former members and J. Mascis, of all people. Still, despite the confusion, it is just cool seeing Mike Watt talk about The Stooges, I have to admit.
A couple of things that stand out to me about Iggy Pop, me having grown up right down I-94 in northern Indiana, are how erudite he is (at one point he uses the term “amalgam” derogatively to describe a certain British act he viewed as mimicking the Stooges and the 5) [2], and also how eclectic his musical influences were in his budding days. He’d even play drums for Motown acts like the Four Tops growing up, and John Coltrane was a big influence on his as well as Sun Ra. The Asheton brothers, Ron and Scott, founding members of The Stooges, are notable for having in high school cut school to fly to Britain to see The Who.
Iggy Pop tried heroin the result of a nondescript roommate. He moves back home, his ‘rents get him on free methadone. See what I fu**in’ mean here? The ‘rents Osterberg [3] ain’t nothin’ to fu** wit’.
One of the last few clips of the film shows Iggy Pop at an awards ceremony, and he says “Music is life, and life is a business. Ron Asheton knew this.” And… I couldn’t think of any better way to end this review than this, but just one more thing, here’s another quote from Ig in the movie: “Show biz is not a friendly place, and I’ve gotta say, of all the people who ever extended a hand to The Stooges, The MC5 were probably the most genuine about it.” Listen to “Unfriendly World” on Ready to Die. And I’m ready to die.
[1] Crazily, I’d just wikipedia’d Coffee and Cigarettes like the other day, and my dumb a** still didn’t make the connection of common director. Well, now I’ll remember the name.
[2] I still don’t like the MC5 as a band, finding them contrived and showy, but my opinion of them as people skyrocketed as a result of viewing this film—in fact, they introduced The Stooges to Elektra, which is, yes, Third Eye Blind’s label as well.
[3] Iggy Pop’s birth name: James Osterberg Jr.

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