Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Elton and the Stooges

from the guardian

Several of the band's fans, including Ben Edmonds of Creem magazine, conspired to raise their morale with an endorsement by Elton John. Elton was sweeping across the US on a hugely successful stadium tour and he decided to signal his support for the band, plus his own general zaniness, by renting a gorilla suit and planning a one-ape stage invasion during the Stooges stint.

Creem had prepared a photographer for the stunt. Unfortunately, no one had prepared Iggy. Indeed the previous night he had disappeared with the usual local 'Rich Bitch', to use the Stooges' term of endearment. Early in the morning she brought him back to the band's hotel unconscious; he had gobbled down her entire supply of Quaaludes. Drummer Scott Asheton and a friend of the band, Doug Currie, were called to lift his dead weight out of her Corvette; carrying him into the hotel, they dropped him and were overcome with a giggling fit, seeing him peacefully sleeping, sprawled over a spiky Mediterranean bush.

He was still hardly conscious that evening when Doug and Scotty carried him into the club, and after a quick discussion of what to do, Doug announced he had some speed. James Williamson managed to find a syringe, and they duly shot their singer full of methamphetamine sulphate in order to get him on his feet.

For a couple of seconds, as Elton emerged from the wings in his gorilla suit, Iggy thought he was hallucinating, or else a real gorilla was raiding the stage. The Creem photograph documenting the event is hilarious, showing James Williamson transfixing the uppity ape with a malevolent glare that signals, he says, his intent to 'take him out. He lucked out, because he was smart enough to take his head off to let people know who he was, just in time.'

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