Iggy and the Stooges on Ludlow Avenue

Iggy and the Stooges have come to Clifton—or their mural, that is. The artist who created the mural is C.F. Payne, and the work hangs beside the James Gang mural outside of Habanero’s and across the street from Captain Beefheart.

Talk about keeping good company.

It makes perfect sense that some sort of tribute would appear for Iggy in the Queen City, as one of the defining moments in his career occurred here. In June 23, 1970, at the Cincinnati Pop Festival, Iggy spread peanut butter over his body and then jumped into the crowd, who kept him afloat in an early example of crowd-surfing.

During that same year Iggy and the Stooges played two concerts at the Ludlow Garage, which has reopened, and the mural is two doors away from the historic venue. Like MC5, who also rocked the historic venue, the Stooges were a Michigan-based group who played a lot around the region during that period.

A seminal proto-punk band, Iggy & the Stooges reunited between 2003 and 2009, and Iggy Pop has also had a successful solo career and appeared in a number of movies.

Iggy has been to Cincinnati many other times, by the way. My first Iggy show was at Bogart’s around 1980 or 1981—something like that. The concert was sold out, but an admission specialist offered to let us in if we paid full ticket price in cash, to him.

I doubt we were the only people that evening who were extended that offer, and the room was beyond packed. Concerts used to start really late during that period, and Iggy was still going strong at two o’clock in the morning, and so was the crowd.

Then off went the lights and the sound, at exactly two o’clock in the morning. “The power blew” was the official report, but there were skeptics in the overstuffed crowd that took its sweet time filing out of the club, grouching the entire time.

They wanted more, and Iggy wanted more. No one believed that bit about the power.

But if anyone was going to make the power blow, it was Iggy.

 

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