Some things take a little longer to process than others.
This week’s LOUIE is one of them.
About a week and a half ago, Iggy Pop and the Stooges made a special appearance in San Jose as part of the very first C2SV Tech and Music Conference. Iggy & the Stooges were the headliners for this special gathering, and Stooges guitarist James Williamson was a keynote speaker, with both events taking place on Saturday, September 28th.
The story of James Williamson is quite remarkable. James joined The Stooges in 1970 as a second guitarist, which lasted less than a year before the band fell apart. In 1971, Iggy and James travelled to the U.K., where they signed a record deal with Columbia, brought the Asheton brothers back into the band, reformed as Iggy & the Stooges and released “Raw Power” – a highly influential album that sold miserably during it’s initial release. The band lasted for a few more years before breaking up in 1974. The final performance of the band, which took place at the Michigan Palace in Detroit in February 9, 1974, was recorded and released as “Metallic K.O.,” which had the distinction of featuring the most explicit version of LOUIE LOUIE ever recorded!
With the dissolution of the Stooges, James Williamson changed the focus of his career, focusing on music engineering & producing before eventually moving into the tech industry, receiving an electrical engineering degree from California State Polytechnic University , then moving to the Silicon Valley (aka Santa Clara County), where he designed computer chips for AMD, eventually winding up as Vice President of Technology Standards for Sony Electronics in San Jose, CA.
When the Stooges reunited in 2003, James turned down an offer to join the band, as he was content with his career with Sony. As fate would have it, guitarist Ron Asheton passed away in 2009 around the same time as Sony had offered James a lucrative retirement option. James decided the time was right to rejoin the band.
As someone who lives in the San Jose region, witnessing James’ first public performance in many years at the local Blank Club before rejoining the band on their world tour, it was especially exciting to learn that Iggy & the Stooges would be playing their very first San Jose show – a virtual homecoming for James. Not only was it the only West Coast appearance for the band, but it was the final show of the tour. As James alluded to in an interview with Dan Pulcrano (publisher of Metro Newspapers, founder of the C2SV conference), there’s a real possibility that this show could be the final appearance of Iggy and the Stooges. I hope it’s not so, but there’s always the possibility…
With my trusty camera, I was able to capture some video of their San Jose performance. The final song played during the encore was a nasty little number that just happened to be focus of this very website, and was the obvious choice for the LOUIE of the Week, even if it took me a week and half to assemble. The video itself was tweaked with the help of Adobe CS6 video software, which has a nifty little Warp Stabilizer feature that allowed me to clean up some of my shaky-cam footage. Between waiting for the long video renders, and what’s been a hectic work schedule these days for yours truly, I’m proud to unleash this video as this week’s LOUIE!
(I wish I had more footage of James in this one. ….. sigh!)
Here’s a clip I shot of James Williamson earlier in the day speaking as the keynote speaker at the C2SV conference. In this clip, he chats with Jack Boulware about his Silicon Valley career, the induction of the Stooges into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and then deconstructs “Search and Destroy,” a song he co-wrote with Iggy Pop.
Here’s another clip I shot of Iggy & the Stooges at the C2SV event, this time accompanied by the lovely C2SV Art Live Gallery dancers for a performance of “Burn,” which was the song performed right before LOUIE….
James Williamson interview with Dan Pulcrano for Metro Newspapers
James Williamson with Careless Hearts at Blank Club – LOUIE LOUIE