Listen To This Eddie is a weekly column that examines the important people and events in the classic rock canon and how they continue to impact the world of popular music.
Shortly after the death of drummer Scott Asheton in 2014, the writing was pretty much on the wall for the legendary proto-punk band The Stooges. Led by enigmatic frontman Iggy Pop, the band had enjoyed a late-career victory lap so-to-speak throughout most of the ’00s, releasing a couple of albums and touring extensively. Now, with only Ig and Raw Power-era guitarist James Williamson left as the two living members of the group, it didn’t seem to make sense to carry on any further.
“Iggy and I were the only ones left and after 10 years together we were kinda over each other,” he said. “It didn’t stop me from wanting to make music.” And so he did. In 2014, Williamson put out an album called Re-Licked, re-purposing material that he’d demoed back in the mid-70s, using a variety of guest vocalists. And now, four years later, he’s back again with a completely new band called The Pink Hearts, for a wildly eclectic album titled Behind The Shade, set to drop next month on June 22.
I recently had the chance to speak with Williamson about his time in the Stooges, his frank, unflattering view of David Bowie, and how he continues to push his music forward with a pair of stellar new collaborators.