Filmmaker and archivist Jeff Krulik investigates.
“When making my documentary Led Zeppelin Played Here, one of the great challenges was finding photographs of any bands playing on stage at nearby youth centers. There was simply very little documentation of either local bands or those that were on tour. Somehow I still managed to pull off a feature documentary that was not just talking heads.
So imagine my excitement when Richard Taylor finally located his snapshots of Iggy and the Stooges on stage at the Falls Church Community Center. We were able to feature some in the closing credits, but I always wanted to know how these came to be in an era when there was little-to-no documentation of bands in performance, unlike today when people are documenting their experiences endlessly. It just didn’t happen in 1970.
Richard has already posted one image on Facebook, prompting loads of responses, but there was typically no context for how it came to be—so I called him up.”
Jeff: Richard how many times did you see The Stooges?
Richard: So I saw them at the Wheaton Youth Center and then the next night in Falls Church…then I saw them, I’m pretty sure they opened for the Ramones at the Baltimore Civic Center.
Jeff: But the first time you saw the Stooges was where?
Richard: The Wheaton Youth Center.
Jeff: How did you first discover them? And what was the impetus for seeing them there?
Richard: In the late ‘60s…during the ‘60s, I liked garage rock and I liked the Stones and I liked the Beatles. Toward the end of the ‘60s things started going towards country rock which I wasn’t a fan of, so we had to search far and wide to find new sources of garage rock, basic, you know, good old rock and roll. So a friend of ours won the MC5 album Kick Out The Jams, he said “look at this album I got.” So we listened to it, and we loved it. It’s what we craved, basic rock and roll. This was like the late ‘60s, so we followed the MC5 in magazines like Rolling Stone or Creem, anything we could find.
Of course there was no internet in those days but in articles we learned that the MC5 were signed by Danny Fields, and at the time and he also signed the Stooges who were also from the Ann Arbor / Detroit area. So we said “That’s interesting, what are those guys like?” We liked the MC5 so that led us into the Stooges. Then I saw Iggy at the Cincinnati Pop Festival where he was in the crowd and then on the crowd. And he smeared peanut butter on himself.