Robert Mattheu: The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story

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Robert Mattheu: <em>The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story</em>

Could use more raw power

If the snarling Iggy Pop of 1969 knew his Stooges would be coffee table book fodder, he would’ve scoffed.

But here we are, 40 years later, with The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story. The title tells all: unreleased photos, band testimonials and album reviews. But while rock’n’roll platitudes flourish in books about, say, The Beatles, here the fawning feels awkward. CREEM photographer Robert Mattheu’s stilted writing never dives deeper than anecdotes and base descriptions. We learn Ron Ashton’s apartment, when he hosted Elektra Record executives in 1971, was “too horrible to describe.” The execs dropped The Stooges shortly thereafter, but we’ve no idea why—Mattheu’s writing comes with an insider’s wink that, for a hungry fan, seems lazy. The kinetic photography is a great Stooge family portrait—Pop’s onstage writhing matched with the Ashton’s dark brooding. Still, this Story is low on what The Stooges had in excess: attitude.