Arguably, Eric Bogosian’s first masterpiece … “Funhouse” is an intense series of monologues that set the pace for later showcases as “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll” and “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.” Alternately funny and terrifying, it’s fitting that it shares the name of the Stooges most intense album. This is the full nearly 80-minute showcase. Enjoy it before someone decides to pull it from YouTube.
This was always my favorite track of the Stooges’ legendary out-of-control 1970 masterpiece “Fun House.” When I first heard it, it reminded me a lot of early 1970s Alice Cooper, only much heavier and darker.
I swear that this next story is true, but I heard this album for the first time on the night of my first actual “date.” I didn’t have my first date until I was 17, because I had braces on my teeth until that age and felt very self-conscious about them. When I got them off, my self-esteem rose enough to the point where I felt like I could ask someone out. Let’s forget the fact that I rocked a Ron Burgandy “Anchorman”-do back in the day (sans pornstar ‘stache), but for argument’s sake … without the braces, I started to feel like Warren Beatty. Anyway … the girl I asked out said “yes” and I decided we’d go see a movie. Considering my favorite movie at the time was “Blue Velvet,” I felt that anything resembling what I was actually into would send the wrong message. I mean, God forbid, I should actually “be myself.” So … I overcompensated by picking a Bette Midler-Shelley Long “buddy” film called “Outrageous Fortune.” OK … I swear I’m not a homosexual, but back in the day, I could do a really good impersonation of one without even trying. Considering the fact that during that period I was impressed when goth girls said I looked like Morrissey, I’m sure you can predict that this potential “romance” was doomed … You can read more about that here:
Being nervous about my first date, I left the house incredibly early and killed time before I was supposed to show up at a local record store. I had heard about The Stooges for years, but all of their stuff had been out of print in the U.S. for a long period of time. So … when I saw a lone, dusty cassette of “Fun House” on the shelves, I immediately threw down by $7 and went back to the car. I drove around for almost an hour locked into the sick, intense jams of “Fun House.” Considering the fact that I was wearing my finest Cosby sweater and khakis, I felt that I was in the right mode to put on the charm.
Fortunately, I was wise enough NOT to play my new musical find after I picked my date up. And … despite my best efforts … the date went pretty well. My date ignored the film and made out with me. But … she never returned my calls after that evening … leading to some confusion as I was not yet familiar with how these “date” things sometimes worked … but, as they say, that was that.
But the evening wasn’t a total loss. I still crank “Fun House” at inopportune times almost 25 years later and still get sucked into the pure insanity of Iggy at his most demented.
Here’s Neneh’s wonderfully sleazy, avant-garde, and punk-jazz cover of Iggy and the Stooges’ nihilistic S&M masterpiece. This sounds like an outtake from Sly and the Family Stone’s “There’s a Riot Goin’ On” … only with Iggy’s passion, anger, and brain full of God-knows-what. Neneh has evolved into a cross between Nina Simone and Diamanda Galas. This is some seriously deep and scary s–t. If that’s not a cool f–kin’ concept, I don’t know what is!