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From "Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" by Paul Trynka

Michael Erlewine

I have to laugh. I keep finding various accounts of my musical days with the Prime Movers Blues Band, usually in connection with a young Iggy Pop, who was our drummer. Here is something from the book “Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed” by Paul Trynka:

“... throughout 1966, Michael Erlewine’s influence was crucial. “Iggy was a sponge, I think he soaked up ideas,” says Scott Richardson, then singer with the Chosen Few, who for a while shared a squalid basement apartment with the drummer. “Michael was a very bossy figure, but a very influential one.”

Iggy Pop, Jack Dawson, Robert Sheff, Michael Erlewine, Daniel Erlewine
Iggy Pop, Jack Dawson, Robert Sheff, Michael Erlewine, and Daniel Erlewine

Bob Sheff (Prime Mover’s keyboard player) observed Iggy close-up, both in the Prime Movers and the Stooges, and he felt that Michael Erlewine was “not a mentor exactly, but he made him. The Prime Mover experience was important to Iggy in an emotional way. Michael liked very emotional situations, and he put that into the music a lot. Iggy’s the same way.”

An intellectual, inspiring, often infuriating character to this day – it’s sometimes hard to extract his opinions of other people, for he’s far more interested in himself – Michael Erlewine was ruthlessly committed to his music. But this wasn’t a selfish commitment, for he was devoted to bringing the audience with him – sometimes literally so.

There was one late-night Prime Movers show at Clint’s Club [a Black bar in Ann Arbor] when he worked up the audience into such an exalted state that, after the final song, the band and twenty kids from the audience followed him through the streets of Ann Arbor, listening to Michael speak, exhorting them to contemplate the beauty of everyday objects around them. They stayed up until six o’clock in the morning, sharing spirituality of the night turning into the dawn, before bundling into a twenty-four hour Greek restaurant for more earthly sustenance.

“It was an incredible experience,” remembers Sheff, “a charismatic experience.” Few other performers would have taken such risks, but Michael’s commitment in stimulating and challenging his audience was a crucial lesson. And one in which the pupil would eventually outdo the master.

END QUOTE from the book.
My comment: That was a true story, but the author of the biography of Iggy too often traded truth for sensationalism. The fact is that Iggy was not our drummer at the time we played at Clint’s Club; Jessie (J.C.) Crawford was.

Rights Held By
Michael Erlewine