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The Prime Movers Blues Band (Feat. Iggy Pop): "Yonder's Wall"

The Prime Mover Blues Band formed in the summer of 1965, lasted about five years and, like all things in life, gradually dissolved. Iggy, of course, went on to create 'The Stooges', Jack Dawson to play bass with the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Robert Sheff to become the avant-garde composer Blue Gene Tyranny, Daniel Erlewine to play lead guitar for the Sam Lay Blues Band (and to build guitars for the likes of Jerry Garcia and Albert King), and Michael Erlewine became an archivist, interviewed most of the blues greats, and created the All-Music Guide (allmusic.com) and other large Internet sites. By March of 1971, Michael was the only one left, playing piano and singing in bars under the name "Ann Arbor Heart Song." It was then that he met the love of his life, Margaret, married her, and found what he had been searching for and singing about. He gradually stopped playing.

Over the years there were more than 37 members in the Prime Movers. A few of these are listed below:

Lead Singer, harmonica: Michael Erlewine

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The Prime Movers Blues Band (Feat. Iggy Pop): Instrumental

The legendary Prime Movers Blues Band recorded no albums. The band formed in the summer of 1965 at the same time the Grateful Dead began. Known mostly throughout the Midwest, the band did play in San Francisco during the 'Summer of Love' in 1967, opening for "Cream" at the Fillmore Auditorium, playing at The Matrix, The Straight Theater, the Avalon Ballroom, and many other venues. Recently a reel-to-reel tape was found. It is one summer night's bar gig, one complete set probably in 1966 or 1967. This is one cut from that set, although a full album of the Prime Movers Blues Band will be available soon, with James Osterberg (Iggy Pop) singing the Muddy Water's song "I'm a Man."

The Prime Movers Blues Band was founded in the summer of 1965 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The main band members included:

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The Prime Movers Blues Band (Feat. Iggy Pop): "Drinkin' That Orange Driver"

"Digging out these old recordings has been fun, but it also has made me realize what a great place Ann Arbor was in the middle Sixties. The Prime Movers Blues Band formed in the summer of 1965, the same time as the Grateful Dead were doing the identical thing out in San Francisco. Neither knew about the other. Later, of course there was interaction among these new music groups that were appearing all over the country. There was something in the air. It was the Sixties! The Prime Movers had gone to Chicago. We had seen Little Walter, Big Walter, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and all the blues greats playing live. I can remember one night listening to Howlin' Wolf play in a small club in Chicago. The room was empty and dark; there was no one there but a couple of us. Wolf was up front sitting on a chair next to the great blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin. Wolf's music went into our ears and then deep into my brain. Time just slowed down and then seemed to stop. The walls around me (and my body) became sort of transparent and it was as if I was somewhere out in deep space, just my mind alone, outside of time and place. My body just kind of disappeared. All that I could hear was Wolf's sound in my ear and brain. I lost all sense of a personal who and where I am. When folks ask me why I listen to and study the blues, it is more than just 'good music'. Blues (for me at least) has been a way to touch home, to go between the clock-ticking seconds of my life, somehow stepping outside of time, and get a sense of my life at a deeper level. Blues has always been for me a journey to see the nature of my own mind -- a refresher course in who I am and why I am here. Music has always been that for me." - Michael Erlewine

 

The main band members included:

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Friends of the Sixties: The Prime Movers Blues Band (Solo from "Endless Blues")

"Friends of the Sixties" with Michael Erlewine, a half-hour show on the legendary Ann Arbor blues group the Prime Movers Blues Band, with Iggy Pop as their drummer, complete with dozens of photos, live tunes, and Iggy Pop singing "I'm a Man" with the Prime Movers Blues Band. Michael Erlewine is founder of the All-Music Guide and former lead singer and amplified-harmonica player for the Prime Movers Blues Band.

This video originally appeared here.

Friends of the Sixties

I often wonder about my interest in seeking out wise older men to learn from.  Perhaps it is because, although I had both grandmothers, I never had a grandfather, on either side.  How I would know what I was missing, I have no idea.  But perhaps there is something in there that goes way back in the human race that wants to have a grandfather, someone separate from one’s father with perhaps more life wisdom, some kindness, and hopefully a little time on their hands, enough for a grandkid or two.

Iggy Pop: Prime Movers Drummer

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

Day
7
Month
November
Year
2016

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:

START QUOTE:
“... 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.”

Friends of the Sixties Junior Wells: Hoodoo Man Blues

Well dear friends, I fear you are going to be guinea pigs for this new TV series I am working on, actually more like a podcast with graphics. I am just getting started, and here is the script for my first segment, a show about one of the great blues harmonica players, Junior Wells. Humor me, because I am on a learning curve here. And you won’t be able to hear music yet, but I will post it to YouTube when it is finished. Thanks for your attention. Here is the first part:

I-94 Bar Interview of Michael Erlewine

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The Prime Movers Blues Band (Feat. Iggy Pop): "Watch Yourself"

"A question I get a lot is why did the Prime Movers never record and get famous? The short answer is: it was not in the cards. The longer version is actually pretty funny. Here it is in brief: There were two attempts to hitch our wagon to the stars. For a short time early on, we had the now-legendary 'Jeep' Holland, manager of the rock group "The Rationals" as our manager. For sure, he wanted to get us into the mainstream of popular music and to this end he tried to get us to conform, to wear little suits, and whatever he thought would help us. And we did try, but our natural temperament as a band found us wandering off that trail pretty quickly. Included here is an old video of a staged chase of the Prime Movers by a lot of our women fans. We did have some great fans. This video is appropriately stupid, as you will see. Our second near brush with fame came when a subsidiary of Motown courted us to join them as a White band playing Black music. They drove us around in their limousines, set up cool events like my brother Daniel and I having lunch with the Everly Brothers. Now THAT was very cool, because we loved their music. You get the idea. The shit hit the fan, so to speak, when we realized that the Black music they wanted us to play was not the Chicago blues music we loved and were learning, but some really bad arrangements they came up with for us to play. In other words, we would have to play what they gave us to play. Well that was not about to happen and we walked. We were out of there, instantly - short karma for the fame trip. So here is all the actual video of the Prime Movers that I am aware of." - Michael Erlewine 

The Prime Movers Blues Band was founded in the summer of 1965 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The main band members included: