Webmaster : When was the first time you've seen Iggy live and what was your reaction ?

Robert Matheu : I was just a li'l black boy growing up in Detroit, okay so that's not really true, but there was this great Lou Reed song that I always related to from Street Hassle - wait, what was the question? I am sure my first impression of them, was what a fucking load of noise, I used to go to shows with older friends, and they dictated what it was we were going to see. Most of those first shows went over my head, as far as "getting it" It took me a while to understand that all bands don't sound like their records. So, until I skipped out of Oakwood Hospital, where I had undergone some surgery to repair a bizarre freak teenage hockey injury, I never went to "see" the Stooges. I had only experienced them by default, meaning they happened to be where I was already. When it was my own decision, Raw Power had just been released and of course Alice Cooper and David Bowie were reigning high with the own brand of Glam, but those Stooges were still scary. I was seeing these bands at 13, 14, 15 years old, it was somewhat intense without having anything else to compare it to. This is where you'd go with your friends to watch these bands and get high, it was the social club of the time. I didn't experience any of the laid back West Coast Hippie shit until later.

Webmaster : Do you think it would be less intense to see Iggy & the Stooges now for a teenager, than 30 years before, since there is so much freaky bands who include lots of provocation in their show such as Marilyn Manson and other shock rock stars ?

Robert Matheu : Well, that's the age old question isn't it? When the movie E.T. came out, some critics were on TV discussing it and one of them compared it to the first time he saw the Wizard Of Oz. How could you? I saw the Wizard Of Oz for the first time when I was maybe 8 and it scared the be bejezuz out of me, still has those dark moments when I watch it today, and because of that I have never seen E.T. How can you compare the impression something makes when age and experience taint or influence your views ?I have friends that have teenagers and they love the Stooges, it's still new to them and certainly more honest than the other trite that they are feed. A song like No Fun transcends any generational boundaries, 1970, Little Doll, Funhouse, all Stooges songs that are based in teen angst, aren't they? Obvisously even international and cultural boundaries. If you look at the Live in Detroit DVD, who is onstage with the Stooges? Look at the cross section of the audience, the other shows I saw were like that as well. I never looked at the Stooges as being theatric just for the sake of, or just to shock, their music is what provokes, inspires emotional release. The Stooges are pure blues based animal rock 'n' roll, not an act. The Stooges' recent take on Jr. Kimbrough's You Better Run has almost comical provocation about it, much more entertaining to me, than anything that Manson has done lately, although Dope Show was comical, hard to take it as serious as you would have when you heard the Velvets' Waiting For My Man, you knew Lou was writing autobiographical.

Webmaster : How did you feel when you saw the Stooges reunion's gigs ? (and which gig was it)

Robert Matheu : I saw their first gig at Coachella. They didn't do any small surprise warm ups, or I would have been there as well. I had an extra photo pass, grabbed Brian J. Bowe, who unbeknownst to him was about to become CREEM's new editor, gave him an extra camera and dragged him into the photo pit with me. He being a lot younger than I, was still a virgin, and I wanted him to be at their feet. There was more than a bit of tension up in the pit, not something that I experience much anymore, that excitement and anticipation in the air that you can taste. By any means, Brian asked me what I thought the first song would be, without much thought, I confidently suggested Loose, then I asked Brian if he'd consider joining on as the new CREEM editor, since it had been previously discussed with the other higher powers, the lights went down…and that is another story, as they like to say. The Stooges were amazing, it was great to see Steven MacKay join them, Funhouse blew us away.

Webmaster : So you think everyone HAS to be in the pit to really ENJOY and FEEL Iggy's music and stage performance ?

Robert Matheu : No, not at all, at the Detroit show, I was up in front for a bit, then back in my seat in the 5th row, when everyone got up onstage I walked further back to take in all in. At Coachella, we were up in the pit for a few songs, because we could, we had the freedom to roam, went on the side of the stage for a while then out into the audience where the crowd was slam dancing during Funhouse. If you can roam and experience the audience as well as the Stooges, that's the ticket. Stooges gigs shouldn't have a contained audience, it's not what they are about, again it is about the release of emotions, ecstasy. You should be elated afterward, like a good fuck, have a cocktail and a smoke, sit back and reflect ya know? I'd hope they would agree.

Interview by Gui Brigaudiot. Copyright © IGGY-POP.COM