1969 – pre-punk punk

As I perused the listings, there was one that I could not miss under any circumstance. The king of punk, Iggy Pop, in January 1991.

Hearing Iggy’s first band, the Stooges, had been a life-changing moment for me. Their self-titled album was pretty much my bible. It was druggy, dumb and completely primal. I’d never heard anything quite like it and even though that band had pretty much fallen apart by the time I was born, I grew to love the three Stooges albums as much as any music I’d heard. It was my guitar teacher, Harry, who played them to me first. He played Raw Power and it floored me: “Raw Power has a healing hand / Raw Power can destroy a man!” I hadn’t the faintest idea what this Raw Power was (and still don’t) but I loved the sound of it and knew I required as much of it as possible in my life. Iggy was the living embodiment of that complete don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. The wailing guitars and primal rhythms made so much sense to me. I was enraptured by its intensity and ferocity. It was perfect.

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite
from: Spaceships Over Glasgow

In a strange coincidence, the young Braithwaite and Aitchison first caught sight of Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton at a public meeting in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk, called to address the town’s mid-90s spate of UFO sightings. In the book, he ponders the possibility of hiring someone, as Jimi Hendrix did, to watch out during Mogwai gigs for alien craft drawn to the music. So, does he still believe?

“Oh, more than ever!” he says. “Through my life, I went through periods of doubt, but the New York Times UFO expose from a few years ago threw me straight back in. I mean, I don’t actually know what they are, but there’s definitely weird things flying about, 100%.”

Braithwaite Interview, Guardian


1969 – pre-punk punk