Ep. #26: James Williamson of Iggy and the Stooges

James Williamson is a legendary guitarist, best known for his role in the hugely influential proto-punk band, Iggy and the Stooges from Detroit, Michigan. 1973 saw the release of the band’s classic album, Raw Power, featuring a rather unprecedented combination of guitar pyrotechnics and sensitivity by Williamson that few had ever achieved up to that point. When the band broke up, Williamson worked a bit with Iggy Pop and on his own solo ventures before giving up music all together to pursue an electrical engineering degree at California State Polytechnic University and eventually a career in his field, working for Sony. In fact, on September 28 he will give the keynote talk at the C2SV Technology Conference and Music Festival in Silicon Valley and, in February, he’ll be inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame. After retiring from Sony in 2009 Williamson reunited with Iggy and the Stooges and, earlier this year, they released Ready to Die, their first album together under that moniker in 40 years. The band is part of the Riot Fest tour, which makes a stop in Toronto Sunday August 25. Here, Williamson discusses his engineering career, his guitar sound, working with Iggy Pop again, why The Weirdness might be weird, why he’s pleased with Ready to Die, and why the Replacements really shouldn’t be playing right after Iggy and the Stooges in Toronto.

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