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Iggy Pop roars with a renewed 'Power'

By Quinn Brown, CNN
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Iggy and the Stooges return
  • Iggy Pop, Stooges finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month
  • Band, which remains active, also seeing re-release of 1973 album "Raw Power"
  • Stooges a key band in development of punk with power chords, minimalist lyrics

(CNN) -- Iggy Pop, the Godfather of Punk, has crashed the flower-power party.

Last month, Iggy and his Stooges were finally inducted -- after seven attempts -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After Mr. Pop took to the podium with a jovial hand gesture ("the double bird is art," he says), he and his band proceeded to rattle the seats of the glitterati at Manhattan's Waldorf Astoria hotel with the scorching duo of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Search and Destroy."

"There was a lot of jewelry in the audience. We wanted to get some lusty lawyers on stage [with us]," says the Stooges singer. "We didn't want to criticize anyone, but we didn't want to make anyone comfortable, either."

The induction is bittersweet for the punk progenitors, as it came one year after the death of founding member Ron Asheton.

"It triggered a lot of emotions when we got the honor. We didn't get it [for a while] because we didn't play ball with the system," Pop said. "Ron was excited and hopeful that the group would be inducted. He was pissed that it [took so long], but it's good for him to be a part of this. He belongs in there."

The induction honors a group that was cranking out heavily distorted power chords and reciting minimalist lyrics -- on records such as its 1969 self-titled debut and the successor, 1970's "Fun House" -- at a time when trippy psychedelia and early progressive rock ruled. Those albums were remastered and re-released in the past decade; the Stooges' third album, the roaring "Raw Power," gets the treatment April 27.

That 1973 release marked a new beginning for the Stooges, with Ron Asheton moving to bass, igniting a thunderous rhythm section with his brother and drummer Scott Asheton, and bringing in guitarist James Williamson.

"He is a savage guitarist ... a virtuoso," says Pop. "We had a band and a sound that would reach out and grab people by the throat."

The band of "intelligent brats" -- as Iggy calls them -- combined their love of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and '60s British Invasion bands with the jazz and funk surges of John Coltrane and James Brown, respectively, to create a wild hypnotic groove hybrid sound that some would call "unsound." But nearly 40 years later, bands stretching from '70s punk pioneers the Sex Pistols and the Clash to Nirvana and the White Stripes might not exist without "Raw Power."

"When you open your mouth or beat on something to make music -- you want to be heard. The idea is to pass on to others," said Pop.

Iggy Pop sat down with CNN via satellite the morning after his Hall of Fame induction.