Former bandmate helped launch Iggy Pop, went on to work at RJ

They used to practice in the tail end of a trailer home, the two Jims:

McLaughlin on guitar, Osterberg on drums.

Jim Osterberg’s parents, who owned the place, gave him the big bedroom in back so he’d have room for his kit.

One day, Osterberg convinced his buddy to participate in the school talent show in their native Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The year was 1962. They were in ninth grade.

The duo played two songs: Sandy Nelson’s “Let There Be Drums” and a guitar riff that Jim McLaughlin turned into a song.

“It was kind of a rock and roll boogie thing,” McLaughlin recalls of the latter number. “But in 1962, that brought the house down. I mean, people went nuts. They’d never seen that. We were hooked.”

Forty-eight years later, Osterberg would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — you might know him better as Iggy Pop.

Two years later, a record that McLaughlin sang on was added to the Rock Hall’s permanent collection.

Separate ways

The pair took divergent routes to the same destination: Pop has become colloquially known as “The Godfather of Punk,” beginning with his time with scene forebears The Stooges, with whom he reached the Rock Hall in 2010.

McLaughlin earned a business degree, working for decades as a trade show manager and moving to Vegas in 2000. For the past 12 years, he’s worked at the Review-Journal, recently retiring as a single copy marketing manager.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon at a west valley Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the Vegas transplant recalls the part he played in the development of one of rock and roll’s most iconic characters.

After that talent show, McLaughlin and Osterberg decided to form a band, recruiting three more players and dubbing themselves The Iguanas. They mostly did covers, a lot of Beatles and Rolling Stones, playing high school dances, teen clubs and frat parties at the University of Michigan, gigging two to three times a weekend.

‘He hated it’

The Iguanas also inadvertently contributed to Osterberg’s future stage name, much to his chagrin.

“He used to hang out with these cool blues guys that he met who knows where — he had this knack for going into all different places and making an impression on people,” recalls McLaughlin, now in his early 70s, silver hair combed back. “They were blues, they were cool, they were not into this pop music junk. They used to make fun of him, called him ‘Iggy’ because of The Iguanas. And it stuck. He hated it.”

The Iguanas became a local sensation in summer 1965, becoming the house band at Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs, Michigan, where they’d back notables such as The Shangri-Las, The Four Tops and The Reflections and play with The Guess Who, The Kingsmen and plenty more.

They recorded a trio of songs a few months earlier, including a pair of originals, “I Don’t Know Why” and “Again & Again,” the first song Osterberg ever wrote. The third tune, a punchy cover of Bo Diddley’s “Mona,” became their early calling card and was the cut that made it into the Rock Hall. McLaughlin sang on the latter two numbers.

A brick in the Hall

The lineup didn’t last long: Osterberg left the band in ’66 to join the cool blues dudes in The Prime Movers. The rest of the Iguanas soldiered on, nearly landing a deal with Columbia Records, before everyone headed back to school.

McLaughlin would keep playing in bands through the ’70s, not quite realizing the lore that had built up around The Iguanas until a trip to a Dearborn, Michigan, record store in the mid-’90s. The store’s proprietor freaked out upon learning that not only was McLaughlin a founder of the band but he still had the group’s early recordings, which had never been officially issued.

He released them on a compilation CD in 1995.

Next month, The Iguanas will be honored with a commemorative brick to be displayed in a wall at the Rock Hall, with all of their names inscribed on it.

McLaughlin is looking forward to the trip and seeing his former bandmates, even if Iggy might not be able to make it.

‘An amazing guy’

McLaughlin has fond memories of Osterberg, though he hasn’t spoken to him since the ’90s when they hung out backstage at one of Pop’s Detroit-area gigs.

He recounts how he helped him run for high school class president.

Osterberg didn’t win.

But punk rock did.

“He was very intelligent,” McLaughlin says. “He won poetry awards, writing awards, he was printed in magazines. He was going to be in politics. He was very articulate and had very strong opinions about politics and the world.

“He was an amazing guy,” he adds. “And he still is.”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Entertainment
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like