As a new employee at Sunny Horizons, you’ve been warned before: don’t touch the aux cord. There is a pre-programmed radio station for seniors, quietly piping in Bing Crosby and muzak. How fucking sterile, how lame. No wonder everyone at this assisted living center is just sitting around waiting to die! Most of these people have gone into financial ruin just to live here. They deserve a proto-punk adrenaline injection, and this is why you’re blasting The Stooges at 5 p.m. dinner. Move over, Jeopardy: we have a new activity planned with some wild boys from Ann Arbor.
Start off with a choice track from your favorite Stooges album, their sophomore 1970 release ‘Fun House.’This describes the atmosphere you are trying to create, to make things “loose” for the residents. First of all, turn off Fox News. Shake around a few wheelchairs, begin impromptu dance sessions, hand out bongo drums. You’ll have everyone buzzing their Life Alerts in no time.
Stand on top of the kitchen counter and shout, “Gimme danger, little stranger, and I feel with you at ease.” Groove back and forth to this song from their seminal 1973 album ‘Raw Power’. Tell the senior citizens to kick their slippers aside and meet you on the terrace, you’re fucking taking this to the balcony. Olive the retired teacher in room 216 is screaming and giving finger horns, certainly a good sign.
“Real Cool Time”
No other song encapsulates the spirit you are trying to create. This cut from their 1969 self-titled debut melts faces with an earnest rock purity. Most of the residents were pissed when their kids listened to this music. If anything, the anger will be a fond nostalgia and get their blood pumping again. Stand on the dinner tables and throw catheters out to the growing crowd.
“Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell”
Ask Peggy, the elderly resident from Memphis, “Do you prefer the Iggy mix or the Bowie mix?” They’ll understand what you mean as you run through the corridors spraying IV fluid solution bags against the walls. Take some pudding, start a food fight. This scrappy tune makes you want to jump on the pill cart and scream with furious joy. Free apple juice for all, low-sugar graham crackers for the masses. Marx wrote that, right?
If you can’t bring the people to Iggy Pop, bring Iggy Pop to the people. At this point you are definitely shirtless, letting your torso dictate most of the decisions. Luckily you have leather pants in a locker downstairs. Now would be a great time to run down and put those on. Sing the lyrics to yourself, loudly. The elderly love that. Ignore anyone in the lobby staring at you. They’re the squares, the normies. They can’t even name one Stooges album.
Mix up the playlist with a tune from their latest album, 2013’s “Ready to Die.” It’s a reminder that everyone ages, like fine wine, endowed with gravitas. It is all part of life. Maybe it’s the lyrics or maybe it’s the microdose, but you feel fantastic. Buzzing. You catch yourself contemplating the temporality of life while staring at artificial flowers. How long will these fake yellow flowers be here after you’re gone? Alright, that’s enough. Time to get back to the party.
“Down on the Street”
Blast this loud. The people outside on the sidewalk should hear the yips and growls in the opening of this tune. The dementia care center above you must be rocking so hard right now. Why shouldn’t they? With very few solutions or cohesive public resources, America basically leaves the elderly abandoned or in these expensive bland private care facilities. Fuck that noise. You’re here to show your care by shredding ears and blasting The Stooges for a mile radius.
Get things nice and confusing with this famously nonsensical cover. By now, the tables should be rumbling from this driving rhythm section. Kitchenware is shaking, reading glasses are falling over, dentures are rattling. You are announcing the birth of a new scene, and Wheel of Fortune hasn’t even come on yet.
“We Will Fall”
Dig into this 10-minute long vibe anthem, complete with a droning guitar and chant. Terrify the older residents with the strangeness of this journey. Pro-tip: this acts as a perfect mid-way segue point, as some will want to nap or take their diabetes medication. Bringing the big finish up to full volume should stir any stragglers back into the mix.
“Dirt – Live”
Keep the riffage and experimentation going by pulling from the Live at Goose Lake: August 8th 1970 album. Remind all residents how equal we are with lyrics like “I been dirt, and I don’t care.” Sure, it costs nearly $10K a month to stay here. Sure, the family’s entire savings are going towards this place. But we’re all equal in the end. Dolores in room 324 holds a lit Bic up to the sky, nearly lighting her heavily perfumed blue hair on fire.