Prime Movers Blues Band with Iggy Pop "Watch Yourself"




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Published on Feb 14, 2008


A question I get a lot is why did the Prime Movers never record and get famous? The short answer is: it was not in the cards. The longer version is actually pretty funny. Here it is in brief:

There were two attempts to hitch our wagon to the stars. For a short time early on, we had the now-legendary 'Jeep' Holland, manager of the rock group "The Rationals" as our manager. For sure, he wanted to get us into the mainstream of popular music and to this end he tried to get us to conform, to wear little suits, and whatever he thought would help us. And we did try, but our natural temperament as a band found us wandering off that trail pretty quickly. Included here is an old video of a staged chase of the Prime Movers by a lot of our women fans. We did have some great fans. This video is appropriately stupid, as you will see.

Our second near brush with fame came when a subsidiary of Motown courted us to join them as a White band playing Black music. They drove us around in their limousines, set up cool events like my brother Daniel and I having lunch with the Everly Brothers. Now THAT was very cool, because we loved their music. You get the idea.

The shit hit the fan, so to speak, when we realized that the Black music they wanted us to play was not the Chicago blues music we loved and were learning, but some really bad arrangements they came up with for us to play. In other words, we would have to play what they gave us to play. Well that was not about to happen and we walked. We were out of there, instantly - short karma for the fame trip.

So here is all the actual video of the Prime Movers that I am aware of.

- Michael Erlewine

The Prime Movers Blues Band was founded in the summer of 1965 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The band included James Osterberg (Iggy Pop) and Robert Sheff (Blue Gene Tyranny), both now famous musicians. The main band members included:

Michael Erlewine
lead Singer, harmonica

Daniel Erlewine
lead guitar

Robert Sheff (keyboards)
AKA Blue 'Gene' Tyranny

Jack Dawson (bass)

James Osterberg (drums)
AKA "Iggy Pop"
J.C. "Jesse" Crawford (drums)

Thanks to my brother Stephen Erlewine for taking two of the videos included here, way back then.

This video produced and edited at Heart Center Studios in Big Rapids, Michigan by Michael Erlewine.

Those interested in being notified when the Prime Movers album is released can send an email to


© Copyright
Heart Center Studios 2008

Analog to Digital Transfer by


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