IGGY POP, AN EARLY “SON OF LEE MARVIN”

Iggy Pop, often referred to as “The Godfather of Punk,” has had many incarnations. He came into the world as James Osterberg, Jr. His father was a WWII veteran and English teacher in Michigan. He later took the stage name Iggy Stooge and then Iggy Pop fronting the band The Stooges. His legendary performance antics pioneered the mosh pit, stage diving, and other less savory events that lead to the creation of punk rock. Now, at the age of 72 he’s practically considered mainstream — well, not quite, but he’s admittedly slowed down a bit during his still high energy performances and recordings.
What, you may ask, does any of this have to do with Lee Marvin or Lee Marvin Point Blank?

The secret Sons of Lee Marvin members (SOLM), both official and unofficial.

It has to do with yet another incarnation Iggy can lay claim to and that was bestowed by indy filmmaker Jim Jarmusch as shown in the graphic herein. I don’t know about the likes of Ron Perlman, Gary Busey and Jeff Bridges (who knew and worked with Marvin in The Iceman Cometh), but my research showed the top row of gentlemen as definitely being charter members. In fact, I was able get the exclusive TRUE story of Lee’s real son Christopher and his encounter with charter member Tom Waits, all of which provided a great finale to Lee Marvin Point Blank.
I recently discovered via a Facebook friend that Iggy’s appreciation of Lee Marvin predates the Sons of Lee Marvin and, quite possibly, that of Jim Jarmusch.
The message and image from Facebook friend Peter Stipe:

The legendary Michigan Theater and young theater patron Jim Osterberg, soon to be legendary himself.

“I thought this photo might interest you. Ann Arbor’s Jim Osterberg and Lee Marvin before Iggy Pop and The Stooges….The Michigan Theater posted it. My daughter works there.”
Cool, huh? Can’t thank Peter Stipe and his daughter enough for this image but suffice to say I have indeed tried. Love seeing my research proven accurate by faithful readers. Makes me wonder if Iggy Pop/Jim Osterberg read my book. Anything’s possible. Until then, enjoy and Semper Fi!
– Dwayne Epstein

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JIM JARMUSCH AND THE SONS OF LEE MARVIN

Picture this: I’m in the earliest stages of researching Lee Marvin Point Blank, standing in the middle of the public library, when I read the Film Comment article written by director Jim Jarmusch that reveals the first mention I’ve ever heard concerning the Sons of Lee Marvin. I was still slightly on the fence at the time about whether I should undertake the project at all, that is unti I read Jarmusch’s article.
Being a lifelong film buff I had read much about the legacy of film stars following their passing. The cult surrounding stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean and others are well know to myself and the general public. Such reverence is often shown via film revivals, books and other venues. However, in all the years I have encountered such things I have never encountered anything as what Jarmusch talks about in his unveiling of the Sons Of Lee Marvin. It literally made me laugh out loud when he retold the anecdote concerning fellow member Tom Waits and the real son of Lee Marvin. I was shushed by the librarian and warned if I repeat the guffaw I’d be asked to leave. I acquiesced to the glares and stares of the other patrons but figured in my head, what the hell, it was worth it. My appreciation of Marvin expanded and my curiosity deepened. Quite simply, the more I found out about him, the more I liked him.
This article, by the way, was part of series in Film Comment in which film makers were asked to list their “Guilty Pleasures,” films they know are bad but they like anyway and with a given reason. Jarmusch dedicates one 10th of his entire list to his favorite Marvin films! So, without further ado, below is the original article that helped pushed me over the edge into dedicating myself to researching and writing Lee Marvin Point Blank.
Oh, and by the way, the story about Waits and Christopher Marvin is pure b.s. but sounds great, doesn’t it? If you want to know the truth, from Christopher Marvin himself. you gotta read Lee Marvin Point Blank
 – Dwayne Epstein

The original article by Jim Jarmusch in Film Comment.

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HAPPY 64TH BIRTHDAY TO SONS OF LEE MARVIN FOUNDER JIM JARMUSCH

Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank are quite familiar with the connection indie film director Jim Jarmusch has to the legacy of Lee Marvin. Jarmusch turns 64 today and in honor of his birthday, allow me to recount the tale.

Cult director and Sons of Lee Marvin founder, Jim Jarmusch

Jarmusch has been avoiding mainstream success for decades by making and occasionally appearing in his own indie films (Mystery Train, Down by Law, Stranger Than Paradise, Dead Man, Ghost Dog, etc). He’s also an avowed Lee Marvin fan, dying his hair white in tribute. Consequently, when I was still in the earliest stages of research of Lee Marvin Point Blank, I came across his tale, or at least his version of it, of how his ‘secret’ organization, The Sons of Lee Marvin, came into existence. I was standing in the middle of the Buena Park Public Library perusing back issues of Film Comment magazine. They used to have a semi-regular column called “Guilty Pleasures,” in which renowned filmmakers detail their love of movies they know are not very good but they love them anyway. I was not yet fully sold on committing myself to a Lee Marvin bio, but when I read Jim Jarmusch’s account of how The Sons of Lee Marvin came to be as part of his column, I was shushed for laughing out loud. It helped sell me on the idea of the book as in all my years of reading and researching films and stars I have never come across such an amazing tale! I was hooked.
In the interim, I was to discover (and later join), a shadow organization known as the BSOL. How they came to be introduced to the real son of Lee Marvin is also an intriguing exclusive of Lee Marvin Point Blank.

The main logo for The Bastard Sons of Lee.

A logo for the more accessible organization known as the BSOL, sometimes seen in Pasadena’s Doo-Dah Parade.

But I digress. The point here is that like all talented filmmakers, even fiercely independent ones, like birthday boy Jarmusch, has a knack for creating mythology. I was to discover how much of a mythology it is when I ultimately met and made friends with Christopher Marvin, Lee’s actual son. As Lee Marvin Point Blank readers know, Jarmusch’s tale of Chris Marvin and Tom Waits is, how shall I say it? As our current POTUS has coined it, an “alternative fact.” To know the truth, read Lee Marvin Point Blank. Until then, enjoy this page from my research binder in which Jarmusch himself recounts the tale in his Film Comment article. Happy birthday Mr. J. and keep the mythology growing! Enjoy……

The original FILM COMMENT article in which Jim Jarmusch explains the formation of the Sons of Lee Marvin.

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