James Robert Williamson (born 29 october 1949 in Castroville, Texas) is an American guitarist, songwriter and record producer best known for his contribution to the protopunk rock band Iggy & The Stooges.
Williamson's family moved to Detroit, Michigan when he was in the 8th grade. He formed his first rock 'n' roll band, "The Chosen Few", with Scott Richardson in the 9th grade. They performed cover versions of Rolling Stones songs and others. Williamson also spent some time in a juvenile home. In one of the bands later line-ups, in 11th grade, Ron Asheton was the bassist. Asheton, as guitarist, went on to form The Stooges with his brother Scott and Iggy Pop.
Later, in 1971, Williamson joined The Stooges, who were struggling with line-up changes, drugs and lack of success. David Bowie offered Iggy a chance to record in London, and eventually the Asheton brothers re-joined, with Ron on bass. Williamson co-wrote all the songs (with Iggy) and played all the guitar parts for The Stooges 1973 album Raw Power. He played louder and raunchier than almost anybody at the time, with a jagged high-energy approach. For this, along with his creative song writing, many people consider him one of punk's pioneers.
Many of the demo recordings made prior to Raw Power were belatedly issued, including the hard rock tracks "I Got A Right" and "Gimme Some Skin". After collaborating with Iggy on the 1975 sessions for their duo album Kill City, Williamson left the music business to become an electronic engineer and work in the computer industry.
Kill City was issued in 1977 and in 1979 Williamson returned to produce, write and play on Iggy's third solo album New Values (with Scott Thurston emulating Williamson's guitar style), and do initial production on Iggy's next album Soldier, before returning to the electronics field where he remains today.