Iggy Pop

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Iggy Pop

Postby Marsbar » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:29 pm

Something you may not have known about the great Iggy Pop.......

Recently on a Florida Beach with The New Yorker Iggy kicked a pair of striped Gucci slides onto the sand. One shoe had been customized with a platform sole, to correct for an inch-and-a-half difference in the length of his legs, a condition he attributes to arthritis combined with an old football injury.

It’s surprising that Pop would worry, even for a moment, about the propriety of a lyric. In the early nineteen-seventies, he was notorious for subverting cultural standards; a concert by the Stooges often included bloodshed, along with the triumphant celebration of one or more perversions. Pop was brutal onstage—barfing, taking his clothes off, dragging furniture or bodies around, slicing his chest with shards of broken glass. In San Francisco, in 1974, he was stomping through the crowd when a fan yanked his briefs down and appeared to perform oral sex on him. Stories about Pop’s misbehavior are lewd, captivating, and plentiful.


ggy Pop was born James Osterberg, Jr., in 1947, and brought up in Ypsilanti, about forty miles west of Detroit. He is an only child, and was brought up by his mother, Louella, who worked for Bendix, a manufacturer of automobile and airplane parts, and his father, James, who taught English at Fordson High School, in Dearborn. For most of Pop’s childhood, the three of them lived in a three-hundred-and-sixty-square-foot trailer in a mobile-home park, surrounded by a gravel quarry, vegetable fields, and Pat’s Par Three golf course. He began playing drums in fifth grade. At night, he banged on a couple of rubber pads glued to a piece of plywood, until his parents bought him a three-piece drum kit and let him set it up in the trailer’s master bedroom.

Pop had a job at Discount Records, near the central campus. Ron Asheton, his brother, Scott, and their buddy Dave Alexander used to loiter out front, spitting on cars. Jeep Holland, the manager of Discount Records, would holler “Iguana alert!” whenever Pop emerged from the stockroom in the basement of the store. The nickname shrank to Iggy, and stuck. (“Pop” was borrowed from an acquaintance named Jimmy Popp.)

Pop has never imagined a traditional domestic life for himself. (In 1969, when Pop was twenty-one and living in Ann Arbor, he had a son, Eric, with Paulette Benson. Eric was brought up by his mother, in California, and lives in Berlin now.) In part, this is why it matters so much to him that his work remain vital. “It’s gotta be fucking good,” he said. “This is what you’ve sacrificed a lot of things for, dude, and this is what you were doing when you weren’t always there for other people, so it’d better be good.”

In early 1976, Pop went to see David Bowie at his hotel in San Diego, where Bowie asked if he might want to record “Sister Midnight,” a slinking, funky song he’d been writing with his guitarist, Carlos Alomar. A few months later, Pop and Bowie travelled together to the Château d’Hérouville, an eighteenth-century estate outside of Paris, to make what became “The Idiot,” Pop’s solo début. Afterward, they moved into an apartment on a tree-lined street in West Berlin. This was the beginning of a fruitful and largely drug-free period for both artists. Bowie released “Low” in January, 1977, the first album in his celebrated Berlin trilogy. Pop released “Lust for Life,” co-produced by Bowie, in August of that year. “I think Bowie saw in Iggy a kind of weird doppelgänger,” the writer and guitarist Lenny Kaye told me. “The records they made in Berlin pulled them both out of this pit that they’d dug themselves into.”
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