Steve Albini on Touch and Go, the Stooges, and how his analog work ethic is faring in the digital age
By Bob Mehr
September 29, 2006
It's been more than two decades since guitarist and recording engineer Steve Albini emerged as the gadfly of the midwestern rock underground. In his 20s he led the notoriously abrasive, crowd-baiting bands Big Black and Rapeman, but he's since mellowed considerably -- though his current outfit, Shellac, is hardly warm and cuddly, at 44 he no longer goes out of his way to make himself a lightning rod for controversy. His reputation as an iconoclast persists, however, and he remains the sort of public figure folks either love or hate. "There are specific people who have a bee in their bonnet about me," Albini says. "I can't do anything about that. I trust the bands and people I work with every day -- the ones that know me on a personal level and actually know me as opposed to the image of me -- they have the real perspective. If those people thought I was a jerk, then I'd feel bad."
Albini can afford to brush off his critics: It's been nearly a decade since he opened Electrical Audio in its current location, on Belmont near the river, and his studio has weathered both the end of the 90s alt-rock boom and the spread of cheap digital home recording. Despite Albini's notorious refusal to install a digital rig at Electrical, this has been one of his busiest years yet at the studio -- he's scheduled to complete more than 40 projects by the end of December. Shellac has just finished recording a new LP, and this week Albini starts work on a comeback album by proto-punk icons the Stooges.
The forthcoming Shellac record, the band's first since 1000 Hurts in 2000, will be called Excellent Italian Greyhound -- originally what drummer Todd Trainer would say to his dog instead of "good boy," it was quickly adopted by the band to refer to anything praiseworthy. "If you're familiar with our stuff you probably won't be surprised," Albini says. "I guess Todd has a cowbell now, so that's new." Touch and Go has tentative plans to release the album in early 2007, and the band has a couple spring shows planned for the UK, which may turn into the nucleus of a European tour.
Albini has been playing in Shellac with Trainer and bassist Bob Weston for 14 years, and calls it "absolutely my favorite thing in the whole world to do" -- though he's quick to point out that he still considers it a hobby. The studio is his job, and he puts in an average of 300 days a year as an engineer. In 2006 his work has appeared on releases by Canadian roots band the Sadies, Sicilian art punks Uzeda, power-pop legends Cheap Trick, and even the Lovehammers, the group led by Rock Star: INXS runner-up Marty Casey. He's not a fan of every act he records, but he's looking forward to working with the Stooges, who he calls one of his all-time favorite bands. The re-formed lineup includes three original members -- Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, and his brother Scott -- along with Minutemen bassist Mike Watt and Fun House saxist Steve MacKay.
Albini has never met any of the Stooges -- so far he's just had a couple phone conversations with them -- and only knows Watt casually. "I got a call out of the blue from Ron Asheton," he says. "They basically expressed a desire to set up and play live. We'll see how that goes. I've yet to see the reconstituted Stooges, but by all accounts they're playing like champions." In a recent Spanish-language interview, Iggy says hiring Albini was something Ron pushed for, in part because Albini has said he arrived at a lot of his ideas about recording by listening to Fun House. Iggy also praises Albini's no-nonsense blue-collar approach, comparing it to a plumber's.
One rumor that's been following the project is that Jack White will play on the disc or produce it, but Albini has heard nothing either way. "I really have no idea. . . . There may be a point where an Edwardian carriage pulls up in front of the studio and Jack White and his footmen step out," he says. "By the way, I've never used the word 'footmen' in conversation before."
Electrical Audio, like most full-service studios, has suffered as digital recording has gotten cheaper and more accessible. But because it's still primarily an analog facility, it continues to attract musicians who don't see the two methods as interchangeable. (Albini's rep doesn't hurt either, and even people who don't care what kind of tape they use agree that the rooms sound great.) The studio hosts digital sessions for outside engineers, but Albini has never used Pro Tools himself. "I wouldn't even know how to turn it on," he admits. "It would be like asking me to translate a Chinese poem." He claims he's never encountered a situation where the use of analog tape was the problem, and he's not about to fix what isn't broken. "Many of our peer studios that have slavishly followed the fashions in recording have either gone broke or run themselves into the ground," he says. "So I don't see any indication that we're doing things wrong."
Electrical is far from broke, but over the past few years it's lowered its fees repeatedly to stay competitive as the demand for pro recording declines. Albini says that when he arrived in Chicago in 1980, the average daily rate for a comparable studio was between $1,000 and $2,000; at Electrical the top room rate is currently $600 a day, down from a peak of $850. "To survive under those conditions requires a different mind-set," he says. "You can't treat a studio as a pure business venture. You have to treat it as something you're doing for its own sake. The same is true for indie labels: they're a viable business, but only just. So having a punk-rock mentality -- doing as much as you can yourself and keeping things as cheap as possible so it doesn't have to be expensive for the bands -- is the approach we take."
Every one of Albini's bands has released records on Touch and Go, the indie label run by Corey Rusk, and two of them -- Shellac and Big Black -- played at the label's 25th-anniversary party earlier this month. Albini is generally loath to indulge in nostalgia (during Big Black's mini set he commented, "You can tell it's not something that we had a burning desire to do"), but he's long been a vocal cheerleader for Touch and Go and helped persuade Rusk to move the operation to Chicago in 1986. For Albini the Touch and Go celebration was a reminder of why he'd invested so much of himself in underground music to begin with. "Seeing Scratch Acid again, seeing Killdozer, seeing the Didjits -- all of the reconstituted bands were as good as in their heyday," he says. "And even though those bands were dissimilar to one another, they were still comrades in this cultural movement.
"There's nothing cornier than grandpa music scenester saying, 'Back in my day, things were so much better,'" he continues. "But to see all those bands that really got me super excited about music in the first place, and seeing them in full flight again, made me realize I wasn't a fool back then."
mentality" that guides both Electrical Audio and Touch and Go has been
vindicated by time, and Albini takes great satisfaction in that. "When
we started, everyone was rather adamant that you couldn't do things the way
we wanted to. That it would be impossible to run a record label without contracts
or more professional accoutrements. Everyone said it would be impossible to
run a recording studio that catered to a punk-rock client base because they
don't have any money and they're not reliable, or whatever," he says.
"I like the fact that Touch and Go and Electrical Audio have proven that
all those people who thought they knew best were wrong. Not just that they
were wrong to offer their opinion, but that they were wrong, period. It's
quite gratifying to realize you were smarter than all the people who were
telling you you were gonna fail."
Great Pretenders: Concert for VH1 gets
boost from guest Iggy Pop
Monday, August 14, 2006
BY JAY LUSTIG
Steven Van Zandt has spent much of his career working with Bruce Springsteen. But in a 2004 interview with The Star-Ledger he called Iggy Pop "the greatest performer, for me, in rock'n' roll history."
Chrissie Hynde went even further, Friday night at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, calling Pop "the greatest human being in the world."
The occasion was a concert that was taped for VH1 Classic's "Decades Rock Live" series. (The air date has not been determined yet.) Hynde's classic-rock band, the Pretenders, was the main act, and performed both alone and with guests Pop, Shirley Manson (of the band Garbage), Kings of Leon and Incubus.
Pop, a punk-rock pioneer who was a huge influence on Hynde in her artistically formative years, was the last guest to appear. Though he never became as animated as he tends to get at his own shows, he still gave the event a jolt.
Long-haired and wiry at the age of 59, he bounded onto the stage and added booming baritone vocals to two Pretenders songs, "Lie to Me" and "Fools Must Die." Then he dueted with Hynde on his own catchy 1991 hit "Candy" (the original featured Kate Pierson of the B-52's). His loose-limbed, unself-conscious dancing and the wide grin on the face suggested that there was no place he would rather be.
He also sang on the show's grand finale: One of the Pretenders' biggest hits, "Middle of the Road," where he shared lead vocals with Manson, Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill and Incubus' Brandon Boyd. With various members of the guest bands also joining in, there were 11 musicians onstage. Hynde was content to play a supporting role until the song-closing harmonica solo.
The Pretenders, currently featuring original members Hynde and Martin Chambers (drums) along with Adam Seymour (guitar) and Nick Wilkinson (bass), have never been the most adventurous live band, tending to stick close to the original arrangements. So it was a kick to see them presiding over a chaotic scene, for once.
The "Decades Rock Live" series, which has previously built shows around artists like Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Heart and Lynyrd Skynyrd, isn't as confiningly structured as a traditional tribute show, or as loose as a jam session. The idea is, simply, that a veteran act presents a concert with several guest segments.
The material -- almost always rehearsed in advance -- can be associated with the central act, or the guests, or other sources. Some hits are usually included, but the set lists tend to be unpredictable.
I've attended two other "Decades Rock Live" tapings (Raitt and Heart) and can say that this one was the most like a regular concert, with no do-overs or pre-taped segments, and only a few brief breaks for stage alterations. In keeping with the Pretenders' usual no-nonsense approach to their career, there were no long speeches or attempts to pump up the crowd. They played, and Hynde graciously introduced the guests, and that was pretty much it.
As was the case with the other shows, attendees got to see and hear things they aren't likely to see and hear again. Hynde dueted with Boyd on Incubus' "Drive," and with Manson -- sporting lots of mascara, in tribute to Hynde's trademark look -- on Garbage's darkly alluring signature song, "Only Happy When It Rains." The Kings of Leon helped the Pretenders thrash their way through one of the punkiest Pretenders songs, "Up the Neck."
A few of the songs the Pretenders played on their own ("Back on the Chain Gang," "Night In My Veins") sounded a bit rushed and perfunctory. But the band was in fine form on numbers like a crisp "Mystery Achievement" and a beguiling "Brass In Pocket."
In a nod to the casino setting, Hynde performed her ballad "The Losing," saying it explained why she wouldn't be gambling after the show.
"Can't stop when I'm at the top. ... Every time I win I have to start again/Can't rest until I'm losing," she sang.
and Iggy Pop get together
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
BY JAY LUSTIG
Chrissie Hynde was about 19 years old when she heard Iggy Pop's pioneering garage-punk band the Stooges for the first time.
album was in '69, but I didn't really become aware of him until about 1971,"
says Hynde, 54, who fronts the Pretenders. "They were like a local band:
I'm from Ohio, and they were from up in Ann Arbor. When I discovered (the
band's 1970 album) 'Fun House,' that changed everything for me.
"I even read a review in an English newspaper of a live show of his. It was such a glowing review. It was one of my incentives to move to England (in 1973), because I felt they appreciated him over there."
The Stooges do not represent the most obvious influence on the Pretenders. Their music was rough-edged, manic, almost primitive. The Pretenders -- whose hits include "Brass In Pocket," "Back on the Chain Gang," "Middle of the Road" and "Don't Get Me Wrong" -- have always been more melodic and less messy.
Hynde declines to dissect the reasons why the Stooges made such a big impact on her.
"I don't know," she says. "Why do you fall in love?"
Thirty-five years after hearing "Fun House" for the first time, Hynde will get to sing with Pop on Friday at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
The concert will be taped for VH1 Classic's "Decades Rock Live" series; previous shows have been built around artists like Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Pretenders will perform both on their own and with Pop, the bands Incubus and Kings of Leon, and Shirley Manson of the band Garbage.
These guests were not forced upon Hynde -- the band's uncontested leader -- by some corporate executive.
Hynde calls Kings of Leon "my favorite band from the last 10 years."
She met Incubus, she says, "when they invited me to do a song with them for a film ("Neither of Us Can See," heard on the soundtrack for last year's "Stealth"). I liked working with them, so we asked them along."
Manson, she says, "is a great singer, and she's Scottish, and from a place up in Scotland (South Queensferry) where I used to spend a lot of time. So we've got stuff in common, and she's a real laugh."
"ROCK SHOULD BE DANGEROUS"
Chrissie Hynde looks forward to VH1 taping
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/11/06
BY ED CONDRAN
Just on the basis of the Pretenders first two albums, the Chrissie Hynde-led band deserves a tribute — and that's exactly what VH1 will do tonight at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
The cable network will tip its cap to the Pretenders by taping a "Decades Rock Live" show that will include rock icon Iggy Pop, the incendiary Kings of Leon, sultry Garbage singer Shirley Manson and pop stars Incubus.
PETA supporter Hynde, 55, is stoked about the show, which will feature the aforementioned recording artists rendering Pretenders songs with and without Hynde and her band. The British transplant by way of Ohio recently chatted up the show, offered her thoughts on rock and her lack of an English accent despite living in Ole Blighty for 33 years.
Q: It takes something for you to get excited about, but you seem to be thrilled about your VH1 special.
A: I am excited. I'm very pleased that the Kings of Leon are part of this. I absolutely worship them. They don't do a lot of television. When they accepted I was excited. Iggy will be there, and we all know that Iggy is God.
Q: There is a common denominator that connects you, the Kings of Leon and Iggy. Each of you rock and there is less of that these days.
A: It's true. There is no rock anymore. It's all mainstream. Once in a while, you get a real rock band like the Kings of Leon, and it's a precious thing. It's not for everybody and it shouldn't be for everybody.
Q: Despite members passing away or being fired, the Pretenders have never called it a day.
A: "How can I miss you if you never go away" should be on my tombstone. I never have gone away. I imagine I prefer being in a rock band over waiting tables.
Q: Didn't you once say that this group that you're in is essentially a tribute to the Pretenders, or was that taken out of context?
A: Everything is taken out of context during interviews. Not everyone was there when the interview happened. Right now it's just me and you. This is a tribute to the original band.
Q: Do you ever wonder what the Pretenders would have sounded like if James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farndon didn't succumb to drugs?
A: No. I wish I had Jimmy Scott in my room right now, but I miss my dog, too. Who thinks about the what-ifs of this band?
Q: The fans.
A: (Expletive) the fans.
Q: Aside from your obvious skills, what's most appealing about you is that you don't pretend to be nice. Nice isn't rock or shouldn't be. Rock should feel dangerous.
A: Rock should be dangerous. You don't have to kill yourself to be dangerous. I found that out.
Pop Gets Too Caught Up in Music While Driving
Iggy Pop's driving career has been cursed by a series of accidents and arrests. The former Stooges frontman admits a Rolls Royce used to be among his favorite vehicles, but he gave up on the cars after his last one caught fire while he was listening to The Beatles.
The punk legend, 59, says, "I was listening to 'Rubber Soul.' So I didn't notice something I shoulda. When I got to the beach a little black smoke came out and I thought 'Whoa!' And then the fire department came and they had to hack their way through the hood. And I was like, 'OK, that's enough with the Rolls. F**k it, I'm getting some American cars!"
Before getting his current vehicle, an Oldsmobile, Iggy tried a Ferrari with disastrous results.
He explains, "I drove the sh*t outta that car. One day I was driving it listening to voodoo music. And I got a little too caught up and I was doing triple the speed limit. I ran a red light because I thought it was green. A cop pulled me over which is kinda uncool. So I got rid of it. I had about four years with that car, and it was great."
TOP LIVE POLL
U2 have been named the Greatest Live Band currently performing, in a new US poll. The Irish rockers beat IGGY POP's reformed THE STOOGES, acclaimed ARCADE FIRE and the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS to top the Spin magazine poll. Spin editors gave U2 the edge, claiming, "What's most impressive about U2's huge tours is that the quartet can cut through the precisely-timed techno clutter and deliver moments of true spontaneity." The full top 10 in the 25 Greatest Live Bands poll is: 1. U2 2. THE STOOGES 3. ARCADE FIRE 4. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS 5. RADIOHEAD 6. WHITE STRIPES 7. GREEN DAY 8. THE HIVES 9. PRINCE 10. THE DIRTBOMBS
to join Stooges at UK ATP show in December
For the first time in more than 35 years, former MC5 members Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson will share a bill with fellow Detroit rock pioneers Iggy Pop and the Stooges. The bands are playing this year's All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, curated by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and set for December 8-10 at Butlins Minehead in Somerset, England.
Stars set for Curtis biopic
Tuesday, 27th June 2006
ICONIC: Ian CurtisA HOST of big names have are set to join New Order on the soundtrack for the new film about Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.
Entitled Control, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Iggy Pop are all said to have confirmed tracks for the record.
The soundtrack will also include original Joy Division and Warsaw (New Order’s initial name) songs.
your story continues below
According to the New Order fansite, Worldinmotion.net, also joining the quartet on the record will be fellow Manc veterans the Buzzcocks, Lou Reed and the Sex Pistols.
On the LP, bassist Peter Hook told NME: "We were asked to do the soundtrack to the film which I thought was a great idea, for Joy Division to do the music for a Joy Division film because we've never really done a soundtrack before.
"Every time we get accolades for Joy Division it makes [Ian's suicide] sadder, especially with the film. Working on the film has made the whole thing seem more poignant."
Directed by Anton Corbijn, who is famed for his work with U2, the film will feature Sam Riley - the frontman of indie band 10,000 Things - in the role of Curtis.
Curtis hung himself at his home in Macclesfield in 1980, the biopic of his life is based on a book by his wife Debbie.
CD: Lust For Life: Live 1977 - Import CD
CDU Part# 7040611
Street Date Feb 06, 2006.
1. Iggy Speaks (Jim Morrison)
2. Lust For Life (Previously Unreleased Mobile Studio Concert Recording)
3. Iggy Speaks (Passing Interview)
4. Passenger (Previously Unreleased Mobile Studio Concert Recording)
5. Iggy Speaks (Mutual Bowie)
6. Gloria (Live)
7. Iggy Speaks (Mohammed Ali)
8. Modern Guy (Live)
9. Iggy Speaks (Record Company)
10. I've Gotta Right (Live)
11. Iggy Speaks (I've Broke A Bottle)
12. Fall In Love With Me (Live)
13. Neighbourhood Threat (Previously Unreleased Mobile Studio Concert Recording)
14. Iggy Speaks (I Want To Be Something More)
15. Tv Eye (Live)
16. Raw Power (Live)
17. Night Clubbing (Live)
17 tracks of interview and live music from 1977.
DVD: GGY & THE STOOGES LIVE AT THE
LOKERSE FESTIVAL; IGGY & THE STOOGES
Catalogue Number: D0761
Genre: MUSIC DVD
Label: outre oeuvre records/MRA
Release Date: 27-MAY-06
Consumer Advice:Moderate coarse language
What the press have said:
"The Stooges always put on a frenetic live show and this has been superbly captured by a ten-camera set-up, with excellent sound quality to match." **** Steve Bell, Time Off
‘The old punk still has it.’, ‘Over an hour he delivers his characteristically powerful and lust-driven vocals on gems such as...’ ***1/2 Robert Burton-Bradley – Rolling Stone
‘Since the recent Iggy and The Stooges reunion, every man and his dog is professing their love for the Godfather of Punk. This is one of the best reunion shows caught on film, with awesome sound, and it’s shot from multiple angles, like porn. If you wondered what all the fuss was about, this is as close as you’ll get to seeing Iggy in full form before his body crumbles. **** Scanner Music – FHM July 2006
‘This is one of the best reunion shows caught on film, with awesome sound,’ **** Scanner Music – FHM July 2006
‘If you saw ’em earlier this year, grab this to relive some damn fin rock action. If you missed ‘em, grab it, watch it and then proceed to give yourself a good kicking for missing them.’ Jez – The Drum Magazine
‘Iggy Pop is still out there on the edge performing with a grit and mania that has to be experienced to be believed.’, ‘Iggy delivers a raw, energized performance as only he can do.’ Bill Holdsworth – Rave Magazine
‘it’s clear from the opening bass riff of loose that the Stooges’ raw power has not waned.’ Kati Britton – Platterlog Bailia
‘The irresistible dance beats will have you busting a move in no time. !Bailia! is definitely for a party or a quiet sexy night for two...’ Luke Balzan – Rip it Up
‘Looking no more than a day over his age, and far from lacking in enthusiasm, Iggy Pop struts out onto the stage at the Lokerse Festival.’ , ‘As the three initial chords of I Wanna be Your Dog ring out, the crowd goes mental, as does the frontman, and the energy level of both heightens.’, ‘it’s a good souvenir for those who caught Iggy and his cronies earlier this year, and a good representation for those who missed it.’ Pia Faletti – Xpress Magazine
‘Iggy and his Stooges let rip with gusto 30 years later.’, ‘having split in 1974, it was a dream come true for Stooges’ fans when Iggy Pop reunited with his old band and then rocked Europe last year with this performance.’, ‘Iggy unleashes those raw vocals and gyrates like he’s a teen all over again.’ Scott Podmore – Sunday Herald Sun
"This DVD is the prototype of what great comeback performances can be." - Peter Ryan - MAG, June 2006
'The sound quality and the band's performance are both stellar,','The visuals,combined with the "reunion factor" and short (12 song) playlist, mark Live At Lokerse out as a purchase for Iggy obsessives' - JH - Blunt Magazine.
“the sound quality and the band’s performance are both stellar” Blunt Magazine
"oozes raw power... a pumped up Iggy is at workman-like best here - his pants riding low as he hammers away at the face of rock all night." STEPHEN DOWNIE - The Daily Telegraph
"Time hasn't slowed these guys down as they literally rip through a killer set of new tunes and beloved classics" -SAIN MAG
Some 30 years after splitting in 1974, Iggy Pop reunited with his original band, The Stooges, to record some new tracks and tour. This performance recorded at Europe’s Lokerse Festival in August 2005 includes blistering versions of nearly all the great tracks from the first two Stooges albums as well as new songs Skull Ring and Dead Rock Star.
It’s clear from the opening bass riff of Loose that the Stooges’ raw power has not waned. It all kicks off with the pounding primitive thud of Scott “Rock” Asheton’s drums. Ex-Minuteman Mike Watt (standing in for the dearly departed Dave Alexander) let’s rip with a powerful bass wobble guaranteed to let loose the most uptight caboose. Scott’s brother Ron grinds in on guitar to create a filthy groove, over which he adds the mind-melting wail of distorted wah. On top of this sea of sound floats the one and only Iggy, whose grunting, gurgling, let-it-all-hang-out vocal style and on-stage gyrations epitomise the art of singing as the raw expression of the soul.
Barely out of their teens in their heyday (1967-1974) the Stooges were as much influenced by Detroit’s industrial noise as they were rock groups like the Velvet Underground, The Who, the Stones and experimental jazz artists such as Sun Ra and John Coltrane.
The soul expressed in their performance is of a stultifying suburban alienation and of the drive to escape a possible lifetime stuck on the assembly line through sex, drugs and rock and roll. Though common enough today, such themes, so overtly expressed, were poison to a 60s youth culture focussed on the utopian mirages of flower power and Woodstock. Few critics were impressed. Albums now regarded as seminal, such as the primal proto-punk of The Stooges (1969) and the psychedelic jazz-flavoured Funhouse, simply stiffed. The band ran its course after a re-jigged line-up produced the glam/metal sounds of Raw Power in 1972.
Jack White from The White Stripes wrote the introduction liner notes to the 2005 Fun House re-issue on Rhino Records stating “Fun House...…the very definition of Detroit rock’n’roll, and by proxy the definitive rock album of America”, spot on Jack!
Throughout the 70s those in the know continued to worship at the Stooges’ altar. Acolytes included the likes of Lester Bangs, David Bowie and John ‘Johnny Rotten’ Lydon, whose Sex Pistols borrowed strongly from the Stooges’ sound and attitude to create the punk revolution of 1977.
Sure enough, there would be no Sex Pistols, nor even a Green Day, without the Stooges, but the band’s influence spread ever wider in the 80s, 90s and noughties through genres such as ‘alternative’, grunge and metal.
Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore sums up Iggy best; “After all this time, he’s still at war.” (Rolling Stone, April 2005)
This is the real shit. Play it loud!
Down on the Street
I Wanna Be Your Dog
Real Cool Time
Dead Rock Star
I Wanna Be Your Dog (Reprise)
COL, PAL, REGION4 DVD9, ASPECT RATIO – 4:3, AUDIO – 5. .1 Surround Sound & 2.0 TOTAL RUNNING TIME 65 MINS, BONUS FEATURES: 24 page booklet featuring rare photos from the festival and detailed essays on the Stooges)
and the Stooges Recording New LP, Planning Tour
Posted by Kati Llewellyn and Amy Phillips in on Tue: 04-18-06: 12:00 AM
want to bring earplugs on this year's Florida getaway, because Iggy Pop and
the reunited Stooges are currently working on a new album in a Sunshine State
cottage, Billboard.com reports.
Steve Albini is slated to produce, with Jack White helping out on several tracks. The disc will be the Stooges' first release since 1973, and it's set to land via Virgin next year. In support of the as-of-yet-untitled album, the crew will embark on their first-ever extensive reunion tour.
Of writing with Scott and Ron Asheton again, Pop told Billboard.com, "All the same passions and problems are there, but the problems are in a more muted style. I'm still the showoff in the group that gets all the attention. Everyone has their role. It's pretty much the way it was in high school."
"We experimented a lot," he continued with regard to the record's sound. "We're stubborn people. We could have just started out and in 10 minutes we would have sounded like us, but that would have been too easy. We'd have these get-togethers every two or three months for four or five days and bang out stuff. As time went on it started to sound more and more like us."
Bass god Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, etc.) will continue to fill in on the four-string for original Stooges bassist Dave Alexander, who died in 1975. Watt wrote Pitchfork via email, "Last week, I got a CD-R from Iggy with thirteen tunes-- "secret plan" was written on it. They were demos with Iggy singing into a MiniDisc, with Scotty on a little kid drum set, and Ronnie on a tiny guitar amp, all done in Iggy's pad in Miami. Ig told me to get some bass lines going but plan on three days with just me and him in August there in Miami to nail down what he wants on bass."
The Stooges have a handful of overseas dates scheduled for May and June. They'll also put in an appearance at the Thurston Moore-curated Nightmare Before Christmas edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, taking place December 8-10 in Somerset, England.
05-03 Reykjavik, Iceland - Laugardalsholl Sports Hall
05-05 Bergen, Norway - Bergenfest
05-08 Paris, France - Zenith
05-10 Zurich, Switzerland - Hallenstadion
06-02 Saint Laurent de Cuves, France - Papillons de Nuits Festival
06-08 Tampere, Finland - Sauna Open Air Metal Festival
12-08-10 Somerset, England - Butlins Holiday Centre (All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas)*
* with Sonic Youth, more TBA
Check out Mike Watt's tour diary from the Stooges' stint on the Australia/New Zealand Big Day Out mini-tour earlier this year HERE.
Iggy Pop: http://www.iggypop.com/
Mike Watt: http://hootpage.com/
Iggy Gets Busy On Stooges Reunion Disc
April 17, 2006, 3:45 PM ET
Punk icon Iggy Pop has been holed up in "a little cottage in the boonies on a little river" in Florida writing music with his old band the Stooges. The as-yet-untitled set, the legendary rock act's first since 1973, is due out next year via Virgin and will be produced by Steve Albini. It will also feature several tracks produced by Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs).
The Stooges will also embark on their first full-blown reunion tour, having previously focused on the festival circuit and one-offs since reassembling in 2003. At deadline, the lone date confirmed is an appearance in December at the U.K.'s Nightmare Before Christmas festival, which will be curated by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.
"All the same passions and problems are there," Pop tells Billboard of writing with Scott and Ron Asheton. "But the problems are in a more muted style. I'm still the showoff in the group that gets all the attention. Everyone has their role. It's pretty much the way it was in high school."
Asked to describe the project's musical direction, Pop offers, "We experimented a lot. We're stubborn people. We could have just started out and in 10 minutes we would have sounded like us, but that would have been too easy. We'd have these get-togethers every two or three months for four or five days and bang out stuff. As time went on it started to sound more and more like us."
Pop admits that at this point in his career he has "sort of run out of ideas" and that the prospect of a Stooges reunion was an outgrowth of his 2003 studio album, "Skull Ring."
On that effort, he "just threw it open and did a guest-oriented album. I had resisted doing a Stooges reunion, but when I was putting 'Skull Ring' together, [the Ashetons] were getting really active on the road playing Stooges songs. Suddenly they were in sight and in mind. I thought, 'If I'm going to try a couple tracks with Green Day, why not get the original band?'"
AIDS IGGY'S MISSION FOR MUTILATION
ALICE COOPER inadvertently aided rocker IGGY POP in his quest for self-mutilation when he supplied him with a switchblade from a trip overseas. The SCHOOL'S out singer didn't think twice about his old friend's request to bring him back the present, which he immediately used to cut himself. He explains, "Iggy's great. We grew up in Detroit (Michigan) together. He was a Detroit boy, too. "We used to do shows together in 1968. At one point he said, 'Hey, Alice, you're going to Germany - can you bring me a switchblade?' "And I went, 'Sure'. So I bring him a switchblade and I give it to him and of course he gets on stage and starts cutting himself with it!" Pop starting dramatically slashing his chest with the switchblade and Cooper jump onstage to make him stop. Cooper adds, "We had to actually wrap him in towels and take him to the hospital! Great times! It was good theatre!"
CLOTHED IGGY TO STAR IN SUIT ADS
IGGY POP has signed up as the unlikely face of chic designer JOHN VARVATOS' new advertising campaign. The eccentric punk rocker, famed for appearing onstage wearing just a pair of ill-fitting jeans, can be seen flaunting a sharp pin-striped suit in the ads for the autumn/winter collection. During the photo-shoot in New York's Central Park, Varvatos witnessed the legendary singer's maverick behaviour. He says, "It started to rain, and instead of ducking for cover, Iggy jumped up on a park bench and started dancing and boxing. I said 'This is epic.'"
About a Boy
Compassion is the main mood of Peter Ames Carlin's diligently researched and even-handed tome on the life of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, says Campbell Stevenson
Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson
by Peter Ames Carlin
Rodale £18.99, pp342
On 13 June 2006, the surviving members of the Beach Boys met for the first time in five years at a record company event to mark the 40th anniversary of the landmark album, Pet Sounds. This event came too late for inclusion in Oregon journalist Peter Ames Carlin's book, which reminds the reader that there are, shall we say, issues to be dealt with before any full reunion happens. There are two touring versions of the band, as well as Wilson's own group; over the years, most of them have sued most of the others for millions of dollars.
The album whose
anniversary they were celebrating was, in effect, a Brian Wilson solo record
that the others barely performed on and didn't much care for. And some of
them had shown little compassion when Wilson was forced to shelve his magnum
opus, Smile, in 1967.
Compassion is the main mood of Carlin's diligently researched and even-handed book. His anecdotes of Brian's desperate behaviour in the Seventies are rarely played for laughs. But you have to snigger on reading that Iggy Pop, who could lay fair claim to the title of rock music's most fearsomely deranged and drug-ravaged personality, spent a few hours at a Hollywood party with Wilson, then turned to a companion and said: 'I gotta get out of here, man. This guy is nuts!'
Carlin has one huge problem to deal with, which he acknowledges in his foreword. David Leaf's matchless The Beach Boys and the California Myth (1976) overshadows any book that documents the group's most successful years. Carlin wants to avoid rehashing Leaf and to provide a similarly authoritative view of the band over the past 30 years.
Unfortunately, for much of that period, Brian was creatively spent and the Beach Boys, under the commercially astute Mike Love, were making mediocre-to-dreadful albums, playing sets with dancing cheerleaders and becoming the favourite cabaret act of Ronald Reagan. Leaf had the band's creative peak to himself; Carlin, however, has Brian's deeply troubled personal life and his bizarre relationship with psychiatrist Eugene Landy, who set himself up as songwriting partner, guru and, for a while, sole beneficiary of Brian's will. Throughout this time, first bloated and then medicated, he was under pressure to write when he was hardly in a fit state to stand. To top this, his two brothers died, a blow that Carlin might have delved into further. Finally, there comes the redemption of the title; the triumphant tours of 2000 and 2004, and eventual release, 38 years late, of Smile
Carlin is much less opinionated than Leaf, which sometimes pays dividends. Rather than casting Mike Love as 'a mean-spirited troglodyte', as Leaf did, he gives credit to his desire to keep the band going, while noting that Love talks about Smile as a 'corporate opportunity' and recalling a quote he gave when Brian was in Landy's hands: 'I just want my cousin back. I want to write hits with my cousin!'
And Brian? He appears to live almost entirely in the now, happily offering contradictory versions of his past, but at least reconciled to the present. In perhaps the book's most chilling scene, one associate recalls how Brian made a tape loop of the chorus to 'Be My Baby', his favourite Phil Spector production, and the song he thought he could never emulate, and listened to it in the dark, alone, for four hours. Those who worry about his frailties should be glad he has been rescued from such depths.
Pop, Living Colour in Pieštany
[8/4/2006 10:25:20 AM]
Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings
IGGY Pop, who will be the headliner of the Hodokvas music festival taking place at the airport in Pieštany between August 17 and 19, has asked the organizers to provide a live crocodile for his dressing room as one of his demands.
“He wants to have a crocodile in the cloakroom because he allegedly likes to feed them before each performance,” Miloš Oríšek, the co-organizer of the festival told TASR, adding that he hoped, however, that the musician was not being serious.
“Let’s hope he’s not really serious about this. Probably it’s just some kind of a joke and we hopefully will not have to look for a crocodile,” Oríšek said.
He also said that Iggy Pop had sent 20 pages of various demands, some of which are quite bizarre.
Apart from the crocodile, the singer also wishes to have two mega fans placed on the stage so that his hair blows in the wind as in one of Jon Bon Jovi’s music videos.
Apart from Iggy Pop, the festival will feature a lineup of 150 music bands including the US group Living Colour..
Iggy Pop For Ian Curtis Film Soundtrack
by Daniel Melia on 6/26/2006
David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Roxy Music are all set to feature on the soundtrack for movie about Ian Curtis of Joy Division.
As previously reported on Gigwise the movie entitled ‘Control’ will be directed by Anton Corbijn and co-produced by Tony Wilson and Deborah Curtis, who’s book ‘Touching From A Distance’ the film will be based upon.
Songs by Warsaw, Joy Division and New Order will all make up part of the movie’s score as well as host of other bands from the late 70’s and early 80’s.
New Order fan site worldinmotion.net reports that Lou Reed, The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks will also feature on the soundtrack.
The role of Curtis
will be taken up by 10,000 Things front man Sam Riley while Samantha Morton
will play his widow.
Chapter Sets Recording Academy Honors
March 30, 2006
Chapter to salute the Backstreet Boys, Ednita Nazario, Roger Nichols and Iggy Pop
The Florida Chapter of has named global pop sensations the Backstreet Boys, Puerto Rican pop artist Ednita Nazario, seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer/engineer Roger Nichols, and legendary punk icon Iggy Pop as recipients of The Recording Academy Honors 2006. The Recording Academy Honors was established to celebrate outstanding individuals whose work embodies excellence and integrity and who have improved the environment for the creative community. The event, which will attract recording artists, key entertainment executives and community leaders, will be held April 17 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Formerly known as the Florida Heroes Awards, this gala supports the Florida Chapter's ongoing advocacy, education and professional development programs, along with the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund — an effort established to aid those Gulf Coast area music community residents affected by 2005's devastating storms.
The evening will include a silent auction and performances by the Backstreet Boys, Al Di Meola (an artist recorded by honoree Roger Nichols), Ednita Nazario and Iggy Pop, who will perform with Sum 41.
For more than a decade, the Backstreet Boys (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson) have entertained audiences worldwide with their soul-sweetened harmonies, elaborate choreography and infectious songs. They rose to fame with such hits as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have To Give" and "Shape Of My Heart," becoming the first-ever group to have two million-selling albums in the first week of release. Their 1999 album, Millennium, was certified 11 times platinum and Black & Blue achieved platinum status in more than 30 countries. Their latest album, 2005's Never Gone, debuted at No.3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has sold 3 million copies worldwide. In 2001, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the group performed at various benefit concerts in Washington, D.C., and New York City and contributed to the all-star tribute benefit single "What's Going On." The group supports a variety of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations including the Dorough Lupus Foundation and the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club For Kids.
With a career that spans more than 40 years, Ednita Nazario has performed with an eclectic lineup of music icons such as Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, and Ricky Martin. Her 1973 album Al Fin Ednita! announced her arrival as Puerto Rico's hottest teen sensation. She has captivated audiences all around the world singing in Spanish, English, French and Italian as well as earning a star at Miami's Calle Ocho Walk Of Fame. In 1998, Nazario made her Broadway debut in Paul Simon's controversial play
"The Capeman," earning her a Drama Desk best supporting actress nomination and also capturing the prestigious Theatre World Award. Confirming her status as one of Latin America's hottest live performers, her 13-show engagement at the Center Of Fine Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was one of the longest concert runs in the venue's history.
Entering his fourth decade as a producer/engineer, seven-time GRAMMY winner Roger Nichols has become the "unimpeachable expert" in the field of digital audio, having earned the reputation of recording engineer/producer extraordinaire. A trained nuclear engineer, Nichols designed and built Wendel Jr., a high fidelity digital audio percussion replacement device used by many artists including Cher, Pink Floyd, Heart and Paul Simon as well as numerous sound companies. Nichols fills his few idle moments on the Board of Governors for the Florida Chapter of The Recording Academy and lecturing master classes at Berklee School of Music, Musician's Institute, Recording Workshop, production school Full Sail, Vancouver Film School, and the University of Miami. Nichols is currently the digital audio consultant for the Library of Congress' new Culpepper Archiving Facility. He has archived and restored digital/analog tapes for The Big Chill soundtrack, all of Steely Dan's original master tapes, the entire Roy Orbison catalog, early Blue Thumb catalog tapes for re-release, and the JVC Jazz catalog.
Iggy Pop is a rock icon who emerged in the late 1960s as part of the Stooges, the group that single-handedly godfathered punk rock, garage rock and American heavy metal more than three decades ago. Iggy Pop conquered Europe and the Far East as a headlining phenomenon in the '90s. His uniquely crafted songs have been covered throughout the years by such musicians as Everclear, the Go-Gos, Joan Jett, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Sex Pistols and can be heard in soundtracks for such films as Almost Famous, School Of Rock, Beavis & Butthead, and Dogtown And Z-Boys. In the late '80s, Pop began his film career with roles in Sid And Nancy, The Color Of Money, Cry-Baby, The Brave (with Marlon Brando), and The Crow: City Of Angels, among others. His 1990 album Brick By Brick spent 37 weeks on the Billboard charts and his latest album, A Million In Prizes, has introduced a new generation to his music.
Tickets for The Recording Academy Honors gala are $150 if purchased by March 31 and $250 thereafter for members. The non-member price is $450. Qualified music professionals can join The Academy for $100 and purchase tickets at the member price. To reserve your tickets, please call the Florida Chapter office at 305.672.4060. Sponsorship and table packages are also available. Tickets must be purchased by April 10, 5 p.m. (ET).
- Tattoo Legend Jonathan Shaw Vs Rock Legend Iggy Pop
Interview and photos appear courtesy of TRIP Magazine
Apr 05, 2006 in Features
The good folks at TRIP, Brazil's biggest and most influential youth lifestyle magazine, were able to get an awesome interview with the one and only Iggy Pop recently. The whole thing went down in the hills of Rio at the home of Iggy's pal Jonathan Shaw (Artie's son and tattoo legend), who conducted the interview himself. In a rare intimate and relaxed moment, longtime friends Shaw and Iggy shot the shit together, talking Buddha, sex, drugs and plastic rock & roll. When TRIP approached us about running this interview (more of a conversation between friends, really), we said, "hell yes!" So read on and get a glimpse into the inner psyche of one of rock & roll's most dynamic and influential stars.
JS: So, after
so many years as a virtual outsider on the fringes of the arts, it seems you're
finally starting to get some 'legitimate' recognition as an artist... how's
IGGY: It's funny, y'know, after all these years, cuz I always had that background with the 'serious' art world where it's like, "oh, Iggy Pop, oh shit, no..." It sorta went from, "don't let him in your house, he'll steal your stuff." Then it stepped up to, "he's silly." Then it was like, "he's crazy." Then it went up to like, "well... it's not really art, is it?" Now, it's finally like, "oh, okay, this stuff is ok."... many years ago there was something called the South Bank show in England. Very prestigious... and in the '70s when I was living there with Bowie and every week we'd see they'd do a show on some major guy, y'know, like from Al Pacino to Noam Chomski kinda thing. And Bowie kept saying, "they should do one on you", and "nobody ever covers us, and na na na..." So that was always a big thing... and finally, like thirty years later they came around and did a thing on me...
JS: What did they
IGGY: They sent this English lord, LORD this and that, came to America with a big film crew and they followed us around on the road, made it into a half hour prime time TV show where we were interviewed by the LORD...
IGGY: Yeh, Lord winky wanky woo, whatever his name was... and then Lord wanky woo wasn't gonna come to see me and could I come to London... and finally I said, "NO, I WONT DO IT... either wanky woo comes to my fucking house or fuck you..." and so... he came! And ya know he had the accent and the little loafers and he was kinda... well, later he told me that he was very apprehensive to talk to me cuz he thought I was gonna vomit on him and curse or something...
JS: So did you
feel like finally validated as an artist, getting this recognition you craved
for so long?
IGGY: Well, that's the funny thing, like after all those years of me wanting the thing, by the time they finally did me, y'know, I think I really didn't care so much anymore... it just became like Don Quixote, ya know, "dammit [laughing] I want my respect"... so now I got that one and then I got the French 'OFFICE OF ARTS AND LETTERS' thing, when I got that, it's like this big deal where all the other artists were French, and they're all grumbling about it ya know... they'd taken it but they're all like [French accent] 'How do you feel to take this stinking award from this shit government - you are a SELL OUT!"... and I'm like, "well, wait a minute, is says here on this paper that I'm a fucking officer in the army fighting for the arts. That's a nice thing, ya know, I'll take that at face value. I agree with that." So I did that. I went to the ministers office. He was very suave... in the old palace. Nice. Nice fucking palace...
JS: That is some
IGGY: Well, ya know it was kinda... wierd. It was really a kind of uptight and slightly annoying experience... but what was best was... the people. The minister was like really suave, but he let you know in a certain way just how powerful and ministerial and cool he is ya know, so I never feel too at home in those kinda scenes... but all the people in the crowd, they all really liked it and they were all like, "YEAHHHHH!" so it felt nice... the best part was that I got the medal.
IGGY: Yeh, I got this little medal and they pin it on you.
JS: You gonna
IGGY: Yeah... [laughing] I could wear it around. It looks like an old picture from a hundred years ago, like some old guy, something IMPORTANT... and it says "Republique Francaise"... and I got this plaque too saying, "presented by the "French Republic." I've got it in my little library at home, right up there with my picture of Nina and Lucky [his beautiful, statuesque girlfriend and snow white French poodle].
JS: I guess you
haven't had time to see much of anything here in Brazil...
IGGY: These shows really took a lot out of me, two nights, two cities back to back. Usually I don't play back to back shows anymore, like when we're on tour I try and always take a day off between shows nowadays.
JS: That's something
new from when I was traveling with you...
IGGY: Yeah well it's been a few years now since then... the age thing creeps up on you.
JS: You could
fool a lot of people...
IGGY: Well that's what we do... so anyway, not really much time or energy for the whole tourist thing... mostly just the beach in front of our hotel and now today up here spending the day at your house... but with a view like this who needs to go anywhere? But it was nice that we got to stay a coupla extra days in Rio and the promoter paid for it. That was really good of them, they didn't have to, but I asked them and they did. So we got a coupla free days to visit you here and relax. I always wanted to do that, and show it to Nina, so we got a free trip to Rio... nice.
“ The guys in the band [The Stooges] have all the unreasonable standards of a '60s rock band... they're still back there, like if they don't like some proposal about a producer or something, they'll just look at the ground and pout. Or they'll say something like, "that's fucking shit, man!" It's not like a modern band who'll say, "Well now, the A&R department this and the demographic that... ”
JS: Well, judging
from the response, you'll probably get some new offers to come back here now.
Would you like to do a South American tour any time soon?
IGGY: Yeh, well I'm trying to get a record done with these guys and there's some complexities because the guys in the band [The Stooges] have all the unreasonable standards of a '60s rock band... they're still back there, like if they don't like some proposal about a producer or something, they'll just look at the ground and pout. Or they'll say something like, "that's fucking shit, man!" It's not like a modern band who'll say, "Well now, the A&R department this and the demographic that..." The stooges are still back there in that weird time warp of rock [laughs]... this is a real band now, not just like Iggy and a bunch of paid professionals whose job it is to play backup... its a real BAND kinda thing... I do all the shit work, the 'leadership' stuff. But... I have to answer to them...
JS: How's that
feel after being on your own and being the boss for so many years now... getting
back together with the Stooges?
IGGY: [laughing]... It's really AWKWARD.
JS: It sucks?
IGGY: IT REALLY SUCKS [laughter] especially cuz the kinda guys they are... it'll be like I'll get a call from Ron at like 4:00 in the morning and he'll leave like six or eight messages about something he wants to do and I'm just supposed to deal with it... but I can't get him on the phone cuz... [laughing]... he's a MUSICIAN... but, it's ok... it works out... it works out... basically, it really doesn't really change much for me, career wise, except that the quality of the work is better and the money. As soon as I got back with them it has tripled... yeah, it's tripled. And, as soon as it tripled...[laughs]... there were three guys to split it with... it really wouldn't matter to me except that it's always better, like you feel better, and you're always better off when you're doing quality work... 'cause, creatively... I felt like I hit a wall... somewhere around 2000-2002 - in there - like I'd gotten as much outta what I was doing as I could. I'd gone as far with that as I could go... just before SKULL RING.
That's why I did all that guest shit, I just opened it up. Before that I had done my thing with my nasty little metal band - just to show everybody I could. Like, "fuck you, I don't need you. I don't need to listen to you. I don't need to listen to this side, that side, or the behind. I can just make this thing with this little bunch of scumbags. My way... and put a PUSSY on the cover!" [laughs] That's what we did, ya know... the original cover had a cartoon of a chick in a bikini with her extra bikini hair visible. She had a cigarette. She had a gun... there was something else... well, Virgin Records saw it and before they would put it out, they had this meeting. The legal department said, "look what we have here... we have... PUBIC HAIR... we have... A FEMALE GENITAL... we have... we have A SMOKING CIGARETTE... and we have A FIREARM..."[laughter] Ya know?... then we started to negotiate... and they took out the body hair. And I can't remember the gun... did that stay on there?... that was a thing called BEAT EM UP... I just made the stupidest album I could make. BEAT EM UP's a trip. It's got songs like "IT'S ALL SHIT."
JS: It's all shit...
sooo, moving right along... there's something I've always thought about, watching
you perform. And it's become a persistent theme over the years. Working on
this documentary I've been making about you... have you ever... I don't know
quite how to put this... do you ever consciously feel a presence, like a sort
of possessing entity when you take the stage, like you're sorta channeling
something that isn't exactly "you?" You know what I mean?
IGGY: [laughing] Wow... well... that's exactly what lord so and so asked about... he actually used the same words... is that what you see?
JS: I've seen
it. Yeah, over and over for years, watching you work... I've filmed it, got
it on film, like where you're walking out of your dressing room and walking
up the steps to the stage and, suddenly, something just comes over you, you
CHANGE... like, I know you as Jim and we sit around and talk and laugh and
have dinner with the girls... and Jim's a pretty nice little guy... then he
gets up on stage and here comes this fucking IGGY... from mild mannered, soft
spoken Jim to... RAW POWER...
IGGY: Is it that different? Really?
JS: Night and fucking day, man...
“ When I was a kid I always liked bands who were made up of gang members. They just always sounded better than ones that weren't. ”
IGGY: I know... I don't know much about how that goes on... I would say the main thing... I know there's people who... do sports... or work in expressive fields... or even the vanguard of science... and you'll hear 'em say, "in this ONE area, I felt like empowered and like, I CAN." Well, I don't quite feel that... I have this feeling like... "In this one area... I'VE GOT TO." This is the only area... in all the rest of my life, whatever I think or feel, I don't do anything about it at all. Ever... I try not to... I'm not sure, I'm just one of those people... I just usually don't express myself too much... but at that particular moment when I'm doing this thing, working a stage... or recording, if it's something in that sort of whatever this music thing is, then I'll say, "OK, this is where I must..." I dunno, choose your cliche, "express my humanity... stand up and be counted..." bla bla bla, winky wanky woo, jump to the next dimension, whatever the fuck, ya know, be a baboon, whatever it is I'm up to... There's a compulsion... I do feel that is something that's going on in this thing...
JS: Do you feel
like you're... serving some higher force?
IGGY: I don't know about that... it could be a lower force... it could be a lower force.
JS: There's a
primal essence, a primitive core to your best work... and now there's all
this technology in the music business. How does that go for you artistically?
IGGY: When I was a kid I always liked bands who were made up of gang members. They just always sounded better than ones that weren't. There was this band, CANNABAL AND THE HEADHUNTERS, they had this single, "Land Of A Thousand Dances," that I really liked. Later I found out they were a street gang. But to me it sounded somehow mysterious... it had the vibe... ya know something about it was... it just had the vibe. Whereas like, Leslie Gore did not have the vibe... I think that sorta thing, you can talk a lotta grand shit about it, but it comes from little pieces...
“ ANDY WARHOL would come through town, so, 'OH COOL,' they'd tie up a naked woman and she plays the cello while a man beats her with a hammer... ”
JS: God is in
the details... art is where it all comes together.
IGGY: Exactly... so what I did is I got a job in a record store. I was 18 and I started listening to Toreg medicine chants. I still listen to that shit. I listen to voodoo drum sessions, Musica de Terreiro, Umbanda, Candomble, all kinds of ethnic and folklore music from lotsa musical cultural traditions... that's my real musical influences. Stuff like just a bunch of Arab tribesmen sitting in a field beating on cans [singing monotones] waaaa, waaa waaaaa, waaa waaaa... That sort of thing is really powerful, things with three and four notes repeated over and over again... and shit like Bedouin music was real big for me... belly dance music...
JS: Shaman trance
IGGY: Right! And so I was listening to a lot of that shit. And at the same time trying to get exposed to everything that was going on in the '60s...
IGGY: Oh, yeh, definately... so you had your confrontational performance art. You had the living theatre disrobing and crossing the presidium - which later became HAIR, a broadway musical dummed down... you had the intellectualization of the blues by bands like THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, all that, British art school people coming over... you had JOHN CAGE coming through town, ANDY WARHOL would come through town, so, "OH COOL," they'd tie up a naked woman and she plays the cello while a man beats her with a hammer, ya know? And all this was going into my mind and I was taking a lotta acid... and trying to figure out, ya know, how I could make some music of lasting value... I was looking for universal themes, primitive energy... and then it should be available to everything going on in the culture... but never get too fake, cuz at the end of the night, everybody wants to get fucked...[laughs]... or something... and as a kid, I could never dance with the girls.
I was one of those guys, ya know, so after I took enough drugs, one day the Stooges were poor enough, our manager was sick of us, we didn't make any money for him, he turned off the heat in our rehearsal room and I got angry enough and I started dancing around the house, insulting him with this electric mic... and the band started playing different. They played three times as loud and intense as they normally played. And suddenly instead of being a bunch of guys who were attending these rehearsals I'd made up because they had nothing else to do... suddenly, THEY BELIEVED... and it sounded different. And so we had a way to go... So then I had to get pissed off... [laughing] and stoned EVERY NIGHT... so it kinda started like that...
JS: So where does
all this technology come into the picture?
IGGY: Well, the technology is usually best when it's MISUSED... so what happened in our case is you take a very simple riff and leave some of the strings open, if you're a guy who can't play or control his guitar very well, a large amplification will cause chance overtones that sound remarkably like a very very complicated raga played by a great Indian master... or also it can sound, by chance, like Burlio's "Silver Apples Of The Sun" or whatever it was, you know... but we didn't have to think about it...[laughs] Really all it was, ya know, like turn up the amp and just let it GO... and was doing shit. It took like two years... I mean, I was a pretty successful drummer in my town and when I realized that to make a band that was gonna go anywhere, that we couldn't be some crappy little band, cuz we came from a crappy little town... We didn't have the kind of input, ya know like if you live in London, or even in LA, you can be a clever, sophisticated, cunning version of a cover band, rip off other peoples information and if you're from a big city, if you look good, get a good manager, you can make a world out of that... but we were just little dumb fucks. We were gonna have to do something artistic.
“ Try getting a date in 1968 and saying "Hi, my name's IGGY." People make a face, beat you up, ya know? ”
So for two years I just wandered around this collage town, walking two, three, four miles a day, taking drugs, thinking... and I just thought about it... I can't tell you, I don't think I came to any conclusions, but I absorbed a lot of shit... and I would do things like... once we got a house together to try and make our music... and I'd take acid, turn on like an electric organ I had in the basement, turn an amplifier on 10 with the organ coming thru it... and I'd just put my feet up on it for eight hours and listen to that. I'd just lay there on acid with my feet up on the fucking keys and I wouldn't move them... I didn't have to, cuz it was all moving, ya know... So I went through all that silly shit... I remember once I was with the band and we all smoked DMT, and I saw a huge, finely detailed Buddha - pow - appeared on the ceiling... and I realized it wasn't really there, but I realized it was too detailed and I realized that was more detailed than I thought my mind was capable of handling. And I thought, "Oh boy, you've got some machine here, dude." Ya know... but at the same time, I had this thought, that would be your higher mind... the lower mind would be like, "I gotta take off my clothes."... Which is wierd. And the band - I'm living with three guys, young guys, ya know... but they understood me. They didn't mind. "He's gotta take off his clothes."
So I was nude, with my band, for a year... [laughs] on and off... shit like that... so I kinda went thru this transformative two years, and people felt really sorry for me in my local town... and then we played a house party for our friends - we weren't fully formed. I was an instrumentalist still and everybody was embarrassed for us... it was on Halloween '67... and they didn't give up... then they had this incident I told you about where I got very angry and stoned at the same time. That was in the winter of '67-'68, after that we got a gig based on that and we started March '68 playing and it became me as the front man, vocalist, and that worked out better for me when I started fronting... When I started out fronting, there was this guy, HARRY PARCH, who was a big influence for me. He was a kinda beat intellectual composer. He made up all his own instruments and I would copy them, making up instruments from pots and pans, water jugs and things I found in junkyards and shit like that... so we were very experimental at first, and we got some press we didn't expect from a college newspaper... and they only knew my name as Iggy. It came from a band I was in years before as a drummer, called the IGUANAS... and I hated that. I was like, fuck that, who wants a name like IGGY, ya know? Try getting a date in 1968 and saying "Hi, my name's IGGY." People make a face, beat you up, ya know?... [laughs] It works now. People are like, "Hey, Iggy" and all smiles... something's turned. But back then... no way. So we did that and then as soon as we started getting a little feedback we became less overtly artsy and we became more rock... and then just kinda brought the other shit in...
JS: So you were
born, artistically speaking, out of one of the most radical thinking, multi-cultural,
experimentally oriented and open minded times in history - the '60s - where
everything was valid and explorable and all these new cultural experiments
and openness going on and evolving into all these new, exciting ideas and
scenes and cultural trends... and so it's interesting that in such a time
you were almost too ahead of your time to find wide acceptance or success
as an artist, even in all that liberal and apparently tolerant climate. It's
kinda ironic that now you're finally getting acceptance and even mainstream
respect today in what is probably one of the darkest, most conservative, fearful,
repressive, dummed down and creatively mediocre periods in history, in terms
of mainstream culture and popular tastes... what do you make of it this strange
turn of events?
IGGY: I dunno, I really can't figure it out myself... maybe it's like, sometimes... if you do one line of work long enough, you start to feel like you're meeting the same people again every five years. They just have a different face and a different name tag... so it's like, "don't give me your shit cuz I've met four of you already..." And then you think, "No, wait a minute, people have really evolved. Somehow a lot of information has gotten in there, somehow tolerance has taken place..." And so, maybe the average person is perhaps more tolerant, just more receptive to what were doing... I just don't know the answer to that... I don't really think about it too much...
JS: Do you believe
IGGY: I like them all... I like lotsa gods, I'm more like multi... god of the coffee cup... god of the hot chick... you know, god of all of them, there's a word for that, a little animistic... polytheistic, that's it. I guess I'm polytheistic...
JS: How bout the
god of the music business today?
IGGY: The big advance in the music business today is that they're really good now about collecting the money! Much more money, much faster... and that you don't have to get too good at what you do anymore, or stay around too long now to get filthy rich. Like when I was coming up back in the '60s, the top groups like the Stones or the Who were making high art, and they did not have any fucking money... they didn't have any fucking money, they'd have to sell their rights or borrow money from some accountant to get a house or to pretend like they were rich. Whereas now you get a group like NIRVANA, the guy got so rich he couldn't stand it and killed himself, ya know? One good pressing album... and it's a pretty good album. Pretty good... not as good as what the best groups were doing thirty years earlier, not that good, but pretty good... and whoooooh... just cuz with digital and the digital age it's really easy to track and collect the money, it's much, much easier... distribution has been centralized.
JS: And the god
of technology in the music business today?
IGGY: Well you see a big change in that the sampling technology has made it possible, in good ways, and not so good ways, for any thug to just say, "yeah, that was a good song in 1952 and nobody's done anything with it, so I'll just take that, put it on top of a drum beat, and sing about my life for other thugs." And then you get, as the world gets more and more divided into the haves, who have everything but a dick, and the have nots who only have dicks, then the haves will go out and buy that music to hear what it's like to have a dick. But meanwhile they don't have to actually give up their fancy house... it's TRUE, that is the attraction of that music... one day they put a witty sample on it, and another day they make it high fashion... and another day they make it socially relevant. But basically it's just, "ha ha, I got a dick" music. That's all it is, "and you don't, so pay up, I'm not your mom and dad. Fuck you"... [laughter] and that's it right there. "Fuck you, I'm not your mom and dad. I don't care. Just give me the fucking money." But what happens with all of that, the drum machine, it has this rigidity, it doesn't leave much breathing space in the music... and I don't believe that music will ever leave its acolytes to lasting improvements in their life... I also don't think it will have a lasting life span... I don't think that people twenty years from now are gonna be listening to, you know, "Fight For Your Right To Party," and saying, "god damn, yeaahhh, I wanna LIVE by that. That's great, yes I can see how backward I am..." I don't think so... I don't think so... so, that's the bad side of it.
JS: So how is
it, then, now that you're back working with these older dudes after all those
years working mostly with younger players? Is it a different vibe?
IGGY: Yeah, it's a totally different vibe, especially cuz the kinda people you can get when you hire are not gonna be as good as the ones when its an even Steven situation... but once you've got to the point where you've worked really hard for something, you're not gonna just walk up to any old dude and say, "hey, do you wanna share everything I've worked all my life for?"... [laughs] HELL NO. FUCK YOU, ya know? So you have people form these "super groups"... or they do what I did. They wait 'til they can get together. The guys I work with, it can be really frustrating sometimes, but... I went to high school with them... who the fuck else do I know? Ya know what I'm sayin?
“ You have to be fucking rich to have a rock band nowadays... I think that makes it hard for a lot of new bands to stay in it... ”
JS: So is it a
loyalty thing? family?
IGGY: Yeeeaaahhh... but I HATE TO ADMIT THAT... [laughs] I get those feelings, and then I think... [mechanical voice] "DANGER. THIS IS A DESTRUCTIVE, BULLSHIT FEELING. DO NOT PROCEED FURTHER. COVER YOUR BUTT IMMEDIATELY. THESE GUYS ARE NO FUCKING GOOD. THEY'RE LURKING AROUND TRYING TO SCORE POT WHILE YOU'RE GOING OVER THE SET LIST..." That sorta thing. You go back and forth...
JS: Beware of
IGGY: THAT'S RIGHT... BEWARE... [laughs] cheap sentimentality...
JS: You still
spend a lot of time touring and traveling around the world.
IGGY: It's not easy. You have to be fucking rich to have a rock band nowadays... I think that makes it hard for a lot of new bands to stay in it...
JS: But with computers
and all that new technology, can't just anybody just bypass the whole corporate
system more easily now and just put out an album?
IGGY: Yeh, well you can sure do it that way easier now... but to do the traditional instruments and shit and touring, its just cumbersome and... arghhhh, just a pain in the ass, man... [laughs]... and then you have to learn to play and sing and all that kinda shit... [more laughs] ya know?
JS: So, is rock
& roll dead now with all the corporate control of an increasingly homogenized
media globalization trend? Has it been castrated by the bigness of it all?
IGGY: I dunno man... rock & roll is kinda like a big, stupid, powerful ox, a great dumb beast, ya know. And anybody can get a ride. And once you're on it, I don't think the ox really cares that much who's on it... although somebody who knows how to ride good can do it better, maybe more like a motorcycle... you can hang so much on it, cuz it had a lot of vigor when it started, so it's kinda like an old person, like this really nasty old man with all these outdated old ideas, who somehow is still kinda outspoken and still making babies at 92... It's like that. It's sorta becoming this archaic form that still has enough vigor to sell FACE CREAM. Less REAL vigor probably than in the beginning... but more vigor than ever to sell face cream... it's also being reclaimed by the black people, which is fair enough, I think, since it was kinda stolen from them in the first place. So that's good, that's a hopeful sign. Cuz most of my life, most of the people I'd look at to try and be cool or get into anything cool would be the dark people. Much more than the whiteys. Not always, some whiteys can do it... like your father, he was one...
JS: Well, his big influences were mostly all black players too... speaking of that, I saw there was some of these hard core looking hip-hop guys at the show in Sao Paulo, who didn't look too down with the whole "rock festival" thing... but they really spoke well of you, like, "yeaahh, that guy Iggy, he's the real shit..." Well, the prose has been good, but I think we gotta go now...
"All We are Saying" airing on Showtime
Actress-turned-filmmaker Rosanna Arquette ("Searching for Debra Winger") probes the state of the music industry with this insightful documentary that features casual, intimate conversations about the state of the art with such rock luminaries as Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Peter Gabriel, Thom Yorke, David Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Elton John, Annie Lennox, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Steven Tyler, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks and Elvis Costello. Videoclip here.
Complete Iggy Pop
by Richard Adams
Publisher: Reynolds & Hearn (March 31, 2006)
Availability: Not yet been released in the USA but has been in parts of Europe. Avail thru Amazon.com.
An in-depth guide to the career and music of punk luminary and ex-Stooge frontman Iggy Pop and his rise to international stardom.Iggy Pop (aka James Osterberg of Ann Arbor) is one of rock music’s most original artists, his remarkable longevity defying the popular perceptionof him as the most excessive and self-destructive musician of his generation. Today, the walking miracle that is Iggy Pop continues to record, perform, and shock.
In The Complete Iggy Pop, music journalist Richard Adams covers the 18 studio albums—including commentary on every song, plus background information on the recording process—the David Bowie collaborations, the live albums, the semi-official albums, and the reissues of early material. All the tours and known concert dates are also recorded, as well as videos, films, TV appearances, and the re-formation of his seminal proto-punk band, the Stooges. An indispensable guide to music’s most enduring misfit.
Steve Mackay and the Radon Ensemble
Michigan and Arcturus
Some years ago, Steve Mackay, in a profound state of inquisitiveness, found himself staring into the night sky. Finally he imposed one question upon the stars, "Where am I from?" The stars, not known as garrulous entities, saw fit to answer him. "You are from Michigan... and Arcturus."
"Michigan and Arcturus" is an the extraordinary voyage of radio surfing in a beat up Michigan built car, alternately picking up distant alien transmissions and 70's rock n roll, resounding with grimy mid-western dirge and futuristic splendour.
The record documents highlights of the tremendous body of work accumulated by Steve Mackay in his numerous collaborations during the formative years of the Radon Collective. Though originating in sessions for California radio station, KFJC, the project quickly took on its own life evolving into a live band and establishing Steve as the heart of the collective.
During the past months, Mackay has torn up the road, world-wide, having played on 6 continents with the Radon Ensemble, Violent Femmes and Iggy and the Stooges. In his nearly 5 decade career, Mackay has established himself as one of the most pioneering and explorative masters of the saxophone. Having earned a reputation as one of the most acknowledged players of the instrument, all types of music listeners from free-jazz to punk rock to noise, have long awaited the release of his first fully produced solo album.
Mackay and the Radon Ensemble
Arc-tour-us 2006 USA/Europe tour
To celebrate the release of the cd, Mackay once again unites line-ups of his ever-changing Radon Ensmeble for live improvisational assaults on audiences in Europe and the USA. The live experience of Steve Mackay and the Radon Ensemble has astounded audiences with epic performances everywhere from the Derby in Hollywood to the Tonic in NYC to Radon's surrogate European home in Portugal. These events have earned even more critical acclaim for the man, who ever since he spewed a stream of chaos onto the "Funhouse" album, has been known as one of the greatest and most respected saxophone players in the business.
To buy the CD, all booking and promotional information:
Radon Booking USA/Europa
23/01/2006 09:07 contactmusic.com
Veteran rocker IGGY POP has no intention of hiding his famously lithe torso as he heads towards 60, and still wears nothing more than a pair of shorts when he goes out.
The LUST FOR LIFE legend - who is currently enjoying a resurgence after reforming influential band THE STOOGES - likes to smarten up for his live performances by donning a pair of jeans.
The 58-year-old says, "If I go off my own property, then I just wear knee-length swim trunks. Seventy-five per cent of the hours I'm in one pair of camouflage swim trunks - no shirt, no shoes. General surfer vibe.
surf, but I hang out and look like one. I wear jeans and no T-shirt when I
get tarted up to go to work."
IGGY POP BLASTS ROCKING DO-GOODERS
11/01/2006 09:45 contactmusic.com
Rock icon IGGY POP is appalled by do-good rockers like BONO, because he is convinced they aim to profit from their humanitarian actions.
The LUST FOR LIFE singer insists that peers who seem to do nothing but fight for world peace and an end to hunger, should give up their day jobs if they're truly serious about their causes.
He tells men's magazine Penthouse, "It would be easier for me to believe someone's commitment to Greenpeace if that's all they do. I mean, work for Greenpeace if you believe in Greenpeace.
I haven't done too many benefits but boy, when you do, you see the backside
of it. I hear people talking about the angles and different things they're
going to make off of it - especially the managers."
POP REFUSES TO TAKE PART IN BIOPIC
11/01/2006 02:13 contactmusic.com
IGGY POP is refusing to have anything to do with his biopic after learning LORD OF THE RINGS star ELIJAH WOOD is to play him in the project.
The punk icon has nothing against the actor, but he thinks it would be a terrible idea to get involved in his own movie life story.
He says, "The script ain't chopped liver... It was a work of art. But subjectively, I don't want to be involved in any way.
"A producer and the writer sent me a very decent letter, and asked me to write back if I didn't want them to do it... I don't feel negative about it at all."
Iggy Pop admits that, like many, he was "curious" about the casting of Wood.
He adds, "I
don't really know about him... I saw him on TV the other day, and he seems
like a very poised and talented actor."
Real Good Time With The Stooges’ Scott Asheton
Reported by: Nowland - Monday, Jan 16, 2006. 15:39
Scott Asheton is at home, 50 miles south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast of Florida. In a few weeks time he will be in Australia, headlining the Big Day Out as the drummer with Iggy and the Stooges, one of the most revered and influential bands to emerge from the sonic swamp that was 1960s Detroit. It’s been just on thirty years since the band memorably fell apart, and there is a palpable thrill in Scott’s voice as he talks about how things were back then and how good it is now.
“(When the Stooges first started) there was a point where people would come to see us because they hated us! And that was part of our appeal. It was like ‘Oh, we really hate that band. Let’s go and see them so that we can yell at them’. I had an outsider feeling, I think we all did and I think we kind of wanted that. In a world of being original and art and being creative, you have to be something that other people aren’t and do stuff that people haven’t done. So that was, I think, an important part to us, and we were happy for that reason, because we knew then that we were definitely different.”
It’s interesting to think that a band that was reviled and hated could end up being such a significant influence on music, but the Stooges always did things differently. Childhood friends James 'Iggy Pop' Osterberg and the Asheton brothers Scott (drums) and Ron (guitar) loved music, found a bass player, Dave Alexander, formed the Stooges in 1967 and set about learning some songs and how to play their instruments. But what set them apart was their understanding of the music scene at the time and their desire to be something different.
“When we first started we were a jazz band, and all the current bands (then) were rock and roll bands and we knew we couldn’t sound like them, so we were a jazz band. We’d have a motif and went ‘ready, steady, GO!’ and we would play it different all the time and we weren’t sure where it was going to go or how it was going to end, and that’s what we did. But we were jazz and our influences were like, John Coltrane, some of the older jazz greats, because we were like basically a hard rocking jazz band. I don’t know how else to put it.”
Iggy was the obvious band leader, provocateur and driving force. While Iggy Pop, as a persona and an artist, is now almost a cliché after nearly forty years, Asheton points out that when the band started there was no one to imitate and they had to choose their own path. He is quick to add that the tag ‘Godfathers of Punk’ does not sit well with him and that the band’s influence on the music scene was genuine and fitted with the artistic ambitions they had.
“I feel that there has been, probably, a few really original, genius ideas from creative people and then everybody else takes and lives (and) breathes and creates off that themselves. So, we had influences, everybody has influences, and if you’re somebody’s influence then that’s good. That’s fine. Iggy has been many, many artist’s influence and that’s good. If they want to be like Iggy, or sound like Iggy, play like Iggy, then that’s his influence and, like I say, there’s not too many totally original artists with creative ideas. But when you do find (creative ideas), music is the universal language and you’re allow to use it. Just like if you’re painting. You love the painter, you’re influenced by that painter, you want to be someone like that painter, you want to be creative. It might not be your totally original idea, but you’re still an artist. I think Iggy has laid it out for other musicians, singers and writers where they can have their turn at using their creativity with the original groundwork. I think when it comes to it, if you want to call him the Godfather of Punk, I would call him more the person who started this particular area of rock and roll and creative music as an artist.”
That creative spark also brought with it negative consequences. By 1973, they had recorded a third record (Raw Power), but sadly they were a band in decline. Alcohol, drugs and conflicts between band members all played a part in their demise. Iggy’s persona became so big that the band had changed its name to Iggy and the Stooges to reflect the pulling power of the lead singer, and this created further tension. By 1974 the band consisted of Iggy Pop, Scott and Ron Asheton and guitarist James Williamson who would accompany Iggy on his first solo foray. The inevitable split came quickly, and each of the members pursued their own projects.
Scott Asheton continued to play music with everyone from the MC5’s Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith to Radio Birdman’s
Deniz Tek, while Iggy carved a patchy, but often brilliant solo career. Throughout, Asheton was a reluctant fan of Iggy’s.
“A lot of my friends are Iggy fans, so they had been buying up his releases. Myself, I can’t really say that I followed it. There are some albums that he did that I liked and songs that I’ve heard that I’ve liked, but every time he did an album I wouldn’t run out and buy it. I had a lot of friends that would do that.”
After the break-up, the relationships between the band members went from bad to worse. When Iggy remixed Raw Power to bring it into line with the compact disc era, he took a swipe at Asheton brothers in the liner notes and any speculation about a reunion sounded absurd and totally unimaginable. However, the icy relations started to thaw in the late nineties, the band unravelled the myriad of distractions that kept them from making music together and they realised that there was still a musical and artistic contribution that only the Stooges could offer. As Scott explains, “(Iggy) is an artist. He’s been doing his thing for many years. My brother has kept playing too. I was playing some shows with J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr and Mike Watt and my brother. We were going really well and we were doing some shows over in Europe. I think Jim (Asheton often refers to Iggy by his original name) got word that these guys were rockin’ hard and sounding good. So I think maybe he kind of wanted to get the band back together after that.”
After recruiting Minutemen bass player, Mike Watt, the Stooges were back and so were the fans. Many hadn’t been around when the Stooges first emerged and their only experience was discovering the old records and listening to the gory stories from the road. This rebirth was a different experience for the band. From being despised pioneers of a brand new sound, they were now one of the most revered groups in the world. So is it better now?
“Well, everything was good back then and we had our fans who grew up with us. Now we have the younger generation and that brings us up to date. Yes, it’s better now, because we have the people we’ve had before who liked us, and now we have the younger generation, who are interested.
“I’m just happy for the people, and I get my energy from them, and I get my energy from Iggy and from Mike Watt, you know, and (when) the band’s rocking hard. My brother is rocking the solos, and I get my feelings and my happiness and my energy from the music. That’s where it comes to me from. I’m mostly happy when the people are happy. It makes me feel good because it’s something that they wanted and (something) that we’re able to let them have."
While the music is the same, and the original nucleus of the band remains unchanged this is a much happier experience for Scott, especially the chance to tour Australia.
“We jam a hard set. We… open it up and we rock hard all through the set. It’s not like a bunch of old men needing to take a break. We’re looking forward to (playing the Big Day Out) and I always enjoy it when the people enjoy it, and I know they will. I think everyone is going to have a good time. It’s a very exciting show. Iggy is in top form; he’s in great condition. No one is dependent on drugs, so we’re not tired. We take it serious. We’re going to give…(what) the people want. That’s what makes me feel good. I know Australia has never seen Iggy and the Stooges. It’s going to make me feel great to be part of it. So let’s let them have it!”
Scott Asheton is happy that the band is in such great form, and why wouldn’t he be? After springing the ultimate surprise and reforming, there are more revelations in store after the Australian tour is finished.
“We’re putting together and album after this tour. We have a bunch of songs that were working on. We have a lot of material that we’ve been working on for the last year and a lot of it is traditionally ‘Stooge’ sounding. Some of it is newer sounding, but it is not straying far away. It’s the way the band is.”
Talking to Scott it’s obvious that this year’s Big Day Out is going to be something special.
“I hope to see you there…and tell everyone they’re going to have a real good time.”
PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS – THE GODFATHER OF PUNK - IGGY POP
February 2006 Issue
(Boca Raton, FL – January 12, 2006) He claims that he “still acts like a cat on acid” after every show – even though his 58 year-old body is completely sore, but IGGY POP, the “Godfather of Punk,” is an ageless rocker who recently reunited with his band The Stooges. Back on tour again, Iggy doesn’t sleep much (that happens when he absorbs the crowds’ energy), so he recently took a break from performing to chat with celebrity interviewer Chaunce Hayden for the February Penthouse interview. Alas, Penthouse readers will discover that Mr. Pop is still quite explosive about subjects such as drugs, U2 lead singer Bono, New York City and so-called white music.
Some choice quotes from Iggy include: “People are starving in general, especially when you get to white music, which just increasingly sucks. U2 is a good band. There is a certain kind of reassuring white rock and some people do well with that.” On New York and its’ music scene: “I think the worse NY is doing, both socially and economically, the better the music. Unfortunately, it seems like NY is doing awfully well these days!” Iggy’s sound bites don’t stop there and this article is a must-read, even if you’ve never even heard of The Stooges!
Out 2006: Iggy and the Stooges play New Zealand and Australia
Read all about the warm reception the Stooges received on a separate page devoted to BDO here.
with Elijah Wood
Josef Krebs talks to the actor about his directing ambitions, multichannel music, and playing Iggy Pop
Well, thank you very
I like Sound & Vision. I'm not quite the home theater guy, but I'm aspiring to be [laughs].
Do you have a home
I don't. I'm still getting everything sorted out at my house, so I've only got a DVR, a DVD player, and a TV. I don't have a speaker system yet. Because it's a small living room in a small house, I'm not going to build anything elaborate. I'm probably going to get a basic setup for surround sound.
I believe you're a
music fan, too.
I'm a huge music fan. I haven't counted in a while, but I know I've got over 3,000 CDs. My record collection is a lot less than my CD collection, but I do love vinyl as well. I actually got a Victrola last December - I'm starting a collection of 78s.
Have you gotten into
multichannel music at all?
Since I don't have a setup for it yet, I've only really discovered it through other people's systems. But it's fascinating to me - the 5.1 mix of Pet Sounds and Dark Side of the Moon and Downward Spiral. The first time I heard a multichannel mix played on a good system was at Abbey Road Studios. They were recording the score for The Lord of the Rings there. I went upstairs, where they had a large mixing board and a pretty amazing sound system - all high-end B&W speakers - that they'd used to make 5.1 mixes for the Beatles' Anthology DVDs. The guy who did the mixes [Peter Cobbin] played me "A Day in the Life" in surround, at full volume - and, my God, it was like hearing the song for the first time. The separation of instruments and vocals and everything was so clear. As a result of that experience, I want to get my system set up so I can listen to discs like that.
What audio gear do
I have a Technics 1200 turntable, a Marantz CD changer, and a Denon home theater receiver, but they're all put away at the moment. I just have my iPod connected to a tiny receiver, and I've connected my old Bose speakers to that.
I heard you're starting
your own record label.
I'm in the process of it, yeah. It's called Simian Records. Being a huge fan, I just thought it would be an interesting way to contribute to music without being in a band or putting out my own music. I don't write or really play music, so the idea of finding and cultivating bands to release music I believe in and I think people should hear seemed like a really pure and interesting project.
Have you signed anyone
Sort of - not officially. I'm working with about four bands, but because the infrastructure of the label itself isn't yet set up, I can't really say that I've signed anyone. It's nice to work on something different, though, to build something from the ground up that's my own and is different from what I do day to day.
I hear you're also
I've been a gamer all my life, but it's not something I devote a lot of time to. I've pretty much got every game system, though. I'll buy a game and play it five days straight, and then not play it for months. But if it's a story-based game, I tend to get into it and play it straight through until the end.
What was the last game
you did that with?
I believe it was the last Silent Hill game: The Room.
Do you have a big library
Relatively large - somewhere between 200 and 300 DVDs. Not crazy.
What have you watched
I just watched a documentary of the last tour of a band, called Beulah: A Good Band Is Easy to Kill. I watched an Iggy Pop documentary . . .
You're going to star
as him in The Passenger, right?
Right. I came across the script about a year ago and fell in love with it. The writer and director, Nick Gomez, really wanted me to be a part of the film. I'm very excited but, obviously, it's daunting as well. I'm a huge fan of the Stooges and Iggy Pop. The weight of playing someone I and millions of others admire is definitely not lost on me. But I think it will be an incredible tribute to him, particularly because it focuses mainly on the Stooges, a band that just now seems to be getting its due.
Do you watch a lot
of music-related DVDs?
No, not necessarily - those are just the ones I've watched recently. The last DVD I watched was the Criterion Collection edition of Videodrome.
you a David Cronenberg fan?
Yes, I do like his work - particularly his early stuff. I haven't seen A History of Violence yet.
you watch a movie, do you just kick back and enjoy it, or do you study what
the actors are doing?
I just kick back and enjoy. Even when I watch something I've done, I tend to look at the entire film and let it wash over me because I'm much more interested in how the movie turned out than my performance specifically. I don't get too anal about watching a performance. It's certainly something I appreciate, but I don't overly analyze it.
there any actor whose work you've collected on DVD?
No. If anything, I collect DVDs of a filmmaker - not that I'm not as interested in performance or actors, but I tend to be more fascinated by specific directors.
were a child star, so how come you haven't become a debauched tabloid headline?
[laughs] I started really young, so I saw the negative side of the business from the perspective of someone who's too young to get involved with it. And by the time I was old enough, it didn't really interest me. Also, I have an amazing mother and a really solid family base, so I had a strong sense of myself and of reality. I guess that's why I was able to get through all that unscathed.
you drawn to the soccer hooligans in Greenstreet Hooligans because you didn't
experience anything crazy like that?
No, no. [laughs] Hooligans was interesting to be involved in just because of the subject matter. It did give me the opportunity to play a character that was unlike anything I'd played before.
Schreiber directed you in Everything Is Illuminated, and you're going to be
in Emilio Estevez's Bobby. Do you like being directed by a fellow actor?
Everything Is Illuminated was actually the second time - I also acted in Ash Wednesday with Ed Burns directing. There's something really nice about working with an actor, because it's someone you can relate to. There's a comfort level in your performance because it's being guided by someone who knows the craft. Working with Liev was fascinating because watching a peer directing for the first time gave me great insight into an experience I've never had.
you have had some experience as an assistant director on The Long and Short
of It - the short film actor Sean Astin made while you were doing The Lord
of the Rings.
Oh, yes - I was director/co-producer [laughs].
you have ambitions to direct a film yourself?
It's something I'd like to do. I love the whole process of filmmaking. In some ways, I've been going to film school for the last 16 years, and I've had the pleasure of working with so many incredible filmmakers. All of them have been so different, so I feel like I've learned a lot. I imagine the process of getting to the point of making a film will be relatively organic. I'm not looking for a piece to direct right now, but I think that when it's right, it will happen.
you prefer smaller independent movies like Illuminated and Hooligans?
If the story and the role are incredible, it's irrelevant whether it's a large-budget movie or not. But there's something really gratifying about working on a small film. Everyone's involved because they're passionate about the project. It certainly doesn't allow any room for anything but passion because there's no money or time. So a wonderful unification happens, creating a group that works very closely together to make the film. I like being a part of that tight-knit infrastructure. Ultimately, if the film ends up being what you want it to be, it's that much more gratifying because you know what it took to get there.
you stay in touch with Peter Jackson and your fellow Hobbits?
Absolutely. Those are ties that cannot be cut. At this point, it transcends friendship. We're all kind of family. So even though we're not talking to each other all the time, a couple of months can go by and when you see the person, it's like no time has passed. Four or five months ago, I flew out to New Zealand and spent like a week in Wellington, visiting with everyone and seeing Peter, and it was nice.
you prefer to see movies in theaters or to watch them at home?
Ultimately, I prefer the movie-theater experience. I love the ritual of going to a movie, and all that entails: getting your popcorn and drink, sitting down, watching the trailer. It's an important experience, and there's an audience there reacting with you. You don't get that at home. There are benefits to the privacy of home, too - people can't distract you, and you can make sure the picture is perfect. It's looking like sooner, rather than later, we'll be able to get first-run movies at home at the same time as at the theater. I just hope that there'll be a special place in people's hearts for the movie-theater experience, because it would be a shame to see it die out.
with Patrick Emery at the i94 bar, posted Dec. 20th, 2005 here.
Published: 07 December 2005
It was 25 years tomorrow that John Lennon was shot dead in New York, and to commemorate the anniversary, Yoko Ono revisits the night he died and asks those who knew him best to recall his amazing life and times
"When John passed away so suddenly that night, I felt as though half of me flew away with him. My body, especially my knees, shook so badly. I had to hold on to a friend to walk out of the hospital.
Spring came and went. Summer. I was surprised that the leaves were shining so intensely when John was no more. It seemed like a crime that everything else was still so alive. Fall was beautiful. And winter. I realised then that the winters would be hard for some time...
People always ask me when I will write about my life with John. I repeat my answer that I'm not ready yet. Will I ever be ready? I don't feel I would be. I feel I could not open my heart while it's still shaking."
"I met John in Hong Kong in 1977. He was travelling with Sean, who was about two years old, and was on his way to meet Yoko in Japan. I was with David Bowie and Coco Schwab, his friend and PA, on our way back to Europe from Japan, after a rock tour of my stuff... A pair of elevator doors opened, and he stood in the hotel foyer, wearing a basketball jersey that was way too big, and he gave David a very big hug and a kind of laughing, greeting smile. I was surprised to see an English industry giant exhibit such warmth. Also to see him in a basketball jersey was super-cool (pardon my fandom).
We went to dinner a couple of times, the four of us, after Sean was in bed for the night. Also to a topless bar once, and once to tea at a snooty country club. He really knew how to sound off when he wanted to, and at each of the latter two destinations he rose to his feet to half-yell, half-chortle: "Have you ever heard of The Beatles?" when service was not forthcoming. I think he enjoyed this. I know I did."
Extracted from 'Memories of John Lennon', edited by Yoko Ono Lennon, published by Sutton Publishing, order online at www.independentbooksdirect.co.uk
Iggy Pop e Stooges esquentam Claro Que É Rock com sucessos dos primórdios do punk
27/11/2005 - 00h41da Redação
O cantor Iggy Pop e a banda Stooges conseguiram finalmente esquentar a noite fria paulistana, com o show mais animado do Claro Que É Rock, para um público de aproximadamente de 21.500 pessoas, segundo funcionários que controlavam as catracas, na virada de sábado para domingo (27).
À frente da lendária banda protopunk, o cantor de 58 anos rebolou, se atirou ao chão e se jogou na platéia, num show de cerca de uma hora e meia, só com sucessos do grupo, como "Dirt", "1969" e "Fun House".
Durante a música "I Wanna Be Your Dog", Iggy desistiu de ajeitar a cintura de sua justíssima calça azul cobalto, e cantou com metade da bunda de fora, no melhor estilo popozuda. Durante "Real Cool", cerca de 30 pessoas subiram ao palco, atendendo ao chamado do cantor, para desespero dos seguranças, e dançaram junto com ele.
No meio do tumulto, Iggy sentou-se na beira do palco elevado e cantou "No Fun", enquanto fãs, no palco, passavam a mão em sua cabeleira aloirada. Quase ao fim do show, depois de cantar "Doll", Iggy se jogou na platéia e foi carregado pelo público que estava próximo ao palco, antes de ser "resgatado" pelos seguranças.
Ao voltar para o bis, "Not Right", mandou apagar as luzes do palco e acender as da platéia: "Quero ver vocês", gritou. E o público delirou.
Iggy Pop é um dos principais expoentes do rock do final dos anos 60, e é considerado, juntamente com os Stooges, um precursor do rock punk por seu som pesado e direto, mas principalmente por sua performance em palco.
O grupo e o cantor se separaram em 1973, após cinco anos de carreira e depois de terem lançado três discos, "The Stooges" (1969), "Fun House" (1970) e "Raw Power" (1973).
A partir do fim dos Stooges, Iggy abraçou uma bem sucedida carreira solo, impusinada por seus dois primeiros discos sem a banda, "The Idiot" e "Lust for Life", ambos de 77, produzidos por David Bowie.
Em 2003, Iggy reuniu os dois integrantes remanescentes dos Stooges, Ron (guitarrista) e Scott Asheton (baterista), para uma participação especial em seu disco "Skull Ring" e saiu com eles em turnê. No lugar do baixista Dave Alexander, morto em 1975, a banda se apresenta atualmente com Mike Watt.
Depois de Iggy e os Stooges, apresentaram-se no Claro Que É Rock, na madrugada de domingo (27), o Sonic Youth e o Nine Inch Nails, que encerrou o festival.
Veja abaixo o repertório
do show de Iggy Pop e os Stooges no Claro Que É Rock:
"I Wanna Be Your Dog"
"I Wanna Be Your Dog"
Veja abaixo a relação
de grupos que se apresentaram no festival:
Ronei Jorge e os Ladrões de Bicicleta
The Flaming Lips
Iggy Pop e os Stooges
Nine Inch Nails
Que É Rock reúne 25 mil pessoas em SP; Iggy Pop se destaca
Domingo, 27 de novembro de 2005, 10h02 Atualizada às 16h16
Cerca de 25 mil pessoas
se reuniram neste sábado (26) para uma maratona de mais de 12 horas
de música no festival Claro Que É Rock, com destaque para a
apresentação de Iggy Pop.
O evento começou às 15h, com a apresentação de oito bandas em início de carreira, selecionadas pelo festival durante eliminatórias realizadas em diversas cidades do País em abril passado.
À frente da lendária banda Stooges, o cantor Iggy Pop, 58 anos, fez o show mais animado do Claro Que É Rock, com os sucessos Dirt, 1969, Fun House, Real Cool, Not Right, No Fun e I Wanna Be Your Dog.
Perto do fim do show, depois de cantar Doll, Iggy se jogou na platéia e foi carregado pelo público que estava próximo ao palco, antes de ser "resgatado" pelos seguranças.
Iggy Pop é um dos principais expoentes do rock do final dos anos 60. Juntamente com os Stooges, é considerado um precursor do rock punk por seu som pesado e direto e por sua performance em palco.
O grupo e o cantor se separaram em 1973, após cinco anos de carreira e depois de terem lançado três discos, The Stooges (1969), Fun House (1970) e Raw Power (1973).
O festival trouxe ainda Good Charlotte, os veteranos do Sonic Youth, Fantômas, Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop com os Stooges e o Nine Inch Nails, entre outros.
Entre as trações nacionais, estavam os gaúchos do Cachorro Grande e os pernambucanos da Nação Zumbi.
Ao final da maratona de mais de 12 horas, que terminou às 3h15, foi anunciada a banda vencedora, dentre as oito que se apresentaram no início do evento. O prêmio ficou para a banda gaúcha Cartolas.
Além de ser
convidado a abrir a edição carioca do festival, o grupo ganhou
a gravação de um disco, dois videoclipes e uma van para excursionar
e fazer shows pelo Brasil.
invadem show de Iggy Pop
No início da madrugada deste domingo, fãs invadiram o palco durante o show do cantor americano Iggy Pop, no festival Claro Q é Rock, na Chácara Jockey. Iggy cantava No Fun, clássico de sua banda dos anos 70, quando os fãs começaram a subir e agarrá-lo. Algumas pessoas também dançaram com seus músicos e a situação parecia, em dado momento, fora do controle, pois mais pessoas da platéia continuavam subindo e os seguranças não conseguiam contê-las. A alguns, Iggy oferecia o microfone, para cantarem versos. Mas tudo correu bem e todo mundo desceu ao final da música.
O show de Iggy Pop é até agora o ponto alto do festival, apesar de alguns problemas. Na primeira música, a luz não funcionou e Iggy ficou invisível nos telões. Ele cantou com sua banda The Stooges, com a qual não excursionava havia 30 anos. Músicas como I Wanna Be Your Dog e Dirty empolgaram o público, que cantava junto. Em Fun House, o grupo (bateria, baixo e guitarra) recebeu o reforço de um saxofonista. Vestindo apenas uma calça muito justa, o músico, de 58 anos, jogou-se no chão, subiu nas caixas de som simulando sexo e desceu até o meio dos fotógrafos.
goes as planned, but visitors not disappointed
By James Geluso
Midway through his headlining performance, punk legend Iggy Pop decided he needed some dancers onstage. So he stopped the song and told the bouncers to let the people in the front row come up and join him.
Within minutes, a few dozen people were dancing madly on stage while two of the bouncers tried to keep the singer from being knocked over.
The on-stage mosh pit only lasted for a song and a half, but it was a hilarious and fitting end to a Bumbershoot full of surprises.
Iggy and the Stooges was one of about 150 musical acts that played throughout the four-day weekend music festival, now in its 35th year. An estimated 150,000 people visited Seattle Center during the four days to sample everything from musical acts, comedy, films and art exhibitions to parades and an assortment of street performers.
The Stooges weren't the last act of Bumbershoot. The band wrapped up about 20 minutes earlier than the advertised 11 p.m. end time, while Michael Franti and Spearhead were still pounding away well past their scheduled ending time on the central Bumbrella stage.
lands Iggy Pop role
04/09/2005 - 3:30:28 PM
The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has landed the role of a young Iggy Pop in a new movie but he's terrified of the prospect of portraying the outrageous punk icon.
Wood will start shooting the top-secret film in 2006 and he admits he's getting more nervous as the start date approaches.
He says: "I'm scared to death of doing it, because I love him (Iggy Pop) so much and I respect the music so much. I don't ant to be the person responsible for screwing that up."
'Real Cool Time' as Iggy Pop shares the stage with his fans
By BILL WHITE
SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Bumbershoot is notorious for bringing dormant legends back to life, and Monday night's closing concert on the Mainstage may well have topped them all.
Iggy Pop promised the crowd a real cool time, and gave them just that. Without introduction, he and The Stooges, with Minuteman Mike Watt on bass, bolted onto the stage and lit into "Loose," first of a dozen classics from the band's first two albums.
Wearing nothing but a pair of tight, low-slung blue jeans and topped with a mop of straight bleached blonde hair, Iggy shimmied like an epileptic scarecrow while interjecting hoots, whelps and wild-animal sounds into lyrics such as 1969's "It's another year for me and you / Another year with nothing to do."
For "Real Cool Time," Iggy invited the whole city up to the stage. It took awhile to break down security's defenses, but his persistent demand to "Let 'em up!" was finally heard. By the time he got to "No Fun," more than 50 kids had mobbed the stage. Getting them off would have presented a problem to one with less finesse, but Iggy took care of it with the simple suggestion that it was time for them all to go have a Coca-Cola.
A funk-powered version of "Fun House," complete with James Brown feints and flourishes, was followed by theatrical excesses of "Dead Rock Star," from the 2002 comeback, "Skull Ring." but a quick recovery was made with the backbeat driven "Little Doll," and a reprise of "I Wanna Be Your Dog."
Unlike many of the haughtier rock performers of today, Iggy played to the crowd, sharing his world with them, and even jumping into theirs when the occasion presented itself.
The other closing night Mainstage act, Seattle's Mudhoney, proudly displayed its lineage with a show of Northwest rock that put the metal edge to a garage-tested formula. It is a testament of the band's uncompromising devotion to rock 'n' roll basics that its new songs sound just as good as the old ones. This is not a band in crisis, but a band that endures. Its 45-minute set, which opened with 1992's "Suck You Dry," climaxed in a chaos of noise and velocity.
From: Press Association
From correspondents in London
September 01, 2005
Back at work ... Madonna / AP MADONNA stepped back into the limelight as she shrugged off her horse riding injury to return to work.
even ensured she sported a stylish sling to match her thick black coat and
boots on one of the hottest days of the year.
The star was on set at Shepperton Studios in west London where she is shooting a television commercial for Motorola.
Without a hair out of place the singer appeared to be making a remarkable recovery after falling from a galloping horse.
She suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hand in the fall on the 485ha estate at her country residence Ashcombe House in Tollard Royal, Wilts.
She had been celebrating her birthday with husband Guy Ritchie and children Lourdes, aged eight, and five-year-old Rocco.
Madonna was treated
in the accident and emergency department of Salisbury Hospital before being
released the same night.
The 'Queen of Pop' signed a £1 million mega deal to star in TV ads for phone giant Motorola - alongside rock legend Iggy Pop, The Sun reports.
She turned up to shoot the ad in Surrey yesterday.
Promotion Sign Up Iggy Pop, Madonna and Little Richard
05 September 05
Pop stars are falling over themselves to fill their pockets with corporate cash as the Apple/Motorola iTunes phone promotion machine switches into overdrive.
Motorola has already waved their weighty wad in the direction of Madonna, Iggy Pop and a host of other music stars who have all been sufficiently tempted to associate their faces with the iTunes phone.
An article on the Marketing news Website Brand Republic reports that: "Motorola has signed an artist from every generation to appear in the ads, including Little Richard, Bootsy Collins, Lil' John, The White Stripes, Sleater-Kinney, Sum 41, Mya, Pussycat Dolls and Billie Joe from Green Day."
The company are still negotiating with Alanis Morissette and The Bravery.
Serious underground tremors are expected around Jimi Hendrix's burial site as the rock legend will no doubt reach maximum graveyard revolutions on the news that a look-a-like has been booked to perform in the ads.
Apparently, all the pop stars will be seen singing in a phone box in the adverts.
The Brand Republic article goes on to say that, "The ads may debut from next week, at the same time the Motorola phone with iPod personal music system is launched."
The iTunes-supporting phone is rumoured to be called the Motorola Rokr and will be made available in two models offering 512MB or 1GB of storage.
The 'iPhone' is expected to be announced by Apple at a press conference on 7th September.
THE STOOGES CAUSE
STAGE INVASION IN LONDON
THE STOOGES made a chaotic return to LONDON last night when they caused a stage invasion at their HAMMERSMITH APOLLO show (August 30).
Following their appearance at The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals last weekend (August 26-28), the band were joined by over forty fans as they tore through their second album ’Funhouse’.
During set-closer ’No Fun’ the reformed punk pioneers – led by Iggy Pop - invited the crowd to storm the stage.
Beer, cigarettes and underwear were all thrown in the dramatic finale from the returning heroes, whilst Pop was swamped by stage-invaders as they scrambled to touch the singer and sing into his microphone.
The band ripped through each track from the 1970 LP ’Funhouse’ including ’Down On The Street’, ’Loose’, ’TV Eye’, ’Dirt’, ’1970’, ’Fun House’ and ’LA Blues’.
The group – including guitarist Ron Asheton, bassist Mike Watt and drummer Scott Asheton - also played a selection of songs from their 1969 self-titled debut including ’I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ’1969’.
The gig was part of the ’Don’t Look Back’ series of gigs in which a band plays one of their seminal albums in full. Upcoming shows include performances from Belle And Sebastian, The Lemonheads and Mudhoney.
Big fun with Iggy
Reviewed by John Aizlwood, Evening Standard (31 August 2005)
Don't Look Back: The Stooges performing Fun House
A quarter of a century ago, The Stooges' discordant, shouty but inspired and inspirational second album, Fun House, was released to universal disinterest.
Now, Stooges singer Iggy Pop has an intermittently distinguished solo career behind him, Jack White of The White Stripes pretends Fun House is his favourite album, and it is regarded as a cornerstone of popular music. Inevitably, the truth is somewhere in between.
Last night, opening the Don't Look Back series before a fearsome, rabidly intense audience, three Stooges, plus occasional saxophonist Steven Mackay and stand-in bassist Mike Watt, played Fun House from beginning to end, in running order.
They cynically finished with the title track of Pop's current album, Skull Ring, and encored with another unwanted recent effort and most of the self-titled Stooges debut.
The Stooges were rock music's primal scream and time has not dimmed their savagery. Tiny, topless, foul-mouthed but with Sunsilk advertisement hair, Pop was a dervish, constantly pelted with plastic glasses and various, unidentified liquids.
He was in his scabrous element, mounting the speakers during the opening Down on the Street, before smearing himself with what may have been real blood. He ended the evening with his curiously feminine buttocks hanging outside his skin-tight trousers.
Meanwhile, however Ron Asheton - the guitarist who established the musical template for punk - has spent his post-Stooges years, his girth suggested he has not gone hungry. His playing, though, unfussy but head-spinningly powerful, was ravenous, while his brother Scott offered a masterclass in minimalist drumming.
The crowd eagerly
accepted Pop's invitation to invade the stage during the first encore. Yet
for all the ensuing anarchy, there was order and The Stooges completed No
Fun and Real Cool Time without missing a note or losing stage equipment. Extraordinary:
but not as extraordinary as what had preceded it.
blast of joy, lust and madness from the past
David Cheal reviews The Stooges at the Hammersmith Apollo
In 1970 four young men from Detroit recorded a noisy, chaotic album called Fun House.
No blood, but plenty of sweat and fun: Iggy Pop
Not many people bought it at the time, but those with an interest in rock genealogy are generally agreed that it was this record, more than any other, that set the template for what was to become known in mid-'70s London as punk rock.
The men in question were the Stooges, they were fronted by a pouting loon called Iggy Pop who had a reputation for rubbing strange things into his chest during the band's shows - peanut butter, glass - and 35 years later they came to London for one night, as part the Don't Look Back season of gigs presented by concert promoters All Tomorrow's Parties, to play the album in its entirety. And they were sensational.
This was a raw, exfoliating blast of rage, joy, madness and lust, an extraordinary recapturing of the original album's visceral power, a celebration of the sheer physical force of loud guitar music at its best - not the lumpen, frenetic ramalama silliness that characterised so much punk rock in the '70s but something altogether darker, dirtier, sleazier.
The band were brilliant. Ron Asheton on guitar, his brother Scott on drums and bassist Mike Watt (replacing Dave Alexander, who drank himself to death in 1975) played with awesome elemental power, while saxophonist Steve Mackay's honking interjections were crucial to the simmering jazzy stew of Fun House's title track.
And although Mr Pop himself is now 58, mere age was not going to stop him from skipping and prancing and writhing and throwing himself around the stage and hurling himself into the audience, from whose clutches he had to be dragged by the security staff like men rescuing a quicksand victim.
There was no blood, no glass, no peanut butter, but plenty of sweat, and a hint of indecent exposure as Iggy unbuckled his jeans and pulled them down over his hips and carried on prancing. His voice was fantastic, ranging from an unearthly screech on TV Eye to a quavering baritone on Dirt.
After they'd played the album they did more Stooges classics such as 1969, I Wanna Be Your Dog and No Fun. When Iggy invited fans up to join him, they responded by turning the stage into a cavorting mass of freaks, weirdos and portly ex-punks.
And he spoke for many in the crowd when he emerged from the seething scrum and said: "We're amazed to be here. We're amazed to be anywhere."
Iggy & The Stooges
Apollo, London, 30 August 2005
M'lud, they say the rock 'n' roll lifestyle leads to an early grave. But, if it would please the court, I give you the case of one James Newell Osterburg of Ann Arbor, Michigan, more familiar to the masses as one Iggy Pop, who contradicts said homily. Born 1947, there are many, with good reason, who thought he would never make it past 1970.
Many thought the same of his partners in grime, initially known as The Psychedelic Stooges, then truncated to just simply The Stooges. Indeed, one such Stooge, David Alexander did come to an unfortunate end, some time before the legend of said Stooges came to be feted through lands near and far.
As for Mr Pop and original Stooges Scott and Ron Asheton, they have reunited after a fallow period in advance of thirty years. Prowling the land once more, they came to London's Hammersmith Apollo and did fuse snorty lust into the basest metal. Base it may be, but it has proved to be a hardy element, its unstable molecular structure still glowing with atom-splitting potential after all these years. Half-life doesn't even begin to do it justice.
As much driven by the mechanised sounds from Henry Ford's Detroit pressing plant as jazz, blues and 'the British invasion', The Stooges managed to record three-long playing albums before the symptoms of LA Blues, that of infamy and indulgence, saw the end of a once gloriously chaotically cohesive unit. The second of such efforts, that of Fun House came to be celebrated in West London this Summer's end, up from the panicky grit 'n' bluster of Down On The Street through to the firehouse blare of those LA Blues.
And here, m'lud, is the damning evidence: that despite commonly held opinion, rock 'n' roll in its most raw of forms can fortify the individual into the rudest of all possible health. Mr Pop may stalk the stage like a turkey on steroids squawking round a zombie birdhouse, but it be the most muscular of all fouls.
With chest bared proudly, and the tightest pants seen since the last performance of the Nutcracker suite, Iggy rose again and again from the Metallic TKO. As his pants drooped lower and lower around his builder's bum, the manic rabble annexed the stage. But this was no foul inquisition: all praised the Emperor Gluteus Maximus.
Once hornblower Steve Mackay dropped in for 1970, the noise fair blew these Igs into space, turning Fun House's most mannered effort into scorched, two-chorded apocalyptic testimony. With Mackay in tow, there was no turning back. Hammering through I Wanna Be Your Dog, Baby Doll and Skull Ring, Mr Pop's animal energy waned not.
So it is I ask the jury to consider this Mr Pop, a man of just 58 years. A man who once cut himself with glass just to give an audience voyeuristic kicks, a man who retired to a decadent Berlin to get away from chemical temptation, and here he is. Your honour, it is my belief that Mr Pop is in possession of the elixir of life, shooting in pulses through his veins. Good people, for evidence one may merely glance at any of Mr Pop's contemporaries. A dustman perhaps, an MP, or even, if the court permits it, a judge.
And the gig? M'lud, on my oath, it were mental.
- Steve Hands
Iggy Pop And The Stooges, Hammersmith Apollo, London
8 September 2005
By Nick Hasted
Published: 01 September 2005
Seeing The Stooges' name on the one-time Hammersmith Odeon's marquee, 30 years after they split, feels like an eerie warp in time. When the band made their London debut at another legendary Seventies venue, the Scala, in 1972, their singer Iggy Pop's violent glamour helped throw down seeds for British punk.
Expectation for the reunited band outweighs their historic lustre. This is because the first two of The Stooges' three albums are still suspended at the heart of anything that calls itself punk: raw, primal, sexual rock'n'roll that nothing has yet overtaken.
The sense that The Stooges have walked straight out of 1975 into this venue is driven home by every move Iggy Pop makes. His sinewy, topless body is ageless. Humping and riding the speaker stacks, he is the iconic sleeve of Raw Power brought to life. When, on "Dirt", he clutches imaginary dust from the air, then arches his back unnaturally as he leans forward into the crowd, we are witnessing sexual rock stagecraft from another era. Iggy learnt from watching Jim Morrison, after all. The Stooges' dark psychedelic strum behind him also bares witness to the time when they began. But the preceding "TV Eye", in which drummer Scott Asheton booms a vast beat, and his brother Ron studiously rasps another note, reminds you how they wrenched that time out of shape.
The different kinds of confrontational disorder The Stooges deal in then coalesce on "Fun House", as the band hit a perfect moment of Free Jazz breakdown, and Iggy swan-dives straight into the crowd. With Fun House exhausted, the Stooges blast through most of their debut for the encore. The ominous abnegation of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" sees Iggy sink into the crowd again. But for "Real Cool Time", he then takes his constitutional trust in chaos and his fans to the limit by demanding a stage invasion. Swiftly, it's swamped by flailing, dancing fansmany violently grabbing the singer, who seems to relish their roughness. The Stooges are now living history: rock's ongoing essence.
Seeing The Stooges' name on the one-time Hammersmith Odeon's marquee, 30 years after they split, feels like an eerie warp in time. When the band made their London debut at another legendary Seventies venue, the Scala, in 1972, their singer Iggy Pop's violent glamour helped throw down seeds for British punk.
Expectation for the reunited band outweighs their historic lustre. This is because the first two of The Stooges' three albums are still suspended at the heart of anything that calls itself punk: raw, primal, sexual rock'n'roll that nothing has yet overtaken.
The sense that
The Stooges have walked straight out of 1975 into this venue is driven home
by every move Iggy Pop makes. His sinewy, topless body is ageless. Humping
and riding the speaker stacks, he is the iconic sleeve of Raw Power brought
to life. When, on "Dirt", he clutches imaginary dust from the air,
then arches his back unnaturally as he leans forward into the crowd, we are
witnessing sexual rock stagecraft from another era. Iggy learnt from watching
Jim Morrison, after all. The Stooges' dark psychedelic strum behind him also
bares witness to the time when they began. But the preceding "TV Eye",
in which drummer Scott Asheton booms a vast beat, and his brother Ron studiously
rasps another note, reminds you how they wrenched that time out of shape.
The different kinds of confrontational disorder The Stooges deal in then coalesce on "Fun House", as the band hit a perfect moment of Free Jazz breakdown, and Iggy swan-dives straight into the crowd. With Fun House exhausted, the Stooges blast through most of their debut for the encore. The ominous abnegation of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" sees Iggy sink into the crowd again. But for "Real Cool Time", he then takes his constitutional trust in chaos and his fans to the limit by demanding a stage invasion. Swiftly, it's swamped by flailing, dancing fansmany violently grabbing the singer, who seems to relish their roughness. The Stooges are now living history: rock's ongoing essence.
& the Stooges
Reading Festival 2005 review
review by Scott Williams
Blond hair, tanned exposed torso and blue jeans, he throws himself about the stage kicking and screaming, he’s wiry, he’s athletic and he’s screaming that “He took a ride” and more and more people are joining the crowd. Then he starts making monkey noises and screeching during ‘No Walls’ before saying, “We’re the Stooges, we’re happy, happy to be here, happy to be anywhere.”
The Stooges are on good form hammering out the stark single-note volleys on ‘1969’ as Iggy throws himself over the stage kicking and hollering “Another year for me and you, Another year of nothin’ to do” giving us hardly time to applaud before telling us. “I wanna be a dog!” and dropping to his knees in the sunshine and barking. The Stooges build a punishing wall of noise.
He jumps into the pit and parades before the crowd and throws the microphone behind him before leaping up to finish the song and raking his fingers acroos his chest drawing blood. “Happy f**kin’ sunny holiday.” He yells to the moving crowd. ‘Keep that TV on me’ and still thrashing ‘Dirt’ follows while he prances like a stallion, jumping and then rolling across the stage.
Just before ‘Real Cool Time’ he calls everyone on stage, but fortunately for the security no one tries it. He then mounts one of the cameras and says, ‘TV Sucks’. Then referring to the pit and the space to the crowd he says, “It’s no fun to be on my own.” Security ignore him as he breaks into ‘Rock N Roll Fun’ he climbs out to the barrier, chest now red to sing it.
Pete Doherty is such an amateur at these kind of antics by comparison. “I feel alright, alright ‘til I’m blown away!” yells Iggy and throws a bottle of water over himself. We certainly are by his crazy antics.
Afterwards I’m talking to my wife who tells me a few hours before she was going into photograph a band and saw Iggy apparently limping as he passed her. I wonder how on earth he was able to throw himself around like that with an injury and at two years off sixty he has incredible energy.
@ Reading Festival, Reading, 24 August 2001
Iggy Pop allegedly gave up hard drugs and alcohol abuse in the nineties. But watching him, it was hard to believe. He moved as if his pants were on fire. Something volatile, feral and mutinous was in those veins.
Defying time, convention and the laws of physics, Mr Pop looked ravaged but youthful. He displayed more agility and power than any baby-faced nu-metaller. He leaped about the stage like a rabid beast, uncaged and untamed. Part man, part wildcat, Iggy twisted, pranced and scowled.
Long yellow hair straggled across Iggy's hollow, jagged features. His crazed eyes stared intensely as he hollered and snarled. The voice of sleaze belted out stark rhymes with ferocity and biting sarcasm.
Songs from the new album Beat 'Em Up raised a collective smirk from Iggy veterans and virgins alike. The better known numbers brought on mosh pit mania. After the mayhem of Real Wild Child, Iggy grinned puckishly, dived into the crowd and surfed for miles. Security went into red alert and the crowd went insane.
Iggy sprung back behind the mic for renditions of Home and The Passenger. "Security is bullshit", he growled, freeing a bloke in a sarong to clamber up on stage. The lad mooned the audience and ran off, to riotous applause.
Anything less than carnal exhibitionism and lewd antics would not have done Iggy justice. A girl with pink hair obliged by flashing her boobs.
The chaotic display was punk etiquette at its finest: lawless, primitive and blatant. The mob of revellers howled with delight, loving every savage minute.
- Pippa Moye
WEEKEND - LEEDS FESTIVAL
Main Stage - Evening
Whereas overly-politicised Californian porkers NOFX pique the general interest, but not with their delicious Blink 182 meet Phish sound, but with their witty repartee. Fan favourite ‘Idiot Son of An Asshole’ is played, followed by a triumphant call from Fat Mike: “He can’t be President again!”
Fat Mike makes another appearance during Iggy and The Stooges’ set, shaking his drunken booty along to Iggy’s squalling. At one point, a saxophone appears. The whole things leaves us scratching our heads; why aren’t these (slightly aged gentle)men headlining?
Incubus stir the crowd to new heights of yawning indifference with a set that’s, despite sounding like cybernetic hippies of the year 3000, rooted firmly in 2001. Most interesting Incubus fact: Brandon Boyd seems to have fashioned himself a makeshift maraca out of a dried avocado. Clever boy!
It seems it wouldn’t be a Carling Weekend without Marilyn Manson, with Mean Fiddler seemingly having him on a tasty retainer. These evening, it’s all about Manson airing his growing collection of the cover versions, including, and certainly not limited to ‘Suicide Is Painless’ and ‘Tainted Love’.
Coming out the winners in their recent feud with the Osbourne clan, Iron Maiden prove beyond a doubt that you can do geriatric heavy metal without the aid of teleprompters and beta-blockers, storming through a greatest hits set that touches upon such greats as ‘The Trooper’ and, naturally, ‘Iron Maiden’.
Tuesday August 30, 2005
The annual battle between rock fans and indie kids, legends and contenders, at this year's sun-drenched Reading festival simmers quietly from the start. My Chemical Romance are reduced to schlock rock pantomime by the thunderous singing at the NME/ Radio 1 stage, but one-time indie golden boys the Cooper Temple Clause, now shorn of their trademark haircuts, are sapped of strength, their prog rock dated and lumpen. Juliette Lewis' barely-there Spandex and Goldilocks curls guarantee the Licks get noticed. The romance of Maximo Park's vigorous pop wins more hearts.
The main stage is home to more warm and fuzzy moments. Old adversaries Frank Black and Kim Deal of the Pixies indulge in cosy chat, warm embraces and nihilistic classics, and Iggy Pop seems keen to make amends too. "We are the Stooges," he says, blood trickling from his chest after stage-scraping antics, closing the gap between his iconic present and his punk kid past as succinctly as the band's tight performance eclipses the intervening years. No Fun and I Wanna Be Your Dog are highlights, with Pop still as sinewy and uncompromising as the Stooges' music always was.
BLOODIED IGGY POP TRIUMPHS AT READING
Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
Saturday 27th August 2005
Iggy Pop blasted away the last of Sunday afternoon's clouds with a blistering high octane set of classic Stooges material.
From writhing like a sex pest over bassist Mike Watt's Marshall stack, to impaling himself on the crowd barrier before returning to the stage bleeding from the wounds; the 58 year old frontman proved once and for all that age ain't nothing but a number when it comes to top end rock'n'roll.
The legendary quartet's potty mouthed performance included the hits 1969, I Wanna Be Your Dog and TV Eye, all of which can be viewed now on www.tiscali.co.uk/reading.
"We're fucking happy to be here. We're fucking happy to be anywhere!" proclaimed the musclebound godfather of punk two songs in. And judging by the packed crowd's reaction, so were they.
Uproar: Leeds Festival '05 Kicks Off
26 Aug 2005
The Northern leg of the Carling Weekend began in earnest today, with a crowd of about 60,000 fans gathering in Bramham Park for the last major event of the festival season.
One of the first bands to hit the Leeds crowd was the all attitude, self-styled bad boys of rock Towers Of London, who played an early slot on the Radio 1 / NME sponsored second stage.
The NME stage also saw a surprise collaboration between The Rakes and Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, who joined the London band for their final song '22 Grand Job'. Under gun-metal grey skies, the weather held off until the legendary Iggy Pop hit the main stage with The Stooges, at which point the heavens opened, soaking the assembled masses. Iggy did his best to gee the crowd up, introducing a band member as "the heavyweight champion of the guitar world".
Welsh emo posers Funeral For A Friend rocked in the early afternoon, with a mixture of their older tunes and newer material, including latest single 'Monsters', while Maximo Park drew a massive audience and went down a storm in the early evening.
Everywhere around Bramham Park, the Iron Maiden contingent are out in force today, with hundreds of fans sporting packet-fresh T-shirts of the band in anticipation of the heavy metal legends' headlining set, which closed tonight's festivities. 'The Maiden' were competing against indie heavyweights The Futureheads and second stage headliners Bloc Party for the crowd's attentions on this opening night.
'I'm the old git with the chick, the Roller and the rock band'
From his trailer-trash childhood to life in Miami, Iggy Pop has come a long way since The Stooges blasted the Sixties with their raw sound and notorious on-stage antics. He just wants to make one more album before he hits 60
Sunday October 24, 2004
Iggy Pop lives in Miami these days, which seems all wrong, until his PA picks you up from chic South Beach and drives you over the bridge, away from the roller-bladers, the hip-hoppers, the glittering sea - to ramshackle Little Haiti, and Iggy's place.
We pull up at the end of a cul-de-sac outside a modest bungalow. Modest, except for the soft-top Rolls Royce Corniche nestled under the car port. Iggy is out back, at the bottom of his small garden, sitting by the river in shorts, shirt and flip-flop, singular.
He looks amazing, as he always has done. Whippet body burnt to leathery teak, hair blonde and straggly, face like a cartoon: boggle eyes, sunken cheeks, turned up nose, shark grin. A red Indian sun bunny, or, yes, an iguana (in a wig). 'Well, hey!' says Iggy, enthusiastically. 'Come on and look at my river! Isn't it beautiful?'
Actually, no: it's brown and sludgy, and on the bank opposite is a rotten old shack and an industrial plant. Still, Iggy seems to like it. He doesn't swim here (no one would), but he sits and looks and thinks, and he works in the house. Iggy, born James Osterberg on 21 April 1947, is now 57 and still not retired; he has brought out no fewer than seven LPs over the past 15 years, the last reuniting him with his original band, The Stooges, alongside more contemporary names such as Green Day and Peaches. This as well as acting in a clutch of films, including Cry Baby, Tank Girl, Dead Man and The Crow II. Plus Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes , released this week.
First, though, Iggy takes me on a tour. His place is small but stuffed: Haitian love goddesses battle it out with Mexican madonnas on Italian marble tops and Chinese antique dressers, which cuddle up to cow-skinned chairs, curly mirrors, a cartoon of the serial killer Carl Panzram, a 'cut-up' work by a contemporary of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin. There's an Iggy painting of a Stooges gig on one wall; a Shirelles CD sits like a single on the old record player. The house is dark, except for the kitchen. It's hot and sticky outside; Iggy's place feels voodoo, swampy, Southern.
Iggy himself, though, is sunniness personified. What a gent he is: friendly to the point of goofiness, always laughing. This is only shocking if you know his history. On stage: receiving blow-jobs, spiking heroin, brawling with Hell's Angels, rolling around on broken glass, giving his (impressive) dick a regular airing, throwing himself into the crowd, crashing to the floor, losing himself and taking the audience with him like no other rock performer ever has. Offstage: similar. The unstoppable, original Jean Genie. Today, Iggy's booming voice and Come ahn! speech cadences make me think of a motivating corporate speaker. It's just that, instead of 'Believe in yourself! It's all in you!', he's saying: 'With the Stooges' first albums people said, "A monkey could have written that! My five-year-old could have played that!" And now they call 'em classic albums and I'm like, FUUUUCK! Fuuuck yooou!' Which is the same thing, really.
Iggy's upbeat nature underpins his part in Coffee and Cigarettes. The film is made up of several short ones joined together, each based around two famous participants meeting up for a fag, a brew and a natter. The result is uneven, to say the least. Tough it out, though, for Cate Blanchett's section (she plays both parts), for Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, the Wu Tang Clan's GZA and RZA plus waiter Bill Murray, and Iggy and Tom Waits.
Their bit was filmed in 1992 - I saw it as a short with another Jim Jarmusch movie ages ago - but Iggy remembers it clearly. Jarmusch tagged the film on to the end of a Tom Waits pop video shoot; writing the script himself and giving it to Iggy and Tom the night before the filming. 'Neither of us were thrilled about the content,' grins Iggy. 'Tom walked in, threw the script on the table and said, 'Hey Jim, why don't you circle the laughs here because I don't see any.' And I was grumping over the whole thing about my name (Iggy offers Tom various options: Call me Jim, Iggy, Ig, Jim), you know, I'm in a scene with Tom Waits, who I look up to, and the stage direction is, Tom will be late, Tom will be surly ... '
The very funny scene plays on Tom's awkward git nature and Iggy's desire to please: 'I thought to myself, well Jim's seen something about me. He'd spent time with us both, had a look and went from there. It's just a more thorough version of what all directors do before they cast. They're like, well, she didn't look fuckable, or he looked like a smart guy, or a guy the average American will follow into battle ...' What Jarmusch saw is what you see when you meet Iggy: a sweet guy vulnerable to criticism.
He has seen the film once. He likes the bits where 'I totally forgot to act'; it was the first time in his acting career that he'd dropped his armour and got it right. 'It takes time. It's hard for an old git to learn anything new and the only way you do it is the same way you did it when you were 18. Jump into something where you are painfully inept.'
The painful ineptness of The Stooges was a major part of their appeal. They formed in Detroit in the late Sixties, when counter-culture wafted and wore beads; they played raw, heart attack sounds to panic the hippies. Iggy and The Stooges' amateurish industrial discord was genuinely ahead of its time, and it came with other talents: the look, the energy, the ideas, a whole charged being that emerged from their outrageous live performances, from what the journalist Lester Bangs called their 'illiterate chaos'. Ask Iggy, though, and he just says: 'We were interesting and we were cheap. That's pretty much how I've been getting my gigs ever since. Not much has changed - maybe the price is a little less cheap, maybe I'm a little less interesting, but still, that's the basic idea, ha-ha!'
Neither The Stooges, nor Iggy solo ever had a proper hit single, except for 1986's 'Real Wild Child'. Still, 'I Wanna Be Your Dog ' (1969), 'The Passenger' (a B side, unbelievably) and 'Lust For Life' are proper pop classics. The latter two we owe to David Bowie, who in the mid-Seventies dragged a burnt-out Iggy from an LA psychiatric ward (Iggy scored coke off him whilst in there) and took him to Berlin. There Bowie produced and Iggy performed two era-defining albums in a single year (1977): Lust For Life and The Idiot . Iggy was by no means a Bowie creation, though: they fed from one another, with the cannier Bowie taking Iggy's outrageous style and parlaying it later into Ziggy Stardust. Perhaps in recompense, in 1982, Bowie covered Iggy's 'China Girl', which earnt Iggy hundreds of thousands. Then, in 1996, Trainspotting 's soundtrack introduced him to a new generation; but it is only recently, mostly through licensing his tracks to adverts, that Iggy has made any money at all.
This is partly because he was never that interested. Too busy. Iggy's younger years were consumed by consumption - of drink, women, violence, crime, music, experience. And a huge amount of drugs, including those which we think of as modern: 'I had ecstasy when it was called MDA and MDMA. I was homeless, penniless, clothes-less, in poor health, knocking up some crazy woman, wandering round for three and four days ... extremely happy! I had crack when it was called rock cocaine, I had the forerunners of Xanax, I had pretty much anything.' But it was heroin which crocked Iggy - as it does: 'It flips on you pretty quickly.' Why so many drugs? 'Not to boost my confidence about making music: to shut out the negative voices. You don't have next week's rent. Thirty-seven people in important positions think you're no fucking good. You are going to be slammed in your next interview.'
Even now, when his only vices are coffee and wine, Iggy says his work is fuelled by 'what Dali characterised as the paranoid critical method': he is always worrying, trying to push his talent to better things. At the moment he is obsessed with making another LP; he tells me he wants to complete the circle - record, release and tour a final Iggy and The Stooges album before he is 60, when he'll retire. That's why he is spending so much time in this house, even though he's actually got a more conventional South Beach pad, where his girlfriend lives with their three dogs, two cats and a bird. Over there is where he eats and sleeps, over here is where 'I wrestle with some matter of grave importance to the future of art, ha-ha, sitting quietly with bombs going off in my head'.
In a city of show-stopping women, Iggy's girlfriend, Nina, could get a man arrested: a green-eyed, half-Nigerian, half-Irish amazon, who gave up air hostessing to take care of him. They have been together five years. Her looks really tickle Iggy: 'I'm the old git with the chick with the bam-BOW, the Roller convertible, the little old rock band ... the kinds of happiness that eluded me at 14 are mine now!'
Iggy grew up an only child in a rural trailer park in Ann Arbor, Michegan. His dad, Newell, was a teacher, his mum Louella, who died in 1996, a secretary. Iggy looks just like his dad. A clever boy surrounded by kids who were less well-educated - 'economically and socially I was in a funny spot' - Iggy never fitted in. When he went to a posh junior high and was put into a class with kids whose parents were architects, lawyers, ran technical companies, Iggy freaked. Plus, as he points out, 'most kids with successful parents are indulged and given freedom. I was not'; Mr Osterberg, an ex-military man, was a very strict disciplinarian. It wasn't until Iggy played drums in a talent show that he began to enjoy himself; when he finally left school, he lasted one term at university before rebelling utterly and forming The Stooges. At first sight, he seems to have spent the rest of his years in total rejection of his childhood, to the extent of taking his only son, Eric, born when Iggy was in his early twenties, out with him to clubs and gigs when Eric was barely in his teens. (Eric himself ended up with addiction problems, and the two have had 'a rocky few years', says Iggy; he has not met his baby granddaughter as yet). However, Iggy is close to his own dad, and I suspect that Newell's discipline has stood him in good stead. He is still work-driven, still studious.
There are a lot of books in his house. 'Though I'm not sure I bring my intelligence to bear on my music. I know some clever people in this business that make successful music, but they're not my favourites. I think, OK, but that's just clever, you know?' Cleverness is not enough for Iggy; he's too smart for that. Which makes me wonder which way he's going to vote in the US elections. He has only voted once before, and he was forced into that. Virgin records, who had just given him a record deal, were promoting Rock the Vote, and he made a few ads for them. A journalist spotted that Iggy wasn't even registered to vote, so he did, and voted Clinton - 'even though I knew he was a crook'. He is registered this time, but won't say directly who he's going to vote for; it sounds as though he's a natural Kerry sympathiser, but is disappointed. 'I wish Kerry would just come out and say, 'You know what, if I'm President, I'll just get us the fuck out of Iraq'. Something positive. But he won't. And people see Bush like they see a class bully: I don't really like this guy, but it's impressive how he throws his weight around.' And of course, this is Florida. Election results aren't exactly reliable.
'No. The way Bush talks, I think he could use the same rhetoric that he used to justify an illegal intervention, to stop losing an election. You know: "OK, we made a mistake in the voting process, but the country really needs us to save it."' Why do you think everyone loves you, Iggy? 'I dunno. They say I'm not a sell-out, but maybe I just wasn't sold to the people who don't think I sold out. Dudes come up to me, totally harnessed-in dudes, you know the type, and say, 'Hey, I like your stuff', and they walk away and I think, you ain't got a mother-fucking album!' And he laughs his manic laugh, smart, sweet, free-thinking, hard-working, caring but not caring, tough but vulnerable. The world needs Iggy Pop to save it, not stupid politicians. I think we can persuade him to carry on. Let's all buy his next record, and keep him around. Who'd want an Ig-free world?
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