Thursday, October 12, 2006

Iggy Pop is the sweet, mushy center of Rock

I don’t know how old Iggy is. It never mattered with him. He’s just always Iggy. He knows when to turn over. How to perfectly roast. No changing with the wind. Original (Even in the Varvatos ads). I like that about The Igster. Everybody wants to sound smart, and he is, but Iggy doesn’t have the compulsion to knock you dead with his intelligence. Not when he says "Admiral Dozier is a Bull Dozer" or; "I’ve got a pain in my neck-what the hell-what the heck." He's not compromising the genre, he's constantly reminding us of the bottom line.

Here's what it was like at the Astrodome in 1981 where I was lucky enough to get the backstage pass while visiting Gary (who was playing with Iggy at the time). No Pictures. Just this shot at recollecting:

When you get your gig opening for the Rolling Stones to a capacity crowd in a massive venue you don’t want to have to get medical service. The crowd wanted their "Tattoo You" tour. Iggy, their hometown boy, was the automatic scape-goat for or at least seventy-thousand Motor City Stones stoners. They started yelling at him to get off the stage from the minute he walked out. They started chucking stuff, threw everything they had. Emptied their pockets of all but the chump change. They'd spent their real money on the tickets and the beer. By the end, he was bleeding and cut and so was the drummer.

Everybody filed offstage past Keith Richards’ first class gurney with the full set up for any emergency, for just in case the fossil blanched and fell. Keith Richards, such a fragile flower. The Rolling Bones, even back then.

When we get to the dressing room Iggy takes a pillow off of the couch, gently slips it out of it’s case, tells the roadie to run to the stage and put everything the audience threw in there and bring it back. And when he does, Iggy turns the lights up full dumps it out in the middle of the room. It's a rock 'n' roll still-life of bottle caps, rocks, bullets, glass, syringes, half-eaten Snickers and other food crap. Iggy’s ecstatic, electric, dancing, elastic, got a lust for life.
Then he splits the booty with everyone in the room, gives out presents. That’s how I got my knife with two blades that says Dedicated to Paper Industry Products. Just before walking on stage for the second night's performance at the Silverdome, Iggy put on a single pair of sheer-to-waist black panty hose purchased earlier at 7-11. He got the full attention of the crowd with his barely veiled hard-on. This time he threw them. Now- that’s " hypnotizing chickens"

He has a rare genius for purity of expression, seeming impervious to adversity.
He's a rock 'n roll poster-child love-in. Imperturbable. Original. Age is no factor.

If you want to read what is probably the greatest Rock'n'Roll Gig Rider ever written check out Iggy's at The Smoking Gun.Publish

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Eljay,

Did I ever tell you about my chat with Iggy?

He came to do a speech on the music industry when I was teaching at UW-Oshkosh. Hardly anyone was there. I made my students go. thank gawd. After his talk and acoustic set, I went to thank him. He crouched down to talk to me from the stage, and I suddenly realized I had put my hand on his thigh when I spoke to him. He put his hand on top of mine, and we talked that way for a few minutes. His hand was very small.


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