IGGY POP IS ENJOYING an Indian summer, so much so that it’s hard to believe that this month’s Post Pop Depression, his best album in years, could be his last. Or so he claims in MOJO 269.
Cover star – along with his latest musical spar, Josh Homme – of the magazine on North American newsstands currently, Iggy underlines the qualities of honesty, commitment and defiance that have defined him as a musician and creator, from the years of notoriety in the Stooges, through subsequent ups and downs to his current status as a universally-acknowledged cultural treasure.
Pick up a copy of MOJO (April 2016 / #269) with its in-depth, career-spanning Iggy interview. Meanwhile, enjoy the following audio-visual companion. Because however great his music is, watching Iggy is half the fun…
1. The Stooges – 1970
Iggy Pop’s paleolithic punks play Goose Lake in 1970, decreeing the previous decade well and truly over in an all-out nihilistic assault that appears to suck all light and life into a rock black hole. Unless it’s just a power cut, of course.
2. Iggy & The Stooges – TV Eye
The infamous 1970 Cincinnati Pop Festival footage never gets old: “That's peanut butter!” Yes! It is!
3. Lust For Life
Bloodied but unbowed in Manchester, 1977, with Tony “Fox” Sales laying down the hammer on his BC Rich bass.
4. Iggy’s “Most Decrepit” Interview
In 1977 with the long-suffering Tom Snyder, missing a tooth from what appears to have been a relatively recent misadventure, Iggy’s on surprisingly reflective form. “One hates to define oneself...”
5. Dutch TV interview
Iggy’s looking a tad jaded. The questions don’t help: “Iggy, they call you the Godfather of Punk; can you explain why?” Enjoy the poster for a Cyclo Cross event in the background.
6. French TV interview
Again from 1977. Iggy appears to be channeling some kind of avant-garde theatre aesthetic in specs, lippy and plastered-down hair. Describes seeing David Bowie in the audience at a recent show: “a small man, so excited, jumping up and down!”
7. I’m Bored
Awesome performance on the OGWT in 1979 of the track from oft-overlooked Stooges throwback solo album, New Values. Pair it with this manic mime and bananas interview with Australian music TV staple Molly Meldrum: “Hiya dogface!”
8. Dum Dum Boys
Haunting version of the Idiot opus, live in Toronto, 1981. Iggy lists the fallout from the Stooges: “How’s Rock [ie. Scott Asheton] doin’? He’s living with his mother...” But who is this brilliant band?
Fascinatingly naff promo video from 1987 effectively triangulating Iggy’s nadir. Everything about this spells WRONG. Blah Blah Blah, indeed.
10. I Won’t Crap Out
The Brick By Brick highlight, solo in 1990, with Iggy on guitar, offering an intense, fascinating meta-narrative. Of course, he already had crapped out (see previous clip).
11. I Wanna Be Your Dog
Awesome heavy-metal live version from Paris Olympia in 1991, with shredding by Whitey Kirst and barre chords from the “fucking scumbag rock star” himself, whose penis is once again unveiled. From the live vid, Kiss My Blood.
12. Wild America, 1993
Everything good about 1993’s grunge-aware American Caesar album is encapsulated in Eric Schermerhorn’s Soundgarden-y riff. The promo illustrates an ongoing dilemma: can you be Iggy Pop with your top on?
13. The Passenger
Iggy models those now-notorious see-through plastic trousers on the UK’s White Room TV show in 1996. MOJO’s Senior Editor was in the studio audience that day and still can’t look at cling film. See also: Lust For Life.
14. Deep Space Nine
Highlights of Iggy’s extraordinary 1998 cameo on Deep Space 9 (Season 6, Episode 10). He’s called Yelgrun, he’s from the planet Kurill Prime and he’s quite smug.
15. Coffee & Cigarettes: Somewhere In California
More indication of Iggy’s surprising screen skills, paired with Tom Waits in a 1993-vintage component of Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 portmanteau picture. Iggy is the puppyish fanboy, Tom the jaded star. It’s kind of simultaneously funny and poignant. Apparently, Waits was in as grumpy a mood in real life as his 'character'...
16. Peaches feat. Iggy Pop – Kick It
The ‘Godfather Of Punk’ and his, er, goddaughter, team up to waste zombies in this Dawn Shadforth/Alex Smith promo for Merrill Beth Nisker’s 2004 single. Spot the grab-bag of Iggy biog references: “I used to slash myself up…”
17. The Stooges at Glastonbury
Frightening hour-long assault by the “leathery exhibitionist pensioner” and his reformed troglodyte falangistas on the British bastion of good vibes. RIP: Ron and Scott.
18. BBC 6 Music John Peel Lecture, 2014
It warms the heart that Iggy Pop has survived to deliver such piercing wisdom on music-making and the business that surrounds it. And “Computer Putins” is as good a catch-all for Big Tech’s music-colonising ilk as you’ll hear.
19. Raw Power
Not Iggy, nor the Stooges, but his spiritual children from the city of Seattle. Watch Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan and Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin lay waste to some Stooges classics. They’re ragin’!
One of the new Post-Pop Depression album’s most affecting tracks, rendered with a sleazy-elegiac Berlin feel by Josh Homme and cohorts at South By South West, March 2016. Iggy’s dropped hints that this could be his last album. Say it ain’t so!