maggiealderson

Iggy Pop

In Celebrities, Famous people, Men, Rock 'n' roll on June 13, 2011 at 9:52 am


Thanks so much to my Twitter pal @oneplanetmikey who sent me this video link, after I tweeted a reference to Iggy Pop last night – and now also Regina Pritchard and Naomi Lee for putting me on to the other version now at the bottom of the post – Iggy live on Countdown. One of the funniest things I have ever seen. Where are those children now? It would have changed your life forever…

On a very dreary, rainy Sunday night, with my husband glued to some ghastly Grand Prix, I posted: ‘I’m the Chairperson of the Bored’, as in Mr Pop’s genius song ‘I’m Bored’.

I’m sick of all the stiffs
I’m sick of all the dips
I’m bored.
I bore myself to sleep at night.
I bore myself in broad daylight.
I’m boooooored.
I’m the Chairman of the Bored.

It’s youthful angst distilled into one perfect three minute pop song.

Watching this clip reminded me of why I was fairly obsessed with the Igster from about 1977 on. And I needed reminding because I have been very very cross with him these past few years for doing those terrible insurance ads.

How could he sell out like that? The Ig?

I can’t bear the thought of those advertising wonks even listening to his music, let alone appropriating the anthems of my rebellion to advertise one of the more evil institutions of the SYSTEM.

I might have to put my Seditionaries anarchy shirt on to express how it makes me feel. Shame I sold it in a broke moment in 1980. (And it wouldn’t fit over my head if I did still have it.)

I wasn’t remotely surprised when John Lydon AKA Rotten, started advertising butter a few years ago. While I was a massive fan of the Sex Pistols back in the day, John was never cool. It was one of the things that made him so great.


He really didn’t give a shit what anyone thought about him – and watching him on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here a few years ago, he still doesn’t. I love him for it.

Iggy, however, was on a level of cool all his own. He didn’t have to try, he didn’t aspire to cool and work at it, he was born that way. He didn’t become cool, he defined how we now understand it.

I’ve been reading the very interesting oral history of punk recently, Please Kill Me, which is a collection of quotes from a very disparate range of people who were there, collated into a historic narrative.

Iggy and the Stooges feature right from the earliest late 1960s genesis of what we came to call Punk Rock and it’s fascinating to read about the young James Osterberg (his real name). He didn’t adopt an on-the-edge persona, or lifestyle, he lived it. It’s just who he was.

I’ve also read about his later LA years in Danny Zuckerman’s gripping drug memoir Wonderland Avenue (which I am eternally grateful to Mia Freedman for putting me on to years ago).

Although I must say here, that Iggy’s drug abuse and dependency was always the least interesting thing about him. That was never what made him interesting to me – he was amazing despite the drugs, not because of them. And for surviving the stupid things he did to himself.

That aside, reading about the early years confirms that what you see when Iggy is leaping around isn’t some kind of stage persona, it’s the direct expression of the his life force. He was born with that body (and allegedy the biggest donger in rock and roll…) and he was born with that style.

And you just have to look at the blokes in his band in the live clips, to be reminded that was what even rock ‘n’ roll dudes looked like in the late 70s – so dorky – and to appreciate just how radical Iggy was by comparison.

So watching those clips has reminded me why I hitchhiked round Britain following him on his 1979 tour, to be right at the front watching him roll around in broken glass.

And I’ve forgiven him for the insurance ads. Just.

PS Note the non-sock action with the lace up shoes and suit in the top video clip. Guys doing that now think they’re radical…

Now here’s that famous Countdown appearance. I’d love to hear from any of you who saw it when it was on TV and hear the effect it had on you. I think this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He’s like an insane labrador on coke, then the total lack of pretending to sing live, with the microphone down the pants. Heaven. His body reminds me of Nureyev. He could have been an amazing dancer, all that natural strength and bendiness.

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  1. I sang those exact words the other day, then filled my daughter in on the legend of Iggy Pop, I must say I knew nothing about the insurance ad (ick) …. Oh and Johnny Rotten with the butter, you are a wealth of knowledge Maggie !!!

  2. I sometimes wonder if the lyrics i sprout to my children fall on deaf ears? Every time they complain of being bored, i tell them i am the chairman of the bored ,.. and they run away quickly. Never through Iggy would be so useful!

    Once again, maggie, quel surprise!

  3. That video totally got me out of my blue funk tonight. Rock on Maggie! Also, shoes without socks is…well, wrong.

  4. A friend & I used to sing “I’m Bored” to each other at work. Work being the only place we got bored.
    “Pretty Vacant” was the other favourite.
    Only saw Iggy once, a very hot night (35c still at 10pm) in Feb 93. Never saw so many good looking men with their shirts off in one place. I didn’t know there were that many good looking men in Hobart.

  5. Johnny Rotten does Country Life and by god it works! Thank you for Iggy,Maggie. My 10-year-old son tells me off too for singing Iggy as soon as he utters the B word!

  6. brilliant post, maggie!

    it really takes me back .. mostly to his 1979 performance on “countdown”, and a memorable *zippy* interview with molly meldrum.

    oh, the looks on those children’s faces!

  7. Heya Maggie – have you ever seen Iggy performing ‘I’m bored’ on Aussie rock/pop show Countdown in ’79?
    It’s one of the most notorious Countdown clips of all time!

    • CANNOT THANK YOU AND REGINABITESBACK ENOUGH FOR THIS CLIP – GOING STRAIGHT ON THE BLOG XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Where are those children now? It would have changed your life to see that. No pretence of singing live, microphone down the pants. Oh joy.

  8. Forgive him the ads Maggie, prob his pension plan!

  9. How friggin’ fabulous! These videos have cheered me up on a rather gloomy (and perhaps, BORING) Monday morning.
    I loved Iggy Pop. Got to see him in NYC way back when at some dance club who’s name I can no longer remember.
    I love the spontaneity of this post! Good that your husband leaves you alone? I have never understood the art of watching car racing …
    Yahoo for Iggy! Where is he now?

  10. Oh yes. Maggie. Soul sisters!
    Do you think bell bottoms will come back in style? I oved them in my young days. We decorated the hems and they were soooo cool – or so we thought.
    When young, it was a good look. Not sure now I am desperately seeking a NEW look fdor my new, old ge! I did order a pair of Dior black and white leather sneakers. Rather cool adn more like school girl shoes. I may look the fool.
    I just love all leather shoes.
    Does this date me as old old old???

    • The leather sneakers sound great. I have some Gucci sneakers – in the GG weave, so not leather – but so useful. Really comfortable but you’re not wearing scruffy ‘trainers’. They keep trying to bring flares back. Flared jeans are ‘in’ at the moment, but no one is rushing to take them up again. It may be a slow build for real people. Only trendies at the moment x

  11. I remember this interview and perf on Countdown v.well!

    I was far too young and goody toe shoes to even consider the involvement of drugs, but I knew there was something going on here that was best hidden from Dad. Of course, in those days, there was only 1 television in the house in pride of place in the loungeroom & on Sunday night at 6 it was very difficult to hide what you were watching…all I know is it was dangerous and somehow wrong, so I loved it

  12. I thought that show dated back to 1977, not as late as 1979. Everything was different by then. But Iggy’s performance on Countown was the harbinger of everything that was too change. I was about 12 years old and totally mesmerised and blown away by Iggy. He was a further degree weirder and stranger than anyone else. (The Saints were the other band that really stood out as weird to me. The Sex Pistols seemed like vaudeville in comparison).
    And we were exposed to a lot of weird behaviour on Countdown through the 1970s and I always had the feeling there was something really interesting going on somewhere else. Countdown was like a curtain opening for a hour on a different strange and really fun world. These people would be out all Friday night and come into the studio the next morning to do these shows – obviously not sleeping at all.
    Later when all my friends went to see bands and we were all bonded through music and art, this was the defining moment of our lives. We all remembered Iggy on Countdown and were transformed by the occaison.
    It’s strange but plenty of people never remembered or noticed this performance. They weren’t one of us.
    (Earlier this year, our 18-year old son got up on stage to dance with Iggy at the Big Day Out. We were so proud and when my husband posted the news on Facebook, so were all our friends. The ones with young kids were really jealous that their children would probably not get that chance.)

    • I’m an Iggy wonk I’m afraid… the album that the track was on, New Values, came out in 1979 and he was promoting it. It’s seared on my memory because I followed his tour around Britain with my boyfriend, hitch hiking and sleeping in stations etc. Worth it.

      Your description is exactly how I felt when I stumbled across the Sex Pistols in 1976, when they were still ‘real’ – they opened the portal into another dimension and once I stepped through I found the New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, Iggy and the Stooges already waiting there. I LOVE your description that if you don’t remember Iggy on Countdown you’re not part of the tribe. What a fabulous defining moment to have.

      Now tell me more about your son dancing with him. I am agog. Did Iggy welcome him? So brave and cool. I wish you had film! xxx

  13. Hopefully you’ll see this … further to your Iggy piece. Check this out… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtL51VME4Qo

    He did sell out again to a New Zealand telco, but the ad takes the best of the internet and how it can be used in a VERY cool way… I think you’ll like this one… a lot

  14. Maggie, have you ever seen this? Can’t remember how I came across it now …. http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/01/hang-on-my-love-and-grow-big-and-strong.html

    You’ll have even more regard for iggy, i think… i did.

    • OMG that is truly amazing. Ilove the bit when he says ‘I was scared’ because he has always come over as so fearless. I now forgive him, officially, for the insurance advert xxx

  15. I’m crazy. Of course it was 1979. That’s when New Values came out.

  16. At every Stooges gig, Iggy invites about 20 people from up the front to dance on stage with him to a different song at each gig. (This was at the Big Day Out in Melbourne in January – temperature about 40 degrees centigrade.)
    Henry and his group danced during Shake Appeal and Gimme Danger, which I think is pretty damn marvellous. But no photos! His brother and sister didn’t go and we couldn’t find any even in the pictures of friends of friends who took pics of the gig.
    However, there is one dodgy jumpy posting on YouTube He’s the dark-haired boy behind some girls in a blue shirt and jeans at about the 12 second mark and then again at 25-30 on the left side (not the boy in the blue t-shirt).

  17. Oh, he is just so delicious! I was lucky enough to be at a backstage party c.1980, after one of his gigs (was so off my head, I can’t even remember the venue!). He whizzed past me and I was totally awestruck. As for the insurance ads, I can completely forgive him;- who are we to say how such an icon earns his money?!xx

  18. It is fantastic! Reminds me so much of Mick Jagger with the prancing and the pout. Great to relive Countdown.

  19. Oh that’s very sweet. Best of luck with your daughter. Just play all the music you like and ignore her terrible childhood taste in music. I recently read my daughter’s Christmas list from when she was about 13 and it was full of trashy requests. Ten years later she’s a budding artist-hipster with great taste in music. Have a great day.

    xx

    • Yes, that’s pretty much what we do. She got over High School Musical very quickly and was absolutely engrossed in the film Walk the Line the other night until I had to drag her off to bed kicking and screaming when he started doing all the drugs (it’s a great film – have you seen it?) So we’re having a musical moment with the Man In Black right now. Lucky you – you can now get music recommended by your young hipsters… xxx

  20. I remember that Countdown well. I was 18/19 & already knew who Iggy was, but it was wonderful to see
    I also remember much earlier, AC/DC with Bon Scott in a dress & a wig with pig tails. The 70s were great, there was punk, stadium rock – which punk couldn’t kill – disco, great pop songs, & rubbish like ABBA, all there together on the TV on Sunday night. You wouldn’t get a show like that now, everything in music is so compartmentalised. (Is there such a word?)

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