The Ten Lives of Iggy! The SECOND annual Dull Tool Dim Bulb Lifetime Achievement Award™ presented by Jim Linderman
The Second Annual prestigious Dull Tool Dim Bulb Lifetime Achievement Award™ award goes to Michigan native Iggy Pop, nee' Iggy Stooge nee' James Newell "Iquana" Osterberg Jr. of Muskegon, Michigan.
One of my heroes since I was a child, King Iggy was born 12 miles north of where I sit today. By the time I was old enough to sneak out and see him perform, he was already hooked on junk and living across the state in a radical pig-stye in Ann Arbor performing as retarded baby brother to the MC5. (Another glorious group of talented misfits worth searching You tube for, and whose once thought revolutionary claptrap now seem like prophecy)
Iggy's first "big" record was probably "Search and Destroy" which not only managed to put the Vietnam war into perfect perspective a decade before Springsteen's "Born in the USA" it also managed to name check another prominent Michigan invention...Napalm.
I first heard of the mighty Iggy when someone, I can not remember who, told me they saw a performer cover his chest with an unknown sticky substance and chicken feathers while terrifying an audience of about 50 people. This would have been around 1968. Subsequent performances, which I always did my best to see, included peanut butter, blood, vomit and an abandon that makes Mick Jagger look as stiff as Richard Nixon (who I also saw the same year, running for president and already tricking the good folks of the state in the Civic Center of Grand Rapids) Just for the record, around the time Mick Jagger was pleading from a nice safe stage in limp fey voice "come ON people" as a man was being beaten to death by Hell's Angels in front of him at Altamont, Iggy was literally fist brawling with bikers while recording his live album "Metallic K.O."
Furthermore, Iggy is no fool. One can easily find the clip for the show in which a drugged out, wounded and near toothless Iggy discusses the difference between Dionysian art and Apollonian art with a stunned Tom Snyder. (I am not kidding here...there is a clear and pure artistic vision at work in this muscular addled and addicted musician) I am also sure he won every damn argument he ever had with David Bowie, even if he was slurring his words. Iggy also had the charm to romance no less than Dinah Shore on national television.
For his unswerving ability to make every other "rock" performer seem like a pussy, and in this I do not exaggerate, every damn one. For his uncanny ability to keep a waistline and torso hard as stone well until his fifties. For entering not "rehab" but a freaking MENTAL HOSPITAL to get cured (Man up, rock star wannabes) For his amazing celebration of life despite the adversity of commercial failure, drug addiction, the loss of friends and surviving in a world he invented but has profited from less than shallow imitators...and because "Search and Destroy" "I Wanna be Your Dog" "The Passenger" "Real Wild Child" "Five Foot One" and "Lust for Life" are among the greatest songs of my generation. For once being so desperate to PERFORM he hired Soupy Sales children to back him and finally because Iggy has managed to have ten lives in the time most of us have one, the Dull Tool Dim Bulb Lifetime Achievement award is bestowed. For most performers, selling a song for a commercial is a loser, pathetic thing. For Iggy, it is freaking just rewards and poetic justice.
The astounding clips here include an iconic, legendary, crowd-walking performance which belongs in the Museum of Modern Art collection (seriously) and the equally legendary performance 40 years later when Madonna, another Michigander, shamed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by choosing a REAL rock and roller to perform her songs when she was inducted.
As is tradition with the Dull Tool Lifetime Achievment Award™, a few little known facts about the award winner:
He did the voice of "Lil' Rummy" on the Comedy Central show Lil' Bush.
Elijah Wood is to play him in a forthcoming biopic, which keeps failing to get off the ground as no actor can come close to matching even a 30 second clip of the artist.
He reportedly called Moe Howard when naming his band, to make sure he wouldn't be upset there was another band of Stooges.
He invented the Stage-Dive
He ran away from school to learn drums with legendary bluesman Sam Lay, who played for Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan...Dylan himself once sent a telegram thanking Sam for playing on "what many say is my best album." So even as a child Iggy had the taste for the real thing.