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 Post subject: Happy Days Tidbit #15 ~ Iggy Pop
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:54 am 
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There's a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk -- every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-'60s/early-'70s band, the Stooges. Born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, MI, James Newell Osterberg was raised by his parents (his father was an English teacher) in a trailer park close to Ann Arbor, in nearby Ypsilanti. Intrigued by rock & roll (as well as such non-musical, monotonous, and mechanical sounds as his father's electric razor and the local automobile assembly plants in Detroit), Osterberg began playing drums and formed his first band, the Iguanas in 1963 and he took on the name Iggy. Osterberg and guitarist Jim McLaughlin, who together made their public debut at a junior high school talent show; upon entering high school that fall, they recruited saxophonist Sam Swisher, soon after landing their first paid gig at a local school dance. The trio then recorded an instrumental demo at McLaughlin's father's home studio before swelling to a five-piece with the additions of guitarist Nick Kolokithas and bassist Don Swickerath. By 1964 they were a major attraction on the Ann Arbor rock scene, regularly playing local dances, teen clubs and frat parties; a second demo session followed later that year.

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In the spring of 1965, the Iguanas entered Detroit's United Sound Recording Studio to cut three more tracks, among them a cover of Bo Diddley's "Mona" (issued as a single on the group's own Forte label) and "Again and Again" (the first-ever Osterberg original). That summer they were tapped as the house band at the Club Ponytail, a nightspot located in the Harbor Springs resort area; there the Iguanas opened for acts including the Four Tops, the Shangri-Las and the Kingsmen, frequently backing the headliners onstage as well. In the early '60s Osterberg discovered the blues and formed a group called the Prime Movers, upon graduating from high school in 1965.

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When a brief stint at the University of Michigan didn't work out, Osterberg moved to Chicago, playing drums alongside bluesmen. But his true love was still rock & roll and shortly after returning to Ann Arbor, Osterberg decided to form a rock band, but this time, he would leave the drums behind and be the frontman (inspired by the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed and the Doors' Jim Morrison). He tried to find the right musicians who shared his same musical vision: to create a band whose music would be primordial, sexually charged, aggressive, and repetitive (using his early electric razor/car plant memories for reference). In 1967, he hooked up with an old acquaintance from his high school days, guitarist Ron Asheton, who also brought along his drummer brother Scott and bassist Dave Alexander, forming the Psychedelic Stooges. Although it would take a while for their sound to gel -- they experimented with such non-traditional instruments as empty oil drums, vacuums, and other objects before retuning to their respective instruments -- the group fit in perfectly with such other high-energy Detroit bands as the MC5, becoming a local attraction.

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It was around this time that the group shortened their name to the Stooges and Osterberg changed his stage name to Iggy Pop. With the name change, Pop became a man possessed on-stage -- going into the crowd nightly to confront members of the audience and working himself into such a frenzy that he would be bleeding by the end of the night from various nicks and scratches. Elektra Records signed the quartet in 1968, issuing their self-titled debut a year later and a follow-up, Fun House, in 1970. Although both records sold poorly upon release, both have become rock classics and can be pointed to as the official beginning of what would become known as punk rock.

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The group was dropped from their record company in 1971 due to the public's disinterest and the group's growing addictions to hard drugs leading to the group's breakup the same year. But Stooges fan David Bowie tracked down Pop and convinced the newly clean and sober singer to restart his career. Pop enlisted guitarist James Williamson (who was briefly a second guitarist for the Stooges before their breakup) and, after the pair signed to Bowie's Mainman management company and relocated to England, eventually reunited with the Asheton brothers (with Ron moving from the six-string to the bass).

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Signed by Columbia Records and hoping to follow in Bowie's footsteps toward a major commercial breakthrough, the Stooges penned another punk classic, the brutally explosive Raw Power. Pop's plan for the Stooges' third release overall would be to create a record that would be so over the top sonically that it would actually hurt you when it poured out of the speakers. Although it may not have been that extreme, it came pretty close (with Bowie signed on as the producer), but yet again, the album sank without a trace. By 1974, Pop and most of the Stooges were strung out again on drugs, and with their star fading, the band called it quits for a second (and final) time. After spending a brief spell homeless on the streets of Hollywood (during which time there was an unsuccessful attempt to form a band with Pop and former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek), Pop checked himself into the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Los Angeles. During his stay at the hospital, Pop made an attempt at writing and recording some new tunes with Williamson, but when no labels expressed interest, Pop and Williamson went their separate ways as well. (Completed demos of the sessions would surface on the Kill City release in 1977; they would also appear on the 2005 compilation Penetration, which also featured a number of widely circulated demos, outtakes, and alternate mixes from the Raw Power sessions.)

During his hospital stay, another old friend came to visit him: David Bowie. Bowie (whose career was still in high gear) offered to take Pop on the road with him during his tour in support of Station to Station. The pair got along so well that they both moved to Berlin in late 1976, during which time Bowie helped Pop secure a solo record deal with RCA.

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Bowie was interested in European electronic rock (Kraftwerk, Can, etc.) and admitted later that he used Pop as a musical guinea pig on such releases as The Idiot and Lust for Life (both issued in 1977 and produced/co-written by Bowie). Both albums sold better than his previous efforts with the Stooges (especially in the U.K., where Pop was looked upon as an icon by the burgeoning punk rock movement) as Bowie joined Pop on his world tour as a keyboardist. Shortly thereafter, a surprisingly muddy sounding live album was culled from Pop's most recent tour, titled TV Eye (1977 Live). It was also around this time that Pop severed his ties with Bowie, striking out on his own.

Signing on with another new label (Arista), Pop reunited once more with James Williamson for 1979's New Values, an album that touched off a string of releases that were for the most part inconsistent and musically confused (it appeared as though Pop was trying to reinvent himself as a new waver): 1980's Soldier, 1981's Party, and 1982's Zombie Birdhouse. Also in 1982, Pop penned his autobiography, I Need More, a fascinating book of rock & roll excess that chronicled his early years straight up to the then-present day. But around this time, Pop began succumbing to his vices once again and he soon stepped out of the spotlight for a long stretch to sort his life out, during which time Bowie scored a massive hit with a remake of the Pop/Bowie nugget "China Girl" (recorded earlier on Pop's The Idiot). It wouldn't be until 1986 that Pop would resurface again, signing with A&M and issuing the Bowie-produced Blah Blah Blah, which featured his first U.S. hit single (albeit a moderate one), a cover of "Real Wild Child." 1988's Instinct saw Pop try his hand at hard rock/heavy metal, joined by ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, but it wasn't until 1990's Brick by Brick (his first album for Virgin) that Pop fully regained his musical strength and focus, resulting in his first U.S. gold-certified album and Top 20 hit single, "Candy," a surprisingly tuneful duet with the B-52's' Kate Pierson.

Just as in the mid-'70s when Pop was looked up to by a slew of up-and-coming punk bands, history repeated itself in the early '90s with the emergence of such Stooges disciples from Seattle (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, etc.). Around the same time, a wide variety of bands covered Pop and/or Stooges tracks -- Slayer, Duran Duran, Guns N' Roses, R.E.M., and Tom Jones -- while Pop issued another fine solo set, 1993's American Caesar. Although Pop attempted to re-create the Stooges' sound and approach on his 1996 solo album Naughty Little Doggie, it wasn't as critically or commercially successful as his previous couple of releases. But the same year, Pop enjoyed another hit when the nearly 20-year-old title track from Lust for Life was used prominently on the hit movie soundtrack Trainspotting. Throughout the decade, Pop also tried his hand at acting in movies (see listing below).

With just about every new rock band listing the Stooges as a major influence by the late '90s, Iggy began tentatively looking back to the band's legacy. He personally remixed a newly remastered version of Raw Power in 1997, after the long-lost original master tapes were rediscovered and Pop moved the album closer to his original vision of a total sonic onslaught. Also released around this time was another Pop/Stooges-related book, the must-read Please Kill Me: The Oral History of Punk, which recounted the Stooges' career in great detail (featuring interviews with all the band's surviving members). 1999 was a busy year for Pop as he was the subject of a VH1 Behind the Music episode, and a new solo album was issued, the laid-back Avenue B. But his more "refined" musical approach was strictly a detour, as proven by his next release, 2001's in-your-face rock fest Beat Em Up.
And after abandoning a promised Stooges reunion in the late '90s, Iggy finally made good on his pledge in 2003, bringing Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton aboard to write and record four songs with him for his album Skull Ring, and taking the reconstituted Stooges on the road for a short but riotously received tour (with Mike Watt standing in for the late Dave Alexander on bass, and with the set dominated by tunes from The Stooges and Fun House).

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In 2004 Iggy appeared in Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes.

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In addition to the January 2005 Penetration set, that July saw the issue of A Million in Prizes: The Anthology. It spanned his entire career and included a 37-track CD, a previously unreleased live DVD, and a round of essays from notables like Bowie and Lou Reed discussing Iggy's legacy.

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(Bowie, Pop and Reed in an early picture.)


Pop released a collection of new songs, Where the Faces Shine, the following year.


Other film appearances:
He has appeared in sixteen movies (mostly in smaller roles), including Sid and Nancy, The Color of Money, Hardware (voice only), The Crow: City of Angels, The Rugrats Movie, Snow Day, Coffee and Cigarettes, Somewhere in California, Cry-Baby, Dead Man, The Brave and Atolladero, a Spanish science fiction Western in which he also sings the main theme.

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He has been featured in five television series, including Tales from the Crypt, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which he played Yelgrun in "The Magnificent Ferengi" episode.
Although Pop had nothing to do with the movie, Ewan McGregor's sexually ambiguous, drug-fuelled character in Velvet Goldmine is considered by most critics to be modeled on him.

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Likewise, the character of Rock Head in Sid and Nancy (in which Pop plays a different character) is thought by some to be based on Pop. He had a walk on appearance in the film as a prospective tenant at The Chelsea Hotel.

Pop has been profiled in four rockumentaries and has had songs on eighteen soundtracks, including Crocodile Dundee and Trainspotting.
A bio-pic of Pop is in the works with Elijah Wood taking on the major role. The film has a working title of The Passenger and is due to begin filming in late 2006.


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Just a reminder...this will be our last tidbit before our discussion begins on Monday. Keep reading!
:noodlemantra:



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:19 am 
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This is our last tidbit !?! :-O
I really enjoyed this one, and could relate to it. I had no idea David Bowie would have been mentioned as helping out Iggy Pop ! And as for Iggy in THREE of Johnny's movies. Nice tidbit! :cool:

Warming up the :reader: and :morning: for Discussions.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Elijah Wood?? An unlikely choice to play Pop, me thinks..but then again,
there may be a bit of a hobbit lurking in Iggy's persona,
along with everything else lurking there! I had to laugh, thinking of an
audience of elders watching Iggy's iconic gyrations on stage.
:-O
Thanks for this outstanding, final report!



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Iggy!! What ups and downs!! What perseverance!! :-O



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:42 pm 
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Interesting, I knew about Iggy's involvement and living with Bowie in Berlin. The South Bank show over here did a very good profile on him about a year or so ago, he's lovely and known as Jimmy to his friends.
I've seen Velvet Goldmine, odd film


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:12 pm 
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Thanks DIDHOT. A fascinating tidbit, especially in view of the Johnnt connection.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Glad you all have enjoyed the tidbit! Iggy is a very interesting person. Depputante, sorry it's the last tidbit but I've got to warm up the gray matter too! I can't wait to get started on Monday! :bounce:



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:52 pm 
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When I saw his name mentioned in the book I just knew Iggy had to pop up as a tidbit. I was never into Iggy Pop until I got into Johnny. When I read the first autobiography of Johnny and read of him getting drunk and insulting Iggy that triggered my interst in reading about him. I sort of went back and discovered his life after I saw he was a long time friend of Johnnys and he seemed to pop up so often in his life. I never even know he had such a good voice until I heard Hollywood Affair.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:24 pm 
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I like that one too, gemini. I think the Zone's video vault has a copy of Iggy, Johnny and Vanessa singing Nightclubbing. Another favorite. :cloud9:



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:09 pm 
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I know that ONBC isn't the right board on which to get all drooly, but you have to say that that pic of Johnny and Iggy is just.... :thud: That look!

I'll be serious and grown up tomorrow when you start on the book, Liz and DITHOT, I promise.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Endora, that is indeed a :thud: wothy picture! A little drool on the pages of the books is a good thing now and then! ;-)

For those of you interested in seeing the videos with Iggy and Johnny, stipje has loaded them in the video forum! Thanks, stipje!
:bounce:

http://johnnydepp-zone.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=30788



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:04 pm 
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Thanks for asking for those downloads. I liked NightClubbing but dont think its as great for Iggys signing as Hollywood Affair, but Johnny's guitar makes it worthwhile. Some of you may have heard or seen it before but there is a great video of Vanessa on You Tube with Iggy singing "Never met a girl like you before" I downloaded it ages ago but its always been one of my favorites both for Van and Iggys signing.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Parlez wrote:
Elijah Wood?? An unlikely choice to play Pop, me thinks..but then again,
there may be a bit of a hobbit lurking in Iggy's persona,
along with everything else lurking there! I had to laugh, thinking of an
audience of elders watching Iggy's iconic gyrations on stage.
:-O
Thanks for this outstanding, final report!


Trying to catch up here. I've been out of town for a few days. But I have to say I can see why Elijah Wood would be chosen for the role. It's in the eyes. And I happen to think he is a very good young actor.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:17 pm 
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Not into punk rock, I have been intrigued who Iggy Pop is. Now I really know. Thank you for this last tidbit..
Didn't he play in Blow?? A fouth movie with Johnny?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:25 pm 
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Yay! A thread on Iggy! I have been an Iggy fan since....Raw Power came out in the 70's. Ok I am hinting at my age here..but who cares. Iggy's STILL older than me! I've seen him in concert many many times. And even walked out of a few shows. (Anyone who's ever been to an Iggy show in the 80's will understand why.)

The thing that impressed me most about him was about 8 years ago or so, he wrote in his liner notes on one of his CD's to "write to me and I'll answer." I never wrote but a friend of mine did and they corresponded by snail mail for some time. He wrote to Iggy and told him about his garden he had out in his back yard. And Iggy and him traded gardening secrets for some time after that. I always thought that was funny. Who would ever expect Iggy to write about that? Sometimes we put these people up too high on pedestals. When I started researching Depp a few years ago I was surprised to see him linked with Iggy. Iggy continues to surprise me all the time.

Anyway good thread. And Iggy is the Godfather of Punk -- No doubt about that.


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