This Day In Music 21.04.2016
Born James Newell Osterberg in Muskegon, Michigan, on April 21, 1947, he played drums as a teen in a local garage band, the Iguanas. Dropping out of the University of Michigan in 1966 and going to Chicago, he listened to urban blues on the South Side. He returned to Detroit as Iggy Stooge and, inspired by a Doors concert, formed the Stooges.
They debuted on Halloween 1967 in Ann Arbor and were appropriately frightening onstage: Iggy contorted his shirtless torso, let out primal screams, rubbed peanut butter and raw steaks over his body, gouged his skin with broken glass, and dove into the crowd (decades before stage diving became the norm) while the Stooges played raw, basic, hard rock & roll.
In 1968, the Doors' label Elektra signed the band, which also included Ron Asheton on guitar, his brother Scott Asheton on drums, and Dave Alexander on bass. Though their first two albums, The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970), would be hailed as seminal punk a decade later, the records sold only moderately upon release.
Following Fun House the band broke up, with Iggy retiring for more than a year to kick a heroin addiction. Around this time, he ran into David Bowie, who resolved to resurrect Iggy's career. Bowie regrouped some of the Stooges and produced Raw Power (1973), a critical success.
Iggy spent 1974 and 1975 in L.A., trying to solve assorted legal problems. He committed himself to an L.A. mental hospital and was visited by Bowie ( "Jean Genie" on the Bowie's 1973 Aladdin Sane is said to be about Iggy).
David Bowie – The Jean Jeanie
In 1976 Bowie took Iggy with him on his European tour, after which they settled in Berlin for three years. Concurrently, Bowie produced Pop's 1977 albums The Idiot and Lust for Life.
Signing to Arista in the late Seventies, Iggy released New Values (1979), an album of trenchant rock. Yet only when "China Girl", cowritten by Pop and David Bowie, appeared on the latter's 1983 Let's Dance and became a hit for Bowie, did Iggy achieve a measure of financial stability and mainstream interest.
With Bowie producing and ex–Sex Pistol Steve Jones on guitar, Blah Blah Blah showed Iggy attempting his most accessible music, peaking at #75 in 1986.
Iggy Pop - Real Wild Child (Wild One) [from Blah Blah Blah, 1986]
Beginning in the mid-Eighties, Pop began accepting character roles in movies: Sid and Nancy, The Color of Money, Cry-Baby, the kids movie Snow Day, and Dead Man. Iggy had reserved his animal spirits for recording: Instinct (1988) was Pop at his most metallic; Brick by Brick followed in 1990 and lauded by critics, American Caesar (1993) was his return to raw form. Naughty Little Doggie (1996) rocked harder.
By that time Pop enjoyed genuine cult-legend status. He was invoked as muse/hero in Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting and Danny Boyle's film of that novel which used "Lust for Life" on its soundtrack.
Pop ended the century with Avenue B, a dark, string-laden work, influenced by his fondness for Frank Sinatra.
In 2003 the Stooges reunited, collaborating on Iggy's Skull Ring and performing live across Europe and the U.S. They were way back into the studio to record their first album since 1973: The Weirdness, released on March 2007. The following year Madonna, in protest of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's failure at the time to have yet inducted the Stooges, asked the Stooges to perform some of her songs in her place; Pop sang hard-rock versions of "Burning Up" and "Ray of Light."
Watch Iggy Pop and The Stooges performing Burning Up and Ray Of Light, (at the Madonna's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's induction)
In 2009 Pop released another solo album, the quieter, electronic- and jazz-informed Préliminaires, inspired by a French novel. Iggy and the Stooges were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.