Iggy Pop's most Iggy Pop moments
I've always been confused when people say they went to Graceland to see the King's grave. Confused because the King ain't dead! He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and currently resides in Florida. Iggy Pop is the true King and there really is no one quite like him. Which kinda made whittling down a list of his most weird and wonderful antics to anything less than a book the size of War and Peace a bit of a mission.
So on the anniversary of the release of the debut Stooges album, here we go with some of Iggy Pop's wildest times.
Bloodbath at Max's Kansas City (July 31, 1973)
The Stooges were booked for a four night run at New York scenester haunt Max's Kansas City to celebrate the release of Raw Power. As Iggy started climbing through the audience, a chair slid from beneath him, sending him crashing through a glass table. Iggy emerged from the shards slashed and stabbed but, Iggy being Iggy, he kept going. Blood spurted over the audience, and after attempts to cover the lacerations with gaffer tape failed, Iggy's old Detroit pal Alice Cooper ended up taking him to the hospital. While debate amongst dullards still rages over whether the injury was an accident or self-inflicted, the rest of just enjoy the mythology.
Iggy inspires the future of Punk (July 15, 1972)
Iggy Pop's first UK performance, at the Kings Cross Cinema, must have been something spectacular to behold. Iggy showed off his Raw Power LP cover outfit of silver strides, glam-inspired makeup, and besmudged racoon eyeliner. After the gig, rock writer/ponce Nick Kent said, "Once, he grabbed a chick and stared blankly into her face, almost beating up some poor misery who dared to laugh at him." "The audience was terrified, with Iggy climbing all over them, and management decided we would get arrested if we did any more shows," James Williamson later remembered. At least two of the people in the audience were suitably inspired - Mick Jones and John Lydon. Whatever happened to those young pups?
Iggy spews and then gets his cock out (again) (August 1970)
In Legs McNeill's Please Kill Me, Alan Vega describes how "he went to sing and he just pukes all over." "Miles Davis loved it." Iggy later brought out his large penis and placed it on top of an amplifier during that same legendary show at Ungano's in New York. He also grabbed the face of Geri Miller, one of Andy Warhol's superstars, and pulled her and her metal folding chair across the floor in possibly his strangest bit of stage theatre. "Let's watch you puke," Miller teased Iggy at an Electric Circus event in New York the following year, recalling his prolific puking abilities. Iggy spit all over her without hesitation.
Cincinnati and Peanut Butter (June 13, 1970)
We see Iggy standing shirtless with an ecstatic audience hoisting him aloft in one of the most iconic photographs of his early career, taken at the Cincinnati Pop Festival. He'd stage-dived (another Iggy invention) and naturally, as all good rockers do, produced a jar of peanut butter, which he slathered on his chest and hurled in gooey hunks at his admirers.
Iggy whips it out on stage for the first time (August 11, 1968)
In tight, low-cut, PVC hip-huggers designed by Becky Tyner, the wife of MC5 vocalist Rob, Iggy looked amazing. However, the custom strides were unable to cope with the singer's, er-hum, demanding presence. According to Paul Trynka's Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed, Iggy started humping women in the audience when his tackle sprang to life. Local cops stormed the stage, but instead of just stopping the now naked loon, they arrested him and whisked him off for a night in the cells. This, of course, would not be the last time a paying crowd got to peek at what Iggy was packing.
Valium with Bebe Beull's puppies (August 1973)
Iggy appeared almost house trained when he dated model Bebe Buell (Liv Tyler's mum), cooking and cleaning and being a general domestic god. Yeah, but he could also be a pretty messed-up drug addict too. Bebe returned home one day to fine Iggy was sleeping in her bathtub with her two dogs, Furburger and Puppet. All three were comatose. When he woke up, he casually admitted that he'd taken some Valium and shared the pills with the hounds.
Faceplant in Toledo (1974)
Iggy Pop was feared and obeyed by crowds at the height of his dominance. However, as the Stooges' tour grew out of control and Columbia revealed that Iggy's contract would not be renewed, fans smelt failure and turned against the band. Iggy, dressed in white makeup and a bow tie, plunged into a crowd in Toledo twice. Both times, the audience stepped aside and let the vocalist face plant, possibly because they were there for the Stooges-hating headliners, Slade.