Iggy Pop’s Dead

It sucks when you see a hero fall. Especially when he falls hard. Back when I was 16, someone threw on Funhouse for me. I was instantly lost in songs like “TV Eye” and “1970.” Up until then, I had never heard something so chaotic and full of energy caught on tape. And this was recorded back in the 70’s! Fuck the Ramones and all of that rubbish. The Stooges were the start of punk for me. And Iggy Pop was a more nihilistic Jim Morrison who thrived on chaos during live shows. Even when the band would get pelted with glass bottles and rocks during a few bad gigs, Iggy feed off of it. It didn’t matter what kind of vibes the audience gave the band, cause Iggy would shake those vibes into something else. At least he did back in the day.

After years of brain frying drugs and never wearing a t-shirt, somewhere down the line, Iggy lost his cool. While the original break up of the Stooges and a few mediocre solo albums were the beginning, this was solidified in 2003 when Iggy released a solo album with those fake punks in Green Day and Sum 41. This cringeworthy CD was followed by money-grubbing opportunities. If the Iggy that many of us had come to love was still around, he would have spit in the face of the guy who offered him a role in those insurance commercials. Now (according to my London friend), he’s all over billboards promoting the shit in Merry Ole’ England.

So what else can Iggy do to prove that punk rock is dead? I know, how’s about American Idol? 

I know. It’s like a really bad dream. Why would Iggy agree to do ANYTHING that Simon Cowell once touched/endorsed? I would like to say drugs are expensive or something, but Iggy’s doing this shit sober! You know it’s bad when you wish you can blame a mistake on heroin! But alas, Iggy is sober and lip synching/flaling his vieny body around on the same stage that produced the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken. People the old Iggy would have laughed about. Now, he’s entertaining their leftovers.

Maybe I’m being harsh on him. After all, what good musician has made it past their sixties without doing something cringeworthy? But what sets Iggy outside of the same realm as say Paul McCartney or Robert Plant was the no-bullshit attitude. Not to say that those other guys never had it either, but for a guy like Iggy, the attitude was everything. It translated into his music and it translated even better during the live show. It wasn’t about the money or being popular. It was about putting on a show and telling the world, “Alright, let’s have it.” Now, he’s become a self-parody.

Stuff like this makes me shudder and wonder how bad it would have gone for other legends like Morrison, Cobain and Hendrix had they not joined the 27 club. I’d like to believe that it would have turned out differently for them, but in the end, there’s nearly always a certain point where the art begins to suffer and things get really weird and then lame. Only a few can avoid this trap, and unforunately, Iggy didn’t make it through the wash.

Fuck it, I’m just gonna try and remember Iggy for stuff like the video below.

RIP Iggy Pop (1947-1977)

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