Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop first joined bands as a drummer. He picked up the nickname Iggy while with the Iguanas(1964). In 1965 he joined Prime Movers, changing his name to Iggy Stooge. Inspired by seeing the “Doors”, he formed the Psychedelic Stooges with Ron Asheton. Iggy was vocalist and guitarist, Asheton played bass with Asheton’s brother Scott later joining on drums. They debuted in Michigan, October 1967. Dave Alexander joined on bass, and Psychedelic was dropped from their name.
Ron switched to guitar, leaving Iggy free to concentrate on singing and showmanship. The Stooges signed to Elektra Records in 1968 for two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, but the band broke up in the early 70s. Stooges fan David Bowie helped Iggy record “Raw Power” in 1972. When no suitable British musicians could be found, Williamson, Scott Thurston and the Ashetons were flown in. The resultant album included Search and Destroy. Bowie involvement continued as Iggy sailed through stormy seas. His live performances were legendary: self-mutilation, sex acts and an invitation to a local gang to kill him onstage.
In the late 70s, Iggy signed to Arista Records, releasing rather average albums with occasional assistance from Glen Matlock and Ivan Kral. He went into vinyl exile after 1982s autobiography and the Chris Stein-produced Zombie Birdhouse. During his time out of the studio he cleaned up his drug problems and married. He also developed his acting career, appearing in Sid And Nancy, The Colour Of Money, Hardware and on television in Miami Vice.
His big return came in 1986 with the Bowie-produced Blah Blah Blah and his first ever UK hit single, a cover of Johnny O’Keefe’s Real Wild Child. American Ceasar from its jokingly self-aggrandizing title onwards, revealed and continued creative growth. Avenue Bwas a stylistic oddity, a reflective, semi-acoustic set informed by the singer turning 50 and his recent divorce. Throughout he has remained the consummate live performer, setting a benchmark for at least one generation of rock musicians.
Source: Mathew Jones
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