“No fun to hang around, feelin’ that same old way. No fun to hang around, freaked out for another day.”
Ever had a really embarrassing moment involving someone you look up to and a relative? I sure have. 10 years ago I was reading something, and I turned the page. On the next page was a full on naked photo of Iggy Pop. Next to me, was my mum. I was embarrassed and those few seconds felt like forever. It’s alright. Iggy has been one person I’ve frequently looked up to. Not because he strips off a lot, but because he just doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks. Besides, he’s the forefront of the genre of music that owns my heart-Punk.
My love for Iggy started out when I was really young. I Wanna Be Your Dog was the song I first remember hearing. The intro just blew me away, but as soon as Iggy’s voice kicked in- I felt like I had found something I had been missing for a long time. At such a young age, you think everything is missing. As you get older you realise you are still constantly searching. You’re not entirely sure what for though. I don’t know, maybe you are. Maybe you aren’t. I guess that’s what keeps most of us alive. If I was content with who I am and my life, I’d probably throw myself off a cliff. I can’t imagine ever settling and never not thinking “There’s more than this.” I just can’t. It makes no sense to enjoy routine. Maybe it is because I get bored so easily. The only thing I don’t grow tired of is music and books. The energy that Iggy has really clicked with me. I know I move really slow, and I do enjoy a nap. But when you listen to songs such as Search And Destroy, you feel so much energy. Sorry for the really bad pun, but it is all down to RAW POWER. That’s what it is. There’s no other way.
I grew up bored. I hated where I grew up. I’m back there now, and I’m sick of it. I don’t understand why this place exists but hey- I guess it must. I’m bored with it. There’s nothing to do at all. I find myself constantly wishing for Aliens or whatever to take me away at 3am so I can go do something interesting. This constant feel of boredom surrounds me everywhere day, so I suppose that is why I felt such a connection to Iggy and his words. A lot of his music really does touch on being bored, feeling isolated and frustrated.
A lost teenager has evidently resorted in me turning into an adult who wants more from life; but has no means at all in doing so. I have nothing, and I own nothing. The most expensive thing I own are my Docs. They were about £50. I don’t own any expensive clothes, my laptop is breaking, I own 2 pairs of jeans- but you make do with what you have. Maybe I could turn my books and records into clothes. Having nothing and wanting more, to just get the fuck out really makes me connect even more with Iggy Pop. More than I did when I was 14. At 25 years old, every word he sings seems to be more and more apt.
I’ve shut off the world so many times playing The Passenger over and over. It is the perfect song to remove yourself from everything to. Iggy just has this way. I like it when an artist gives the listener the freedom to make up their own mind about what a song is about. I don’t like it when they give you a solid explanation. Music is all about freedom, so the listener should also have the freedom to make up their own meaning and make the song their own. For me, The Passenger is like the outsider of society finding comfort in it all. Finding a sense of inner peace by gazing at the street lights and drifting in and out of all that is happening during the night-time. I much prefer the night to the day. Then again, I’m probably not normal. But who truly is? Nobody.
Aged 65, Iggy is still performing (topless) and to be honest- his energy and presence really shows up some of the singers and bands that are around today. What I absolutely adore about Iggy is that he managed to be the voice of so many, and I still he is. I hope that some lost and isolated teenager in the middle of nowhere finds Iggy’s music and finds themselves in the music. I hope they carry it on into adulthood. Once you listen to Iggy, that’s it. You’re hooked completely. I can’t imagine just casually listening to his music (solo and with The Stooges.) Maybe it is because he is someone I just unconditionally have a lot of love and respect for. Maybe it is because his music kept me going through my teenage years. I’m still kicking and screaming my way through adulthood (okay maybe not screaming..just silently disliking it.) But he’s ALWAYS been there. At times his music feels like he is saying, “You know what kid? I know what it’s like to have nothing and to want to be something. You’ll get there eventually.” Maybe eventually I will.
His insane stage antics are another reason as to why I love him. Anyone who launches himself into a crowd and covers himself in peanut butter is a hero to me. Then again, I think Iggy could be the only person to get away with that kind of behaviour. See, you may think Lady Gaga is apparently “wild.” Whatever. Go watch some Iggy Pop live clips. Read some Iggy stories. I’m not saying he started that kind of behaviour, but he sure as hell brought it to the media’s attention. Everything he has ever done stays with you. From the insane stage invasions to him parading about naked to him singing the songs that sum up your thinking.
He goes so far beyond being the Godfather of Punk. He’s just this figure that has provided guidance for many generations who had no one. His music is a lifeline for those who feel drained. Feelings of exhaustion leave you as soon as you hear his distinctive voice. He manages to charge you up when you feel like you have/are nothing. He’s an incredible force that, to just describe him as a “singer” is quite disrespectful. He exceeds that, and more. One of my favourite interviews I have ever seen is the interview Faris Badwan (singer in The Horrors) did with him. To see someone interview one of their idols, and ask questions as a fan is truly beautiful and inspiring. It is one interview that constantly sticks out for me. The shyness that Faris has around Iggy, and the way Iggy is with Faris is sort of like father and son in a way. You can see him guiding Faris in a different way aside from musically. It just shows how sensitive and gentle Iggy is. His music may give you the impression that he’s some angry man. Truth is, he isn’t.
What you can take from Iggy is that you should never judge. Those that look angry or as if they may rob you are probably the most gentle beings you’ll meet. My mum says to me, “How you dress and how you are..they’re just totally different. You’re so gentle and kind.” When you watch an Iggy performance, it does make you think he’s pretty crazy. Then you read interviews or watch him being interviewed. He’s sensitive, well-spoken and well-educated. How could you not fall in love with this man?!
I honestly cannot imagine what it’d be like with someone as strong as Iggy around. He took a genre of music and made it for all. The way he commands a stage to his intelligence is so easy to feel comfortable with, and feel part of. Even if you still feel a bit lost, his music will always feel like home.