Iggy Pop On The Death Of The Stooges
The following interview was conducted by Danny Sugerman (hi Danny!) and appeared in his cool, but very limited-circulation fanzine, Heavy Metal Digest, in 1974. We stole it from Bomp Records’ – “Iguana Chronicles” page:
Because we’re lazy.
Because it’s a great interview.
Because Iggy won’t talk to us.
Because you need to read it.
Also present at the time the interview was conducted was Corel Starr, Ig's then "fiancée” (and older sister of the more renowned groupie Sabel, then with Johnny Thunders). In it, he talks about the songs that later surfaced on Bomp Records’ album, “Open Up and Bleed”, and provides some insight into what things were like in the final days of the Stooges:
DS: When can we expect the Stooges' next LP?
Iggy: I don't know man! (laughing)
DS: Any idea what the music will be like?
Iggy: Like shit.
DS: Good shit or bad shit?
Iggy: Oh, I don' t know. Just shit.
DS: What's the band been doing?
Iggy: You know damn well what we're doing! I don't know what the band's been doing. Last night I fell down. I drank a buncha Boones Farm and got really drunk and fell down and cut my cheek open, see?
DS: Did you get sick?
Iggy: I never get sick on alcohol.
DS: You're leaving for twenty gigs this afternoon through February, are you looking forward to the tour?
Iggy: Well, I better not be looking back! No, I rather go to the beach.
DS: What would you rather do, make music or go to the beach?
Iggy: Go to the beach.
DS: If you had everything to do over again, what would you do?
Iggy: Go to the beach and learn to be a lifeguard!
DS: Have you been writing any new songs?
Iggy: Yeah! Lots of new songs. We've got "I Got Nothing," "Rich Bitch," and... (to kid across the street) HEY, YA GOT ANY POT?!
DS: Ya got a joint?
Iggy: Any marijuana? No, okay, I don't smoke anyway. There's another song but I can't think of the title.
Corel: You liar, you didn't write any new songs.
Iggy: Yes, I did! I just can't remember the other title! Oh, yeah! "Wet My Bed!" That's it.
Corel: God Danny, it's too early to start drinking!
DS: It's never too early to start drinking. Can you recite some of the lyrical highlights?
Iggy: Of the champagne?
DS: No, asshole, your songs.
Iggy: Oh! "Rich Bitch": "When you're so big/they drive thru you with a truck/And everybody knows you already been fucked/Daddy ain't 'round to pay your bills/Nobody wants to buy your pills/Ya hardhitter/keep your, keep your, keep your hands off me!"
DS: Your next album, when and if...
Iggy: See, I don't know about the next album cause there are all these different companies and I don't know who to deal with. We're off of Columbia due to, ummm, differences.
DS: Is there any truth to the rumor that the Stooges have gone musical?
Iggy: Yeah, yeah! That's true! We've gone harmonies and the whole bit. Even some acoustic guitar.
DS: What's your relationship with Elton John?
Iggy: (backbending on the floor): I don't know.
Corel: He's hot for Jim's bod
Iggy: He's not either! Qell, maybe but I don't now. He's a nice man and so am I.
DS: He gonna produce you?
Corel: He's gonna let you produce him!
Iggy: Yeah, you. That's what I told someone last night in an interview. I told them Danny Sugarman was going to produce my next album.
Corel: Yeah, he was even saying it in his sleep!
DS: You went on record as saying you never were a punk.
Iggy: Who did I tell that to?
Iggy: Who? Oh yeah, I get it, well I ain't. I never was a punk. It's just that I'm so smart that people just don't know, you know? I'm just way over other people's heads. You know what I mean. There are so many people who wanted so bad to be literate but I was literate when I was five years old so I got past that.
Corel: (laughing) Sure Jim
Iggy: It's true. When I was five years old, man. I had a bigger vocabulary than you do today!
DS: It must be awfully difficult finding a female mate who can match your extra superior intelligence.
Iggy: Yeah, especially when I eat my toe-nails
Corel: Oh Jim, how gross.
DS: Where are you putting them?
Iggy: Wherever I want. Don't worry, they're not going on yer floor. I got this girl but I don't know about her.
Iggy: She hates my music. She just likes me. I like that.
DS: It doesn't frustrate you?
Iggy: Ummmahhhoooono! I expect it. I figure any girl I really liked wouldn't like anything about me. You know. Because all those girls who like my music I don't like. I literally can't touch them.
Corel: Quit it, that's disgusting! Don't eat your toenails.
Iggy: I'm chewing on them. There's a difference.
DS: Some say you're bent on death?
Iggy: Ah, what do they know. I'm going to see 80! Everybody is saying he's going to die in two days, but they're wrong! No, uh uh, not this boy, I'm okay.
Corel: If you were meant to die, you would've died a long time ago.
Iggy: Yeah, that's right. I've come close but close is a lot, LOT different than that same thing. It'll take a lot to kill me. A helluva lot.
DS: Do you ever see your old friends?
Iggy: Outside of you, all my friends are either dead, in jail, or they look like Leee Childers! (laughter)
DS: What's your favorite Doors song?
Iggy: All of 'em. Especially "The Spy" whatever the official title is and "The End." They're all great.
DS: Are you enjoying being a Stooge?
Iggy: Yeah! Hell yeah! Damn straight! Well NO! Besides, I'm Iggy Pop, they're the Stooges. (laughter)
DS: Okay, do you still like being Iggy Pop?
Iggy: I might as well, I'm stuck with it. I didn't make up the name.
Corel: You still want them to be the Psychedelic Stooges.
Iggy: No, that's not true, hon. You see, the music we used to play was like a cross between ELP and ELO. No kidding. Really, it was. The majesties, not the instruments. I was on organ. It's the truth. It was before we ever went on stage. It was after I went out and saw all these trashy bands that I said, well, people like the trashy bands, they don't like the good bands so I might as well be trashy. I decided to outdo all those kinda guys I hated at their own game, and I did. And I won. And I liked it!
DS: The Stooges' problem has always been being ahead of their time.
Iggy: Yeah, exactly, right. That's cause we're so smart.
DS: But you're still making the same music, basically, that you were four years ago. You're not making music ahead of its time now. I mean, I don't live in the future. Maybe rock is going to make a turn-about and come back and we're the only ones that know that trash rock will be the big thing in 1980.
Iggy: EXACTLY! We're still ahead of our time. Cause we're so smart. Even Scott Asheton (drums). He's a stone genius, he knows it. He might not be able to spell or talk (laughter), you know what I mean? But he's a stone genius! I do at least ten dumb things a day, but that don't slight me. I don't know why I do 'em, but I'm still a genius. I can think things and say things nobody understands. I don't know, you sometimes understand me and it scares me a bit. We're too smart for our own good, that's all. Too honest.
DS: Thanks. Since it's always nice to let the star have the last word...
Iggy: Ummm, I called a nigger a nigger in Mass. last week. That's pretty bold. You know what I mean? You just don't say that sort of stuff in front of 3,000 people. But he really was, I mean he was niggering. Niggering out, grabbing at my leg and microphone cord. I said "stop that you damn nigger!!" and that takes guts!
DS: Don't you believe in being appreciative towards the people who pay to see you?
Iggy: I don't spit at anybody I don't aim at. And the only people I spit at are people who are being assholes.
DS: Audiences are afraid of you.
Iggy: I didn't know that! I think if they are it's only when I come off the stage which I haven't been doing. I just wasn't in the mood. It's not good to let them begin to expect that from you. I'm getting all these guts from nowhere. Like a performer usually thinks, "Oh God, I better do what I'm expected," and like all of a sudden I'm doing what I wnt to and fuck what I'm expected to do. A lot of that has to do with this girl I know who told me I'd be better off that way.
Danny Sugerman – tMx 21 – 08/05