5 Things You Might Not Know About Iggy Pop

Monday, April 23, 2018
Iggy Pop

While you and the rest of the vinyl-loving public were celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday, Iggy Pop was celebrating his birthday. We’d like to formally apologize to Mr. Pop for not being in a position to post anything in honor of the day of his birth on that actual date, but now that we’re back in the office and in front of the computer again, we thought we’d celebrate by offering up 5 things you may not have known about our man Iggy.

1.    The Stooges actually sought permission from Moe Howard to make sure he was cool with their name.

For years, it was rumored that Iggy himself was the one who called Moe to get the ostensible leader of The Three Stooges to okay the band calling themselves “The Stooges.”In fact, it was Iggy’s bandmate Ron Asheton who made the call. “Moe said, ‘Yeah, [use the name] as long as you don’t have a comedy group or something, “ Iggy told Rolling Stone in 2016, adding that Asheton had actually interacted with two Stooges. “Ron for quite awhile [also] visited Larry Fine, and he would bring Larry cigars and whiskey and stuff like that.”

2.    He contributed backing vocals to “What in the World,” a track on David Bowie’s 1977 album, LOW.

It’s well known that David Bowie was responsible for helping steer Iggy Pop into some of the best work of his solo career, thanks to the production work he did on THE IDIOT and LUST FOR LIFE, both of which were released in 1977. What’s less remembered, however, is that Iggy also popped up on a couple of Bowie tracks over the years, the first being “What in the World.” It would be another seven years before Iggy found his way onto a second Bowie track (“Dancing with the Big Boys,” on 1984’s TONIGHT), 

3.    In the early ‘80s, he recorded a few songs with Tommy Boyce as his producer.

There can’t possibly be anyone who frequents Rhino.com with any semblance of regularity who can’t immediately identify Tommy Boyce as a songwriter who – with the assistance of his longtime collaborator Bobby Hart – wrote a bunch of hit singles for The Monkees. In this case, Boyce’s commercial instincts worked nicely for the song “Bang Bang,” which Iggy had, in fact, written because he had promised Arista, his label at the time, a commercial album. Looking back, the album in question – 1981’s PARTY – is a really terrible attempt at commerciality, with the greatest case and point being the song “Eggs on Plate,” but to give credit where credit is due, “Bang Bang” is actually a pretty great single. 

4.    He performed on American Idol in 2011.

No, no, he wasn’t auditioning, and you know he couldn’t possibly have done so, because people would still be talking about that to this day. Iggy did, however, take the stage of American Idol in 2011, where – at the age 64 and while wearing no shirt – he performed his classic ‘80s single “Wild One” to rapturous applause from seemingly everyone except for the contestants, who merely applauded politely and seemed mildly befuddled about the whole performance. These kids today…

5.    He’d been a musician – or at least a singer – for 30 years before scoring his first gold record.

Whether you want to call Iggy’s 1990 album BRICK BY BRICK a comeback LP or an unabashed attempt to sell out, the end result is the same: thanks to songs like “Livin’ on the Edge of the Night” and “Candy,” it proved to be the biggest selling album of his career. Having been rockin’ in some fashion or other since 1960, it’s fair to say that Iggy had earned it by then.