Ever since I saw that TV Carnage clip of Iggy Pop and David Bowie on The Dinah Shore Show, I've been wanting to hear the backstory about those two pairing up.
Sure, I know the bones of the story, but I know there must be more more fun to be had, especially when there seems to be some squabbling amongst Bowie and Iggy fans. Plus, what's this "huge falling out in recent years" thing?
In fact, Iggy has talked about this recently, mirroring earlier comments from Bowie:
Your work with people like Iggy Pop or Lou Reed, was that collaborative or in tribute?
Well...we were all in the right place at the right time and it just worked out well for everybody concerned. I think it was collaborative, definitely, with Iggy. I spent a lot of time writing for him as well as producing. For me, Iggy's strength was as a lyricist--I thought he was the funniest, darkest lyricist of the time. I really wanted to give him some musical support that would get him a wider audience. It just seemed so unfair that he was virtually neglected, as was Lou Reed when I first started working with him...I was going through a very experimental stage when I first started working with Iggy on "The Idiot." I had some ideas on that which reached their fruition when I started working with Brian on "Low." "The Idiot," for me, was a kind of format for devising a new kind of musical scenario.
How did you end up in New York for your fateful meeting with David Bowie at Max's Kansas City?
I'd been given a ticket to Florida by the manager Steve Paul to explore the idea of becoming a singer for Rick Derringer, late of the McCoys. Steve had seen the Stooges at the Goose Lake Festival [in 1970] and found my performance frightening. Then he chimed in with the usual litany: "Let's get this guy out of the group and put some real musicians around him."
I knew I wasn't doing that. I weasled out of that deal and ended up crashing at [ex-Elektra A&R man] Danny Fields' apartment in New York. I was there one night, watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on TV and getting misty, because I identified with it. I felt and still feel the business I'm in is more corrupt than I am. Then the phone rings, and it's Danny at Max's. It took three calls for him to get me there to meet David: "Look, this guy could help you."
Everything Bowie did for you as a fan and friend is well documented. But what did you do for him?
One thing I can tell you for sure: For three years, I was a guinea pig. If he had a new idea and wasn't sure how to approach it, he would write or arrange something in a similar manner for one of my projects. He had a period where he worked with personnel and engineers with me first, until he got the lay of the land. Then he would do his album with them. That was just a practical part of him.
Honestly, I gave him an outlet for an overflow of talent and ideas he had. The more obscure and weird the idea, that's what I wanted. As for whether he got ideas from me, he was soaking them up from everybody. Everything was a source. We went to Bali years later. He bought a gamelan and shipped it to Switzerland: "I can play that." And he did--on "Loving the Alien" [on I984's Tonight ].
ROLLING STONE 2007
Who's whose muse, eh???
As far as a falling out, of course Curt Wild and Brian Slade parted ways, but I can't find anything about a grudge between the other two. I still say they should let Iggy on the damn boat for a commercial. Who's not gonna want to hang with this frantic chicken monkey on the open sea?
And who knew Encyclopaedia Britannica have an article on Iggy and the Stooges, linking to "West Berlin 1970s overview"?
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