An 8:40 Interview With Iggy Pop

The Iguanas Nardwuar: Who are you?
Iggy Pop: If I am not a myth, whose legend am I?

You are Iggy Pop!
Well, yeah.

You are the Iggster!
I am Iggy.

How old are you today, Iggy?
Today I am forty-eight years old but I'll be forty-nine very soon. My birthday's next month.

I once saw you on the Arsenio Hall Show. The Arsenio Hall Show. The Arsenio Hall Show. Do you remember being on that show?
Yes, he's a tall black man.

That was the craziest. You walking on the Arsenio Hall Show with this neat kind of vest on and no shirt.

Iggy and Mark, side by side And I noticed you look a lot like Mark Arm of Mudhoney. There was like--
--I do not! Huh-hee huh-hee! (laughs) He might look a little like me.

There was a photo shoot of you two guys together a few years ago, and he looked like your son kinda.
I see. Well, yeah. There are a lot of people around who look like my kids.

On your new album, Iggy, you have a song called "Pussy Walk."

You also have an older tune called "Cock in My Pocket."

When you played the UBC SUB Ballroom here in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, I guess around 1980, guess what you showed?
Uhhh, was it like my cock?


And a couple weeks ago apparently on the BBC show "White Room," you wore some plastic see-through trousers which revealed your...
Was it like my cock?

And, during the Big Day Out Festival in Australia, you flashed your...
Uhhhhh, you mean my cock?

Now, Mr. Pop, did you really show your cock-ring to Tina "Ginger" Louise from Gilligan's Island fame?
Hoo hoo hoo hooo!! (laughs) Uhhhhh,...

What are the circumstances surrounding that--Ginger, my idol, Ginger?
It was a slow day by the pool in Beverly Hills.

Was she frightened? Like totally frightened like when you said, "Boo!" to Brian Wilson?
Hee hee hee hee!!! (laughs) I don't know how she felt. You would have to ask her.

You did once walk up to Brian Wilson though, Iggy Pop, and say, "Boo!" didn't you?
Hoo hoo hoo hoo!!!! (laughs) Is that what Brian says?

Apparently that is the legend. Iggy Pop scared Brian Wilson, big time!
It's possible. I like Brian. He is very nice. I have met Brian and he is very nice. We spent an evening together.

Have you mentioned the word "boo" to him at all?
I don't remember the "boo" but, you know, as you pointed out, there are so many children who look like me-ee-he he (laughs), I maybe don't remember all the things I do.

Iggy, where did you first pop out your cock on stage? When was the first time? Do you remember it?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha! (laughs) Yeah. It was in a town called Romeo.

What year was this?

Were you the first guy ever to do this on stage that's been documented? Because a lot of people try to do stuff, but then people are told, "Iggy's already done that."
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! (laughs) I've already done everything, Nardwuar.

Iggy with a bone. Yeah, you've done everything! Were you the first guy to show his cock on stage? Or were there other people?
I don't know. I wasn't thinking about it.

What do you think, Iggy, of G.G. Allin? He was totally inspired by you. Iggy, you started it and G.G. finished it! Did he get the "GG" like from my "GG's" in "Iggy"?
Probably. I'm not sure. But I know he was totally, totally influenced by you. That's what somebody told me, that he called himself G.G. from my "GG's".

What did you think of him? What did you think of his performance? Did you ever listen to his stuff? Did you ever see him?
No, I never saw him, but I think G.G.'s a pretty cool name.

How did you avoid the draft, Iggy?
Uhh, they didn't want me.

Didn't you pretend that you were gay?
Well, they didn't want me.

Why didn't they want you?
He he he. (laughs) Well, you would have to ask them! That's all I've got to say on the subject.

Because in your book there's something about a "raging hard-on" that had something to do with them not wanting you.
Well, yeah, but I mean, you know, I'm going to elaborate on that here.

Okay. William Shatner. Do you remember James T. Kirk?

Did he once "hit on you"?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! (laughs) Was that like in the National Star or something?

Oh, it's just little undercurrents, something like that.
I never... if he did, I don't remember.

Apparently he hit on you or one of the Stooges, and he is a Canadian too!
Ha ha ha! One of the Stooges! (laughs) And he is a Canadian!

And you're in Toronto!
Ohhh, Canada!

Track six on Naughty Little Doggie,---you ARE the naughty little doggie, you ARE the naughty little doggie you are Iggy Pop---is called "Keep on Believing." Now, man, I keep on believin' and wonderin' , "Where is James Williamson? Is he really a lawyer in Northern California doing computer music?"
No, he is a computer executive in Northern California in the Silicon Valley, and I don't think he does computer music or has a law degree. He does apparently play a lot of tennis.

Did you once get a kind of anger at him for trying to make New Values a disco record?
He he he. That was actually Solder Yeah, he got carried away. He wanted to make it 48-track, bring in an orchestra. I thought it was a bit much for a song like "Dog Food" or "I Snub You."

Will Williamson be involved in the proposed Stooges reunion, Iggy?
Uhh, I doubt that very much. He doesn't play. What I had planned was to get together with the guys who actually started the band.

So no tennis players or computer execs on the proposed Stooges reunion.
No, no.... Nancy is squirming and making a movement that says, "We are at an end." Okay.

Oh, Iggy, just a few more quick questions here. I am dying to know this. Glenn Frey said, "In the late 1960s, Detroit was in a fake music boom. There were all these terrible bands getting all the attention, like the MC5, the Scot Richard Case. As far as I was concerned, nobody except Bob Seger had a single ounce of talent." This was what Glenn Frey said.
That is because Bob Seger was the only guy who would hire Glenn Frey. Ha ha ha! (laughs)

Yeah. What the hell was he talking about, because at that time the Iguanas were around! Iggy, your first band the Iguanas! You had shaved eyebrows, dyed platinum hair, wore pajamas, all while drumming in the Iguanas! This is amazing! 1965! Pre-Stooges!
Glenn was bummed because he wanted to start a band with me and I turned him down. Iggy way up high!

How excited or how wild did the Iguanas get? How wild were you in the Iguanas, your first band?
The most wild thing about the Iguanas was I had a twelve-foot drum riser.

You were way up there!
I was way up there. Oh yeah, and then after we left school, yeah that's right, I got busted. I got pretty wild but they didn't. They all wanted to go to college and stuff.

Because according to Iguana guitarist Don Swickerath, you did not start masturbating until you were twenty-five--
--That's true.

--and the church council in Petosky wouldn't allow the Iguanas to play "Louie Louie" until after midnight for fear that you would do "The Pussy Walk" on the locals.
That's true. Ha ha hew. (laughs)

And then he also said this is the legend of the Iguanas, your first band, totally unerappreciated. You charmed the Wrigley Chewing Gum family's daughters?
I think it was Reynolds Aluminum and Wrigley's Chewing Gum.

They let you have the run of their mansions and their daughters!
That's true. Yeah.

You naughty little doggie!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!! (laughs) Swift Meats also.

Recently some Iguanas stuff has been re-released. Are you aware of that?
Vaguely. Have you got one?

I've ordered it. Who were the Iguanas' main rivals at that time? Who were you fighting against?
The Rationals were our main rivals.

Pleasure SeekersDid you ever get to party with or see Suzi Quatro's Pleasure Seekers?
I did. Yeah, I knew Suzy and I thought her whole band was real foxy and I wanted to just jump on them all.

Were they punk?
No, they were just foxy, kinda like Shampoo. Just bad girls, you know.

Was Ted Nugent weird back then in the days of the Amboy Dukes because they were out of Detroit?
You betcha he was. I've gotta go now, Nardwuar!

Oh! Oh! Just quickly!
Label Rep: I've got to take him away. Sorry.

Please don't take him away, Iggy! Just quickly! Please, Iggy, please don't leave! Iggy, please! Please don't leave, Iggy! Please! Iggy! Iggy! Please!
Label Rep: Thanks, guy. Bye.

Please! Please! Iggy! Iggy! Iggy, please! Iggy!

Iggy! Iggy?

*** For more info on the Iguanas, check out Kicks Magazine #7, P.O. Box 646, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003 USA***

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Interview done over the phone March 15, 1996.