The Aging Punk 024

Thursday, 10 October 2013

In these Aging Punk columns, I often tell stories about musical, or music related, experiences I have had. The point is usually less to talk about myself and more to attempt to illustrate some point about how we relate to music but, sometimes, I just have a good story to tell which doesn’t have any great lesson or moral to it. Such is the case here, I think. There might be a lesson about our relationship with celebrity laced into it somewhere (specifically, how meeting our heroes can turn us into blathering idiots), but I leave it to readers to decide for themselves.

In November, 1980, I saw Iggy Pop perform in Denver, CO. I just happened to be in town the night of his show, and seized the chance. It was the fourth time I had seen the singer in the past four years and it was, by far, the worst performance of the lot. Regular readers of Ground Control should have some idea of what an Iggy Pop concert is supposed to be like, and this one was definitely not like that. Iggy basically put on no show that night; I don’t know if he was junked up, genuinely ill or just not feeling it, but he barely moved for the entire concert. No leaping around, no acts of contortion, no leaning into the audience. In fact, he could barely be bothered to insult them. If this had it been my first Iggy show, I would have been severely disappointed. As it was, I was able to find it “interesting” only because it was about as far from any of the other shows I had ever seen Iggy Pop do and still be called an Iggy Pop performance. 

The next day I was in the Denver airport, running to catch my flight, and there I spied James Newell "Iggy Pop" Osterberg himself! I went up to him and said something like, “What happened last night? Were you bored or tired or what?” He, not looking at all well, scowled at me and growled, “What are you, a critic?” Rather than saying something sensible like, “No, just a disappointed fan,” I mumbled “Kinda.” So he snarled back, “Why don’t you just fuck off?”

So, although I now feel pretty stupid about the whole thing, I can proudly say, “I met Iggy Pop, and he told me to fuck off!”

Oh, and I missed my flight.

Further Reading:

Ground Control Magazine – Iggy and The Stooges – St. James Park – San Jose, CA – 09/28/13 – [Live]
Ground Control Magazine – "The Portrait Of Creative Convergence" – [Feature]
Ground Control Magazine – Iggy And The Stooges – Yonge-Dundas Square – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – 06/19/10 – [Review]
Ground Control Magazine – "The Stooges Return From The Brink" – [Feature]

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