I became Iggy because I had a sadistic boss at a record store. I’d been in a band called The Iguanas. And when this boss wanted to embarrass and demean me, he’d say, “Iggy, get me a coffee, light.”

Texts from an interview by Bret Gladstone for Pitchfork

Honestly, no one really wanted to fucking talk to me. I did one interview in 1969 with Dave Marsh — I made him come to The Stooges’ house and we kind of held him captive for eight hours.

I have a suspicion that the design of some of the songs was ahead a few years. I’ve always hated that phrase “it was ahead of its time,” but it was.

“Nihilism is best done by professionals”

So that’s part of it. Another thing I believe or notice is that when there is a clear-cut, simply understood basis to the lyric, those songs tend to hold up over time better than mush, which is generally what you get — mush.

James Newell Osterberg, Jr. Born April 21, 1947

But then that’s not really what’s going on with rock. You tend to get a lot of over production. They’re going for the bucks. It’s a different world now. In 1965, when great young white artists in the English-speaking world were successfully re-channeling hillbilly and black music — you know Bob Dylan, Ray Davies, Pete Townsend, Keith Richards — they didn’t get any money at first. They were all broke.

All those giant people had to stay around quite a while to cash in because the industry ripped them off more efficiently. The information wasn’t as widely available as it is now.

Symbolic Importance

A conversation like this is a huge distraction that I have to deal with. I try and get it done and keep it away from the actual tour. That’s one thing. Another is to keep it away from writing or recording time. You try not to let it all meld.

Then there’s the other kind wherein you become more known in the world and you’re walking around and people just know who you are. You can’t get away with shit and you never know when they’re gonna know who you are.

I Wanna Be Your Dog — The Stooges, 1969

Once we decided that we were gonna make money dominating the world, first thing we did was throw away the good American music, the blues and hillbilly music. We gave it away. We pitched it to the Europeans and they came back and totally destroyed our music industry with it. Even Elvis tried to make a last stand for it, and they laughed at him.

Iggy Pop (born James Newell Osterberg, Jr.; April 21, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. He is the vocalist of influential proto-punk band The Stooges, who reunited in 2003, and has been known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics.

Pop’s music has encompassed a number of styles over the course of his career, including garage rock, hard rock, new wave, jazz, art rock and blues. Though his popularity has fluctuated through the years, many of Pop’s songs have become well-known, including “Lust for Life,” “The Passenger,” “Real Wild Child,” “Candy” (a duet with Kate Pierson of The B-52’s), “China Girl,” “Nightclubbing,” “Search and Destroy” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

Further reading: The Stooges, The Trolls, The Nymphs, The Iguanas, Slash, David Bowie, Rob Duprey, Debbie Harry, Blondie, Tom Waits, Henry Rollins, The Cramps

Iggy Elsewhere: