Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Pop, Iggy

Born James Newell Osterberg Jr. on April 21, 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan. Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He is considered an influential innovator of punk rock, hard rock, and other styles of rock music. Pop began calling himself "Iggy" after his first band in high school (for which he was the drummer), The Iguanas.

Iggy's infamous stage persona was born when he saw The Doors perform at the University of Michigan in 1967. He was amazed by the stage antics and antagonism displayed by singer Jim Morrison. Pop was the first performer to do a stage-dive, which he did at a concert in Detroit. Other stage exploits include rolling around in broken glass and vomiting on stage.

After exploring local blues-style bands such as the Prime Movers, he eventually dropped out of the University of Michigan and moved to Chicago to learn more about blues. Inspired by Chicago blues as well as bands like The Sonics and The MC5, he formed the Psychedelic Stooges. The band was composed of Iggy on vocals, Ron Asheton on guitar, Scott Asheton on drums, and Dave Alexander on bass.

In 1968 the band, which had changed their name to “The Stooges”, signed with Elektra Records. Their first two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, sold poorly. Shortly after, the group disbanded, allegedly due to Pop's growing heroin addiction.

Iggy Pop's popularity has ebbed and flowed throughout the course of his subsequent solo career. His best-known solo songs include "Lust for Life", "Real Wild Child", “Candy" (with vocalist Kate Pierson of The B-52's), "China Girl" (co-written with and later covered by David Bowie) and "The Passenger".

 


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