The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, April 19,2011 - 9A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 9A
Before Iggy was a legend
Ann Arbor residents look back on their
encounters with homegrown star Iggy Pop
By David Riva I Daily Arts Writer"'
There's a certain aura that
exists when a musician spends
his or her formative years in
an area. That person lives on
through stories shared in record
shops and concert halls. Some
might call it legend, but those
who reach this mythical status
have an inextricable influence
on the place where they grew up
- their presence still emanates
from the walls of local public
schools, convenience stores and
Iggy Pop is one of these musi-
cians. The 63-year-old artist will
be playing a tribute show tonight
for the late Stooges guitarist Ron
Asheton in the city in which the
Stooges formed - Ann Arbor.
"(Iggy Pop) was one of the
most energetic dancers," Ann
Arbor-based musician Dan Mul-
holland said. "When he started
taking off, he was just riveting.
I don't know if it was cocaine or
what, but he would just fly across
the room like James Brown. He
made Mick Jagger look really
Musician Scott Morgan, who
went to Iggy's high school in
Ann Arbor, echoed the praise of
the star's untamed energy.
"He puts everything he's got
into the show," he said.
Off the stage, Iggy was just
as memorable as he was while
performing, and Ann Arborites
eagerly share their anecdotes
that loosely connect them to this
substantial figure in the city's
John Kerr, owner of Wazoo
Records on State Street, recalled
his "one fabled encounter with
Iggy Pop," when he was work-
ing an early-morning shift at a
convenience store called Stop-
N-Go on Broadway Street in Ann
Arbor" . ""
"It was a complete ghost town,
and I guess Iggy was playing at
some festival in Toledo that day,"
he said. "I looked out across the
parking lot, and there came Iggy,
and he came in. He was the only
person in the store with me. He
bought a loaf of bread, paid for it
with small change to the exact
penny ... He had an Iggy Pop
T-shirt turned inside out that he
Born Jim Osterberg in Mus-
kegon, Mich., Iggy and his fam-
ily moved to a trailer park in
Ypsilanti when he was young.
He wasn't fond of telling others
about this housing arrangement,
"He didn't want anyone to
know that he lived there, so he
told them he lived somewhere
else," Morgan said.
However, his self-conscious
attitude was something that
didn't last long. Jim would
acquire the nickname Iggy and
with it would become one of the
most notorious rock'n'rollers
and recognizable stage perform-
ers of his time.
But while attending Ann
Arbor's Pioneer High School in
the '60s, Jim was just another
"He was pretty straight when
he was in high school," Morgan
said. "He was a gymnast and
On stage, during high school
talent shows, Jim began to stand
out, and his Iggy persona started
to take shape.
"He did (a) comedy routine,"
Morgan explained. "He played
this character named Hyacinth.
He didn't talk, and he just kind
of acted funny. I don't know
how to put it, but it was a look at
what he would do later with the
Around this time, Jim took a
job at thesnow-closed Discount
Records on State Street. This
is where Herb David, owner of
COURTESY OF LENT SINCLAIRi
Iggy's crazy onstage persona started to emerge during high school talent shows.
Herb David Guitar Studio on from the ceiling and he was
Liberty Street, first met him. swinging (on) it like Tarzan
The now-80-year-old David across the auditorium," David
exudes a tone of wisdom after said.
years of observing the Ann Anybody who's ever seen Iggy
Arbor music scene and had only live has a unique story to share
positive things to say about Jim's about his one-of-a-kind stage
early years, calling him a "nice presence.
young man" and "a guy with alot "Iggy doesn't keep his shirt on
of spirit." for very long," explained Matt
Morgan would also frequent Bradish, owner of Underground
Discount Records, and Jim was Sounds on Liberty Street. "It's
always there to give him music usually (off) by the end of the
recommendations. first song."
"He'd point to different Though this is a common
records and say, 'Check this out, occurrence seen by many, Brad-
it's Van Morisson's Moon Dance,' ish encountered even more skin
" Morgan explained. "I'd just than he ever wanted to see at a
take his word for it and buy the concert in the early '90s.
stuff, and he was always right." "I was in the front row - not
One time, Jim suggested Mor- very far from (Iggy) - and the
gan buy a record by Detroit jazz guy mooned me from like three
saxophonist Yusef Lateef. On feet," Bradish said. "(I've) got to
the album, a song called "East- say, he does shower."
ern Market" contained a riff that These onstage antics are
Morgan would later notice in the acceptable to some, but to others
song "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by they are borderline dangerous
Iggy and the Stooges. and unnecessary.
Another memory of Mor- Mulholland, for instance, crit-
gan's illustrates Jim'sP ompeti- icized Iggy's performance style.
tive nature. When Jim was still "Sometimes Iggy would play
working at Discount Records, a song for 25 minutes just mak-
Morgan's band, the Rationals, ing noise into the microphone,
recorded a song called "Leav- just trying to fuck with people,"
ing Here," originally by the he explained. "He'd get in some-
Motown songwriting team body's face and start kicking
Holland-Dozier-Holland. Per- them ... I said, 'This is too violent
haps out of jealousy, Jim didn't for me, I've got other shit to do."'
want the recording by the Mulholland offered a story
Rationals to succeed. that shows a side of Iggy that is
"(He) took all the, copies of not well documented - the bril-
the record that were in the liance of his mind.
singles bin," Morgan said, add- "I went into the Fleetwood
ing that Jim wanted to record a (Diner on) a hot summer day,
version of the song himself. It's and there's Iggy at the counter,"
likely that Jim took that stack he explained. "His memory was,
of singles to the stock room, like, photographic.
where he spent a large portion "I said, 'Do you remember the
of his time while at work. time you came over the house
"They banished him to the and we smoked some joints, and
stock room because he was you told us about getting signed
always just talking to girls to Main Man (Records) to do
when he worked upstairs," Raw Power?' (Iggy) remembered
Morgan said. who was there, who brought the
Jim briefly attended the Uni- bag of weed. It must have been
versity in 1965 before dropping 15 years earlier, (but) he remem-
out to study blues drumming bered everybody's name. It was
in Chicago in 1966. When he uncanny."
returned to Ann Arbor eight Whether in a diner, conve-
months later, Jim joined the nience store, a record shop, at
Prime Movers. The blues band school or on stage, Ann Arbor
frequented local concert halls, is the site of countless tales of a
and its performances serve as kid named Jim who developed
some of David's earliest memo- into the famous icon Iggy Pop.
ries of Iggy as the world knows Though we can never fully know
him today. the entire story of Iggy, traces
"The band was playing can be found in the town that
onstage, and Iggy had a rope raised him.
- at let
had a b
in the a
line of j
to a nea
was a c
it, I real
ing to t
James Bidgood's 1971 write reviews, I usually listen
Im "Pink Narcissus," to the albums by myself. I think
playful Adonis lit in about them, put them on repeat,
neon puts on a record digesting them alone.
uts. The boy, played by I've been a DJ on WCBN for
tn- the last two years now, and you
lobby might consider it a social experi-
11, ence. Though in the end, it's me,
p a alone in a studio for a couple
lights hours, listening to music being
ette sent out there, listened to by
ks to maybe 100 people, maybe none.
as he And my music of choice?
ong- JOE Disco. By all means, the spartan
n the DIMUZIO "purpose" of disco is dancing
with .________-- it's social music, meant for
rown crowds. Disco 12"s were made
esome Thinking Of You" for the clubs, for the dancing
ng in the background. people, whose sweat and shouts
ns the phone dial with to the music granted it life or
ger, strips a bit and falls death.
d, rolling around until But I've also come to love
hes his own face in the disco almost entirely alone.
(hello there), as if he'd Much of the time I spend
;een it before. researching music for my show
ly, I've felt a bit like Bobby is done late at night, wearing
ast musically. At surface headphones alone in my room.
Pink Narcissus" is a beau- I refuse to deny the pleasure
lit erotic drama shot in of a headphones album. The
shut-in queen's Manhat- private fantasia of letting music
:rtment. Beyond that, it's serve as your sensual tableau -
erworldly sequence of clutching tightly to songs heard
s - in which our bulging by thousands of other people
sus lounges about in pri- clutching it just as close.
ntasizing himself a mata- Last month, during a birth-
man slave, virile fantasies day party at my house I tried
elf projected onto us. to seclude myself in my room.
eeing it, I've been hung up Blasting Gino Soccio broughtcthe
n the space between two knocks of total strangers. Within
private and public music. a few minutes there was amis-
erably tipsy dance party in my
room. My world of privacy was
1 d can suddenly public, and I was lov-
can ing it. Glancing atthe YouTube
)e shared. comments for anynumber of
obscure disco classics,you'll find
heartfelt odes to pasts probably
colored in with nostalgia: "Oh,
month at the Kerrytown I'll never forget" and "I remem-
t House, I had the plea- ber when this song _ed my
hearing a lecture from life," the occasional paragraph
WCBN's most respected epitaphs for private memories
wulf He is one of many now public. People experiencing
ble music lovers at the the same feeling, far away, over
, whose range of taste phone lines, continents, earbuds,
no bounds and whose decades, dance floors.
ion of music eviscerates Writer FrankKogn's idea
f my hard-won jadedness. that we can't simply conkider
his lecture - an unfairly music as content, but as a viable
g word considering he activity we engage in during
acking band, complete our day-to-day, is part of this
oboe, accordion and cycle. I buy records owned by
te fountain - I began to other people in time, strangers
the emotional ejaculate who listened to the same songs,
ir as Arwulf listed a long and our conversation is inher-
azz musicians from the ited. We hear a song alone, we
ream and left-field. Rising talk to friends and realize they
ir-gospel trance, he called reached the same conclusion,
n Ra ... Archie Shepp ... maybe a different one. Pop radio
e Coleman," as excitable elicitsaboos and cheers, often
nodded, grunted, laughed in the same car. We share an
dually shouted out album with a friend like a page
ses. In that noise there from our diary. There is joy in
onversation - memories the privacy, joy in the open and
larations of affirmation. some unfathomable infinity in
that too. It is the activity of our musi-
practical ritual - the cal lives, not a soundtrack. It's a
nal energy of music - is living, breathing broadcast. The
ecause, as I think about music you dance, drink, cry, feel,
lize that most of the study, walk and masturbate to.
isten to music by myself. Hell, you knew what Bobby Ken-
nds of kids on campus dall was goingto do at the end of
o music by themselves. the movie, right?
A V A0T
,a iTAHANREN R S TTA RANT
Take a trip to Italy
without the expensive plane ticket.
kids ridea Bursley-Baits
aring earbuds, in their
trld, some of them listen-
he same song. When I
Dimuzio is disco dancing on
the Bursley-Baits bus. To join in,
BE OUR FOLLOWER.
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