Aging Less Disgracefully – Iggy Pop gets his gear on


The above is Iggy Pop, performing for a US talk show audience, recently.

Note the understated suit jacket, and white shirt.  Along way from the famous 1970 image at the top of this post – blue jeans,  topless,  black boots – a signature look he sported right into the 20-teens.

Iggy performing in 2013

By that late stage, this is a man in his sixties. Except by then, he was also sporting the signature look with belly flab, and overhanging torso. It wasn’t pretty. Left is a 2013 example,  far from the worst. You can find lots more by Googling.

I’m a huge Iggy fan. I have been since I heard – in my early 20s – his magnificent  snarl “here’s comes Johnny Yen again” opening 1977’s Lust for Life album. Later immortalised in the movie  Trainspotting.

The best concert I ever saw was a 1993 gig he played at the Auckland Town Hall.

Iggy would have been 47 years old. The power of the performance,  and the band,  was unbelievable.  Maybe a hundred or so of us spent almost the entire performance ‘moshing’; dancing, throwing each other about,  generally abandoning all control. Like being on really good drugs, except better. Because unlike a drug trip, by the end of the concert, I was dog-tired, but happy. I’d had a damned good workout, and a purging, of sorts – a sense of total abandonment, a loss of control. For a time, the music had taken over.

Aging Disgracefully

Immature and superficial it is, but being a fan makes comes with it ( or at least used to ) a sense of being a member of tribe. Almost a sense of ownership.

So that watching him in his late 60s still prancing about as if was the Adonis of earlier years does have a cringe factor. Yes, I get that his sound ( and ‘brand’ ) has for a long time ( since The Stooges ) been hard, fast, simple, and nasty rock ( e.g. below ). And the shirtless blue jeans Trailer Park look fits with that, and probably with Iggy himself.

Everybody, of course, has a right to age as disgracefully as they like. Most people either choose not to, or sign out early.

But as a fan, it’s good to see the Old Iguana stop pretending he’s still in his 20s. Or 30s. Or 40s …


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