Iggy Pop Biography
James Newell Osterberg, Jr. (born on April 21, 1947 in Muskegon, Michigan), better known by his stage name Iggy Pop, is an American rock singer and occasional actor. Although he has had only limited commercial success, Pop is considered one of the most important innovators of punk rock and related styles. He is sometimes referred to by the nicknames "the Godfather of Punk" and "the Rock Iguana", and is widely acknowledged as one of the most dynamic stage performers of rock. Pop was the lead singer of The Stooges, a late 1960s/early 1970s band that was highly influential in the development of hard rock. The Stooges became infamous for their live performances in which Pop leapt off the stage (thus inventing the "stage dive"), smeared raw meat and on one occasion peanut butter over his chest and cut himself with broken bottles. Many subsequent performers have imitated Pop’s antics.
Although he would never revisit the primal vitality of his days with the Stooges, Pop has had varying degrees of success in his 25 years as a solo artist. His best-known songs include "Lust for Life", "I'm Bored", the Top 40 hit "Candy", and "The Passenger" (the latter based on a poem written by Jim Morrison).
A film about Pop's life and career titled The Passenger is currently in production.
Pop has had a limited career as an actor. He has appeared in sixteen movies (mostly in smaller roles), including Sid and Nancy, The Color of Money, Hardware (voice only), The Crow: City of Angels, The Rugrats Movie, Snow Day, Coffee and Cigarettes, Somewhere in California, Cry-Baby, Dead Man and Atolladero, a Spanish science fiction Western in which he also sings the main theme.
He has been featured in five television series, including Tales from the Crypt, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which he played Yelgrun in "The Magnificent Ferengi" episode.
Although Pop had nothing to do with the movie, Ewan McGregor's sexually ambiguous, drug-fuelled character in Velvet Goldmine is considered by most critics to be modelled on him. Likewise, the character of Rock Head in Sid and Nancy (in which Pop plays a different character) is thought by some to be based on Pop. He had a walk on appearance in the film as a prospective tenant at The Chelsea Hotel.
Pop has been profiled in four rockumentaries and has had songs on eighteen soundtracks, including Crocodile Dundee and Trainspotting.
A bio-pic of Pop is in the works with Elijah Wood taking on the major role. The film has a working title of The Passenger and is due to begin filming in late 2006.
Pop earned a place in punk rock history by popularizing many of the stage routines that are now commonplace among musicians: he was among the first to stage dive and "crowd walk". Some of his antics have yet to have been topped by even the most "outrageous" of contemporary bands: among other things, in his prime he was known to cut himself and roll around in peanut butter on stage, and is rumored to have once received oral sex from a fan in front of an audience.
Although Pop has never had a Top 10 album or best-selling single, his impact on rock music is widely acknowledged; among the famous musicians who have claimed him and his band The Stooges as an influence are the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and Nirvana.
The song "Punk Rock" on the album Come On Die Young by Mogwai is a tribute to Iggy Pop, as it samples a speech that Pop gave on punk rock from an interview on the CBC, March 11, 1977. During that interview, Peter Gzowski asked Iggy to clarify music labeled as "punk rock." Iggy, as some have now dubbed "the Grandfather of Punk," sat upright in his chair and defended the use of "punk", ending his speech (or tirade) in indignant repose.