Why Iggy Pop Landed A Bad Reputation In The Music World

Rolling Stone discussed several other shows during the ’70s that were certainly wild stories from the rock ‘n’ roll frontlines, but one has to wonder about the hesitancy of people booking shows and performing with Iggy Pop; would they be getting the straight-ahead frenetic energy Iggy or the bloody, glassy Iggy. Maybe they would get the Iggy who was set to play the Whisky in Los Angeles and demanded money from his wealthy audience to pay off his heroin dealer before he would play, then proceeded to overdose on stage before playing a single note. Valid concerns!

In another Rolling Stone interview, Pop recalls a gig in which The Stooges (his band before he went solo) opened for Joe Cocker. After another wild, violent set, Pop says, “I walked out to the middle of the floor, in my shorts with these welts on my body, to talk to the talent agent Frank Barselona about possibly booking the group. He said, ‘Iggy, I think in twenty years or so, you’re going to be a very important guy. But for now, no thanks.'”

Of course, Pop cleaned up his act in the ensuing decades — he kicked heroin, cocaine, and cigarettes — and he now lives a healthy life in sunny Miami. But let’s go ahead and just assume the cruise line never had Pop as its performer-in-residence.

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