MUSIC Does the Godfather of Punk really need an introduction? It's Iggy Pop. He's been doing this — this meaning spitting out underground ethos in a signature growl and writhing shirtless — for nearly 50 years. With the untimely death of original Stooge guitarist Ron Asheton, Pop regrouped and tapped Raw Power-era player James Williamson to rejoin the band a couple of years back.
I spoke to Pop in Paris over the phone -- his current world tour was supposed to land in San Francisco on Sept. 12 and 13. As we were going to press, however, we were informed that the ever-wild Pop broke his foot and his appearance here will be rescheduled, with new dates TBA Dec. 4 and 6 at the Warfield. We wish him a speedy recovery!
SFBG: What songs are you playing this tour?
Iggy Pop: All of Raw Power, some of Funhouse, some songs from the eponymous debut the Stooges, and some stuff that was too hot to handle, too raw for the times — stuff that came out on bootlegs in the '70s like "Cock in My Pocket," "Open Up and Bleed," "Head on the Curve."
SFBG: And James Williamson is on guitar?
Iggy Pop: Yeah, it's James. The three principles in the group are James, myself and [drummer] Scott Asheton, — [Scott] had a medical emergency...after our appearance at the Hellfest. He's now home — he's benched for the rest of the year. I expect he'll fully recover and be back next year. His replacement on drums is somebody that grew up listening to our records — Toby Dammit. And Mike Watt is with us, and Steve Mackay. Mike's there being Mike, you know?
SFBG: I do. At this point in your career do feel pressure to maintain this 'Wild Child' image?
Iggy Pop: You mean you've noticed my style? [Laughs]. It's interesting. I feel a desire to — [screams] "still do that, BABY!" — at certain times when it's going to do me good. And I can't think of a better time than when the Stooges are cranking, and there are a bunch of people who are sick of this shit-soup that white rock has become and want to see some action. I let some of those elements live and breath, and I always feel good about it.
I don't think there's so much an image I have to live up to because one of the beautiful things about being me and about being the Stooges is that we never, ever received any legitimate or uncontested exposure from either the official music industry, when it existed, or the official media. We're more popular now than we ever were. I'm 64 and I'm just starting to hit a career peak. I consciously try to introduce as many new things as I can into what I do and try to keep moderating it. My hair's not gray, I haven't lost interest in life.
SFBG: So what are you looking forward to in the future? The future being later tonight, and six months down the line?