Iggy Pop: [Laughs] well, later tonight, my wife's with me, and I'm going to open half a bottle of Bordeaux, watch the French news, and practice my French. I've made a small album of my own [Existence] that's along the lines of [2009's] Préliminaires so I'm working on seeing if I can bamboozle some record company into putting that out. But I'm also working on [Stooges] stuff with James. He's a real prolific talent, and wasn't playing music for something like 37 years — he's got a lot of pent-up energy. It's funny because he's an eminently sane, responsible family man who has become a very successful tech executive in San Jose. But he has still reserved his unreasoning, adolescent, spiteful side for our group — so out it comes!
SFBG: How did you end up on American Idol?
Iggy Pop: Well, my agent was begging and threatening — and I'm the sort of person that likes to take a dare. I don't know how many times I've slunk past the television set when that thing was on fuming, "this stinks, what a bunch of shit this is, look at these people — they might as well be parrots!" Yet, behind all that you're always thinking, "I can do better than that." I thought of all 102 reasons why I shouldn't do it, but you're being offered a chance to do one of your own songs...on the same stage, with the chance to do it your way. I did it for that. To give four minutes of my life and put that on the record in America.
SFBG: On that same note, what was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame experience like for you, finally getting inducted in 2010?
Iggy Pop: It always reminds me of that movie Carrie. She didn't start out wanting to be homecoming queen, did she? They keep nominating you, and I didn't ask, nobody asked me if I wanted to be nominated. So then with every nomination comes the rejection, so you start feeling all like, "fuck!" Then you start looking around and think, "well there's a silly-ass prick and he's in the Hall of Fame" and "there's a no-talent weasel and he's in the Hall of Fame" — why the hell can't I be in the Hall of Fame?
Shortly after Ron and Scott and I started working together again I said, "are there any specific things you want to accomplish?" And both said, "well, I want to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That would be the big thing." So at that point I started doing things that would tend to let that happen. I did a couple of Grammy-related events. And then we did Madonna's [induction]. I figured if the voters for this thing didn't know who we were before, they'd know now. It's a shame, Ron was really pissed when they didn't induct us the next year — he hated doing the Madonna song but I didn't mind. Hell, we could do "Happy Birthday" and it would sound good, too. It would sound like us.