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‘Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan’

Remember these lines?

Ziggy Stardust. If you are having trouble. I have an image in my head circa 1971-2 of myself  listening to the album. Everyone else had gone to bed. Except my dad.

‘Do you understand the words he  asked? ‘Of course I do said’, mildly affronted that my relationship with Bowie’s music and lyrics be called into question.OK I lied.

But I made damned sure I found out pretty quickly

So ‘Well hung‘, slang for a gentleman of generous proportions in the trouser department, while ‘came on (stage) so loaded ( under the influence of drugs or alcohol) Snow white tan, a reference to Iggy Pop, a performer not averse to bringing his ‘Ol Feller’ out on occasion. And it’s quite  a slonker too – I’ ve seen it, along with half the known universe.

Now, I curated an exhibition recently at a nearby gallery. Well, I say ‘curated’ I just arranged some pictures and hung them up on the walls. Thankfully we had all the gear necessary to complete the task. Which makes a change. Step ladder, Staple gun, Staple remover, Frame hanging wire.. and my trusty metre stick and spirit level.

During her speech of welcome,The director of the gallery, as well as telling the audience something about the fascinating history of the venue, also  happened to point out to the assembled that yours truly was responsible for the layout. Of which I was quite proud, I have to say.

Bottles of wine were duly opened and everyone began to circulate, as they do; when  I was accosted (very gently ) but accosted nevertheless by a woman I guess in her late 60s, about five foot tall, dressed in dark trousers and a grey sweater. she looked me square in the face and said

‘Well Hung’

Now, I must admit she took me by surprise somewhat, she hovered a little longer as I wrestled with the problem: question or statement of fact?

I smiled inanely but by the time I had thought of a witty repost, she was long gone into the crowd.

My witty repost? The best I could do under the circumstances

‘It’s not a lot but it will fill a pram’


Iggy and The Stooges. Hammersmith Apollo 2nd May 2010

Sixty three. Sixty three years old. Just reflect on that for a minute as I drain the dregs of my Horlicks (and double brandy)

For I, along with about 2,999 others have just spent an evening in the company of polite, intelligent, urbane Miami car insurance salesman (63) James Osterberg’s alter-ego, Iggy Pop. And what an evening. Right from the get-go with blistering opener ‘Raw Power’ Iggy and the Stooges made an unequivocal statement of intent – this was no old fossils’ Greatest Hits jolly, this was the real deal: searing, raw, incisive, naked, ugly (Aghh… I hate the term, but it really is the only one that fits) Rock ‘n’ Roll.

This is the third time I have seen Osterberg undergo this almost daemonic transformation live. The first time (’81) I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t thinking: I didn’t get it. Wood and trees etc. The second time (2007) was with my eldest at the Festival Hall: part of  the annual ‘Meltdown’ series of events; which is where the penny dropped. However, it is without  doubt, tonight’s performance of  the pivotal ‘Raw Power’ (1973) in its entirety which has been the most compelling, and is the one I have enjoyed the most.

Iggy’s ‘Stooges’ are Drums: Scott “Rock Action” Asheton, bass: Mike Watt, and guitar, as replacement for the late Ron Asheton, in a wholly appropriate, though highly ironic echo of his assimilation into the original incarnation of the band (and the subsequent and devastating demotion of Asheton, R) … It’s naughty boy, James Williamson. Together they laid down a powerhouse backdrop of sound, which if you analysed carefully, I’d be willing to bet would contain the building blocks of every Punk motif you could care to mention. A perfectly primed canvas for Iggy, on which to daub, splatter, splash and from time to time exquisitely render his vocal imagery and project his physicality. In fact, it’s what strikes you the minute he half-walks, half-staggers onto the stage. How completely physical Iggy’s performance is.

And yet  he cuts such a contradictory figure. For his age, he is in impressive shape. (‘Two hours of Chinese shit every morning’ ) Taut torso, sinewy, part Marvel Comic Super-Hero and part crucified Christ; commanding, he calls the tunes. Yet equally vulnerable: not least when, without a great deal of warning, he launches himself off the stage, diving headlong into his audience relying on their hands and arms to catch him and eventually return him to the stage. Occasionally he looked fragile, but indifferent to it. Indeed, more than anything  with his stage dives he appeared increasingly determined as the evening went on, to find a bit of a ‘gap’ through which lay only sudden and violent contact with a hard floor.


‘Go on have a go! Any fool can do this’

Understandably, over the years his stage performances have taken their toll, particularly on his back. But he doesn’t slow down, despite the discomfort he now and again, seems to be feeling. There are times when his gait resembles my own stuttering, stumbling, even hyperactive steps. In fact, I am struck many times during the course of  the evening at the similarities between Iggy’s sometimes jerky lack of co-ordination; and my own. The result of what 10 years with Parkinson’s and the drugs used to fight it can do to you.

Jim Osterberg has spoken countless times about this stage persona, and how this unpredictable, dangerous and, at times physically intimidating phenomenon is something he cannot control. He is possessed. I recall an excellent South Bank Show interview (and there’s a combination of words I use very sparingly – if ever) I saw a couple of weeks before his 2007 ‘meltdown’ show, in which he spoke with clarity and precision to the point of cold-bloodedness about his formation of the Stooges with their ‘White Trash aesthetic’ and why this had to be the context within which Iggy was to exist.  During the dark opening bars to ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ as they raised the hairs on the back of my neck in the Festival Hall  it suddenly became blindingly clear to me what Iggy Pop is all about.

And just what is that? You ask. Well, You’ll know … If you know. And if you don’t, no amount of explanation from Yours Truly is going to be any use to you. Like me back in ’81: If you get it, you get it; if you don’t, well it ain’t the end of the world, but you are missing out on something pretty special.

Unlikely isn’t it? The thought, twenty years ago that Iggy Pop might still be performing in his 60’s would, at least for me anyway, have conjured up images of sad revival tours, the wearing of cheap and unsavoury stage gear, a backing band of  ‘session musicians’ whose wooden playing and lack of rapport reveal a complete absence of understanding.  All, we could be forgiven for imagining, chaotically magnified by tantrums and out-of-touch histrionics from our hero.

None of it. 

Fact (Okay it’s a silly one, but bear with me): The band’s combined age (and I’m not even counting Steve Mackay) were we to travel the equivalent back in time, we would find ourselves in the year the American Revolution began and James Watt patented his steam engine!  But the Stooges play with a conviction and energy worthy of musicians a third their age.

Mike Watt gets animated too

For once I make a smart move, and with my Minder, Stig leave the relative safety of our balcony seats, leap down the stairs, then blag, wriggle and push our way to the front for the final few numbers. It really is the only place to be. Meanwhile, Iggy has given so completely (Yes, I know a lot of it is pure theatre) he is on the verge of collapse. So am I. It’s nervous tension. For each successive ill-advised-in-my-condition-mosh-pit encounter brings ever closer the day when I hit the deck and don’t get up too quick (If ever) Or worse, having to, from then on, sit back and watch others younger, fitter (as well as a few older, unfitter taking chances too) as they get on with it.

 Video ‘Kill City’

Finally, for those of you who are interested, or who had money on it, I am relieved to report that Iggy’s ‘Old Feller’ stayed within the confines of his highly mobile jeans – Just! But it was touch and go … If you’ll pardon the expression.

To summarise. I couldn’t give a toss how old he is, nor do I give a shit about whether he chooses to pay the rent by appearing in TV ads for car insurance. Iggy Pop, love him or hate him is still able to orchestrate a thoroughly absorbing, carthartic and if I’m honest, a still somewhat unnerving experience for the lucky concert-goer.

‘Shamen or Sham’? Iggy Pop: I know where I stand.


  1. Raw Power
  2. Search and Destroy
  3. Gimme Danger
  4. Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
  5. Shake Appeal
  6. I Need Somebody
  7. Penetration
  8. Death Trip
  9. Cock In My Pocket
  10. I Got A Right
  11. I Wanna Be Your Dog
  12. 1970
  13. L.A Blues
  14. Night Theme
  15. Beyond The Law
  16. Open Up And Bleed


  1. Fun House
  2. Kill City
  3. Johanna









© Andy Daly  2010  Thanks to Stig for video. Mine were shite.

How to avoid giving someone a lift

The other day a friend asked me how they might avoid having to give a lift to someone whose company they did not particularly care for. I suggested:

1.) Play Captain Beefheart/Iggy Pop/Sex Pistols/Residents/Pere Ubu (any will do) CDs VERY LOUD the whole way. I guarantee you won’t hear a single word and you will never be asked for a lift again.

2) Say you’ve got a job finding locations for a re-make of ‘The Exorcist’ and there’s one or two places you want to check out on the way.

 3) On arrival at their house, ask if they happen to have about 4ft. of narrow gauge wire to hand (preferably in a rubber sheath)  as you could do with replacing your accelerator cable. It keeps sticking, usually somewhere about 60 – 70 mph.

© Andy Daly  2010