Iggy Pop

Happy Birthday

James Newell Osterberg Jr.
April 21, 1947
Muskegon, Michigan

James Newell Osterberg Jr. ,better known as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist of influential proto-punkband The Stooges, who were formed in 1967 and have disbanded and reunited multiple times since. He began a solo career with the 1977 album The Idiot, recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. He is well known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. Some call him the greatest frontman of all time. 

Iggy Pop was born in Muskegon, Michigan, the son of Louella and James Newell Osterberg Sr. Pop was raised in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, Michigan. 

Once he hit junior high in Ann Arbor, Iggy began going to school with the son of the president of Ford Motor Company, with kids of wealth and distinction. But Iggy had a wealth that beat them all. He had the tremendous investment his parents made in him. He got a lot of care. They helped Iggy explore anything he  was interested in. This culminated in their evacuation from the master bedroom in the trailer, because that was the only room big enough for Iggy's drum kit. They gave their bedroom to the boy. 

Osterberg began his music career as a drummer in various high school bands in Ann Arbor, Michigan, including the Iguanas. James moved to Chicago to learn about the Blues. Inspired by Chicago blues as well as bands like The Sonics, MC5 and The Doors, he formed the Psychedelic Stooges and began calling himself Iggy.
The seeds of Iggy Pop's stage persona were sown when he saw The Doors perform in 1967 at the University of Michigan and was amazed by the stage antics and antagonism displayed by singer Jim Morrison. Morrison's extreme behavior, while performing in a popular band, inspired the young Iggy Pop to push the boundaries of stage performance. Other influences on Iggy Pop's vocals and persona were Mick Jagger and James Brown. Iggy Pop was one of the first performers to do a stage-dive and popularized the activity. Iggy Pop, who performs bare-chested, also performed such stage theatrics as rolling around in broken glass and exposing himself to the crowd. Iggy has not worn a shirt since 1969. 

In 1968, The Stooges signed with Elektra Records. The band was incredibly influential and way ahead of their time. This usually means lack of commercial success as well. The original band consisted of Iggy on vocals, Ron Asheton (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums) and Dave Alexander (bass guitar). The band was plagued by drug issues and only released 3 classic albums. "The Stooges", "Fun House" and "Raw Power". "Raw Power" was produced by David Bowie and is now considered one of the first punk albums, and one of the greatest albums of all time. 

The Stooges had some catalog of songs: "1969", "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "No Fun", "Real Cool Time", "1970", "Fun House", "Search & Destroy", "Gimme Danger", "Raw Power" and many more. 

After the Stooges' second breakup, Iggy was unable to control his drug use and checked himself into a mental institution. Bowie was one of his few visitors there, and he continued to support his friend and collaborator. In 1976, Bowie took him along as his companion on the Station to Station tour. This was Iggy's first exposure to large-scale professional touring and he was impressed, particularly with Bowie's work ethic. 

Bowie and Iggy relocated to West Berlin to wean themselves off their respective drug addictions. "Living in a Berlin apartment with Bowie and his friends was interesting…" Iggy recalled. "The big event of the week was Thursday night. Anyone who was still alive and able to crawl to the sofa would watch Starsky & Hutch.

In 1977, Iggy signed with RCA Records. Bowie helped write and produce The Idiot and Lust for Life, Iggy's two most acclaimed albums as a solo artist, the latter featuring one of his best-known songs, "The Passenger". Iggy's solo catalog was incredible as well. "Lust for Life", "Chaina Girl", "Candy", I'm Bored", "Real Wild Child" and many more. 

Happy Birthday and Thank You for the music Iggy Pop! A True Legend! 

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