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The Stooges Frontman, Record Store Day Ambassador Iggy Pop Turns 65

On Saturday, April 21, James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, the “Godfather of Punk,” the man, the myth, the living legend, turns 65 years old. If you do not love and/or respect the man, I suspect you are missing something.

He is one hero of mine that I would probably die if I met, but I am satisfied to sing “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” or “China Girl” all by myself while driving with the windows down and keeping the dream of meeting him at a safe and anonymous distance. My giddy admiration for Mr. Pop is shared by scores of fabulous folks, like yourselves.

For those of you just now joining the rest of us, let me catch you up. Iggy Pop is the lead singer for the incomparable band The Stooges, as well as a solo artist, songwriter, actor, and author. If you need some popular references:

As for the rest of his albums? They are solid, and I recommend checking them out.

It is clear that I adore his music, but I love the man too. He’s done some hard living in his time and yet his music, and self, seems completely timeless, ageless.

Pop doesn’t look good for someone his age, he looks better than someone half his age! He applies an explosive sincerity to all that he does. His dangerous abandon makes him impossible to ignore. Go ahead, try it! Leave it to the Godfather of Punk to consistently provoke the world to try something different.

His performances never leave anything to be desired. He is the polar opposite of those lead singers who look at their shoes while they sing. Melancholy, and still, they make you feel like you have inconvenienced them. Pop would literally bend over backward to get attention. He’s walked on seas of people. Bled for the music and the audience. When he is on stage, at the mic, or ricocheting about, you get the sense that he was born in that very spot, to do this, and there is nowhere else he would rather be. He is all in, all the time. To do everything with that level of intensity is mind blowing, and something I admire greatly.

Pop is quite a character, which has translated well on both the large and small screens. His various roles in film have caused me to spastically yell out “IGGY POP!” in many a dark theater. Something I can never get over is, what appears to be, his incredible sense of humor. His choice of roles reflects this. Whether playing himself as he did in “Coffee and Cigarettes” or fictional characters, Iggy seems unafraid to poke fun. Two of my favorite roles of his are Belvedere Rickettes from John Water’s film “Cry Baby,” and James Mecklenberg from the Nickelodeon series “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” This utterly intimidating rock god is, without a doubt, charmingly hilarious. His complete disregard for maintaining some macho bravado only serves to solidify his unflappable coolness.

There is so much about him that should be, and is, celebrated. The music! That voice! Those eyes! That physique! The amazing antics! He is one of a kind. I am sure I am preaching to the choir. So from all of us in the choir — Happy birthday, Iggy Pop!

 

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