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Fighting & Violence: Iggy Pop

When did The Stooges metamorphose from a straight rock’n’roll band into the full blood’n’guts Iggy show it ended up as?

Before we were a straight rock’n’roll band we were a very experimental band. Then, little by little, it started coming in from left field to be more of a rock show. At the same time as we were doing more shows, we were getting more resistance in general on all sorts of levels. And I counter-attacked. That’s when the blood and guts started coming into it. Some gigs would have no blood or guts, others might have a little scratch, once in awhile there was a gig where I’d just get a little bump on the head. But bump on the head doesn’t sound as exciting as blood and guts.

Was there ever a moment during the Stooges madness when you stood back and thought, enough is enough?

Early on, in Romeo, Michigan we played next to the State Police post. I wasn’t getting the rise I thought I should out of the audience, so at the end of the show I tossed a heavy mic stand at them and then went off stage and stripped off and went out and stage-dived into the midst of them and just rolled naked throughout the auditorium. They went crazy, but I ended up in pokey for the night. But it’s showbiz, after all.

What’s the very worst injury you’ve ever inflicted on yourself?

I dislocated my arm. That was dramatic. The arm was sticking out like a tree. It pops out every now and again.

Did you really drip candle wax on yourself and roll on broken glass on stage?

Yes, but not at the same show.

Have you ever taken a shit on stage?

Kind of.

_What do you mean ‘kind of’? _

It was in the wings. So you could say that I’ve broken the unwritten law.

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.