When looking back at the friendship between Iggy Pop and David Bowie it can become quite easy to focus on the extraordinary and extravagant. But while there’s a whole heap of stories surrounding the pair’s partnership, the real bond that linked the pair was always music.
Yes, stories about the pair’s exploits including this humdinger which saw Bowie smuggle cocaine into a psych ward for pop, all while wearing a spaceman costume, but the real focus should be the music. Whether it’s Bowie’s contribution to Iggy’s seminal album Lust for Life or the moments the pair shared on stage, the duo was an unstoppable force.
The partnership hung largely on mutual respect for the other’s art and style of craft, none more so is this shown on than when Bowie covers Iggy’s work. Having previously brought you Bowie’s cover of ‘Lust for Life’, we’ve just unearthed this incredible moment when Bowie added The Stooges’ classic track ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ to his set during the Glass Spider tour of 1987.
The tour itself was kind of cursed, reports Bowie Songs. The focal point of the stage show, which had its budget bumped up by Pepsi Cola money, was a giant spider that stood in the middle of the stage. The spider itself had giant legs which lit up at night (though most shows wouldn’t see this happen until it was too late as the nights wouldn’t get dark until the show was nearly over), and also allowed Bowie to finish his set atop the giant structure.
Aside from the large budget and the giant spider, it allowed Bowie to create, the tour was mired in frustration. Whether it was from the band whose infighting was becoming a funded dick measuring contest, technical faults with mics and sound, or Bowie himself being exasperated by the size of the show and the pressure it put on him, the tour was beginning to fall flat.
That’s until, as the tour wound down in Europe, Bowie decided to sub in some rock and roll classics over hits from his latest album Never Let Me Down. He brought out his versions of ‘Jean Genie’, ‘White Light/White Heat’ and, the reason we’re all here, The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’.
The performance below is from the Sydney stop of the tour and sees Bowie in swashbuckling form. Holding court, he delivers a spine-tingling performance of the track. With it, Bowie found a home in the retrospective rock and roll revelry, at a time where he was trying to match the theatricality in his heart with the big-budget stadium tours his growing legend deserved.
While it remains a curious crossroad for Bowie fans, the below performance of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ from 1987’s Glass Spider tour is still a beautiful moment of powerful musicianship and respect for his fellow artist and friend.
Sources: Bowie Songs