The amount of fan mail that world-famous talents such as Iggy Pop received before the advent of social media is truly unimaginable and nobody can blame iconic figures for not being able to find the time to sift through the thousands of doting letters that were delivered. Of course, it would have been truly impossible for the former a figure of Iggy Pop’s ilk, for example, to reply to every single piece of fan mail he received. However, one letter that he did respond to would be among his most important acts.
In 1995, the musician received mail from a 21-year-old Parisian fan called Lawrence. Iggy Pop was her icon and a source of escapism away from her personal turmoils that were consuming her life at the time. She sent a letter to Iggy, which was over 20 pages long, and the chances of getting a response were little to none. Months and months passed since she posted the letter to her hero and, as she expected, Iggy didn’t reply to her note. Then, some nine months on from when she sent the letter across the Atlantic, Lawrence got a reply in the post and the timing couldn’t have been any better.
“By the time I finished I was in tears,” she later said about receiving the reply. “Not only had Iggy Pop received the letter I had sent him nine months before, and I could have missed his if he’d sent it a day later, but he had read the whole ‘fucking’ 20 pages, including the bit about my Adidas dress (a semi-innocent allusion on my part), and all the rest, my description of being the child of an acrimonious divorce with the string of social workers, lawyers, greedy estate agents and bailiffs at the door, the fear, the anger, the frustration, the love,” Lawrence added.
Timing is everything in life and it’s one minor miracle that is somewhat too much of a coincidence to envisage that the letter arrived at Lawrence’s house literally the day before bailiffs evicted her parents from the Parisian building.
If Iggy had sent it just a day letter, then it would have quite possibly have been lost forever and she would never have known that the 20-page document one she sent had even met his eyes let alone the fact that he felt compelled to write back to her.
Read the transcript of his heartfelt reply accompanied with an image of the handwritten letter.
“Thank you for your gorgeous and charming letter, you brighten up my dim life. I read the whole fucking thing, dear. Of course, I’d love to see you in your black dress and your white socks too. But most of all I want to see you take a deep breath and do whatever you must to survive and find something to be that you can love. You’re obviously a bright fucking chick, w/ a big heart too and I want to wish you a (belated) HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 21st b’day and happy spirit. I was very miserable and fighting hard on my 21st b’day, too.
“People booed me on the stage, and I was staying in someone else’s house and I was scared. It’s been a long road since then, but pressure never ends in this life. ‘perforation problems’ by the way means to me also the holes that will always exist in any story we try to make of our lives. so hang on, my love, and grow big and strong and take your hits and keep going.
“All my love to a really beautiful girl. That’s you Laurence.