Sometimes we need a bit of bright blue sky to give us hope that the clouds currently covering our lives can dissipate. In times of trouble, we lean on our friends, and that’s the same for rock and roll heroes too. We’re turning to one of the greatest rock and roll friendships of them all for a small piece of azure atmosphere, and it doesn’t get much tighter than David Bowie and Iggy Pop. That’s because it’s a kind reminder that, through art, we can always keep our friends close to us and our spirits high.
The duo, who lived together, performed, wrote, played, partied, toured and collaborated together since the 1970s, became inseparable as a fearlessly creative musical dynamo. Aside from their time together in the studio and on the road, the duo also became inseparable friends. With their deviousness and devotion to their craft, as well as one another, becoming more and more embroiled with their intertwining lives connected with every passing musical project and year of friendship.
When David Bowie lost his 18-month battle to cancer in 2016, Iggy released a statement to pay tribute to his friend, “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is,” in an emotional goodbye to his closest confidant. In the weeks that followed Bowie’s death, Iggy Pop remained out of the public eye, choosing to take stock of his grief and reflect on the time they spent together. That was until he was scheduled to hit the radio airwaves as part of his 6 Music ‘Iggy Confidential’ show.
Scrapping his usual format, Iggy Pop instead put together an epic two-hour tribute show to his late friend which included a vast playlist of Bowie songs that remain special to him and celebrated the Starman’s creativity. “The way I chose them was from memory,” Iggy said at the time. “I took out a piece of paper and a pen and closed my eyes and just remembered what I liked at different times… I’m weighing things that are a little more low on the totem pole, but not obscure.”
The playlist includes numerous fan favourites such as ‘Scary Monsters’, ‘Under Pressure’ the song he finished with Freddie Mercury and Queen, ‘Sound and Vision’ and more. The songs he picked not only showed a man in grief providing some of the more obscure sides of David Bowie’s career but also the fan inside Iggy and how he clearly used the programme as some form of catharsis.
Each break in Bowie hits Iggy would tell a story of his friendship and, when introducing ‘Wild Is The Wind’, he said: “This was recorded at Cherokee Studios,” with a warm sense of nostalgia in his voice. “[It] was just a very typical, good old solid rock ‘n’ roll studio owned by some guy who was connected to some guy who always had a mountain of drugs. And there were people with hair too long for their bodies coming and going in weird cars. And strange girlfriends.”
Below, you can listed to the playlist and see Iggy’s setlist from his famed 6 Music show. It’s a quite beautiful list straight from the heart.
Iggy Pop’s favourite David Bowie songs:
- ‘Boys Keep Swinging’
- ‘Art Decade’
- ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ (Sax Version)
- ‘Black Country Rock’
- ‘Station To Station’
- ‘What In The World’
- ‘Wild Is The Wind’
- ‘Scary Monsters’ (And Super Creeps)
- ‘The Prettiest Star’ (Single Version)
- ‘Moss Garden’
- ‘Panic in Detroit’
- ‘Dirty Boys’
- ‘Moonage Daydream’
- ‘Sound and Vision’
- ‘Under Pressure’
- ‘Diamond Dogs’
- ‘Criminal World’
- ‘Where Are We Now?’
- ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’
- ‘Stay’ (US Single Edit)
- ‘TVC 15’
- ‘Young Americans’ (Single Version)
- ‘Golden Years’ (Single Version)
- ‘Aladdin Sane’
- ‘Dollar Days’