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Watch Iggy Pop's first appearance on late night TV with David Letterman, 1982


Iggy Pop, an artist that has traversed numerous genres throughout his prolific career, altering his own output but always remaining true to his own creative vision, has managed to consistently work his way through the music industry despite a number of perilous moments when it looked like the entire Iggy Pop experience would come crashing down.

While there have been countless landmark moments in which Iggy Pop has broken new ground, be it his manic performances with The Stooges or his fearlessly pioneering partnership with David Bowie, we’re resisting his endearing debut appearance on late night television as the guest performer on David Letterman’s talk show.

Launching onto the stage after his introduction from Letterman, looking a bit like David Bowie and dancing a bit like Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop flies into a rendition of ‘Eat or Be Eaten’, a track taken from his sixth solo studio album Zombie Birdhouse.

Later, when welcomed out for a conversation, Pop discusses life as a child, being raised in a small trailer with his family and how that affected his youth in school, dealing with the term “trailer park trash” on a daily basis. Typically, however, Pop uses that experience as a positive: “Well I kinda liked it because it was ahead of its time, you know. My father is a visionary,” he says while smiling.

The conversation then turns to Pop’s on-stage antics and how, occasionally, how he lands himself in certain scrapes. In fact, while discussing how he rarely gets injured when diving into the crowd, Pop does comically detail how he was forced to replace his tooth in time for the appearance on Letterman.

At one point, the talk turns to David Bowie and, detailing how he met the Starman, Pop explains: “I was out of work in 1970, about 12 years ago, I’d been dumped by some record company,” he says warmly about the beginnings of his relationship with Bowie. “I was in New York scrounging around and looking for a gig and he [Bowie] was in town and he turned out to be an admirer of my work. I met him in a bar and he invited me for breakfast the next morning and I ate about four mounds of breakfast because I was really hungry”.

Iggy Po added: “We sort of hit it off. We discussed going to England to make an album which turned out to be Raw Power, which was sort of an unleashing of this incredibly tense band called The Stooges from Detroit. He basically unleashed us.”

Pop added: “He became my mentor, to an extent.”

See the wonderfully endearing clip, below.