Credit: Yves Lorson/PLAZM

Iggy Pop eviscerates America, advertising and art in handwritten letter from 1995

Iggy Pop is certainly one of the most visceral and volatile rock gods of all time. The forefather of punk earned his reputation with an unstoppable attitude, a careering sense of urgency and a stack of tunes capable of making you wage war as easily as make love. It stands to reason then that when Joshua Berger interviewed the singer back in 1995, he couldn’t get all of his theories and feelings about the changing industry into just one meeting.

It meant that when Mr Pop was sitting in his airline seat waiting to touch down at his next spot, the singer grabbed some paper, intent on finding some time to pen a few more issues about America, advertising, and art for Berger and PLAZM magazine. Completed on a single sheet of Delta Air Lines letterhead when holed up in Warsaw, Iggy’s handwriting is simply gorgeous and his words are as potent and punk as you’d expect his music to be.

When Berger sat down with the great Iggy Pop back in 1995 he must’ve felt overwhelmed with man’s prestige. The singer is well known as a foundational stone in the genre of punk and the evolution of rock in general, making him one of music’s heroes. But as they say, meeting such a person can often leave you undercooked, so how thrilled Berger must’ve been to find Iggy was all he expected and, it turns out, a little bit more.

In the letter, Iggy really doesn’t hold back. Starting with his evisceration of art in America: “Successful artists live like gods. They are REMOTE and useless. the painting and sculpture generally on offer ranges from coy & cute to incomprehensible & huge. Everybody’s sick of it, but it’s exactly what it’s patrons deserve.”

The singer goes further and take son the whole of the country too with a damning assessment of things back in 1995, “These people are corrupt and frigid. America today is a nation of midgets led by dwarves. The midgets are small and normal. The dwarves are small and warped. The sickness comes from the top down.” He continued making reference to the music industry too, “The ‘music’ is mostly 60’s and 70’s rehash, esp. LED ZEPPELIN, who I never could stand in the first place.

“Also ‘folk-rock’ is back as ‘alternative’. gimme a break. the ‘bands’ dress this mess up in various ‘HIP’ clothes and ‘political’ postures to encode a ‘lock’ on social belonging which you can open by purchasing a combination of products, especially their own, none of them have fuck-all to say.” Iggy also takes aim at the fashion world too saying he “loathes” Calvin Klei ads and says worshipping supermodels is “gross.”

Soon enough, the state of the nation looms heavily once more over Iggy’s words as he writes: “People are lost and frustrated, AND UNSKILLED. Our country is stupid and degenerate. Nobody is here. People are starving. No one talks to you. No one comments. You are cut off. No one is straight. TV morons. A revolution is coming, and in reaction, a strongman will emerge.”

The singer concluded, “Everything sucks. Don’t bother me. I hate it all. Heavy metal. Hollywood movies. SCHPOLOOGY! YeHEHCHH!” It makes for a keen insight into the mind of one of music’s ultimate influencers.

Credit: PLAZM Magazine (Joshua Berger)

Read the full transcript below:

WARSAW

PHLASH: nation of midgets

the arts in America today are above all else. Successful artists live like gods. They are REMOTE and useless. the painting and sculpture generally on offer ranges from coy & cute to incomprehensible & huge. Everybody’s sick of it, but it’s exactly what it’s patrons deserve. These people are corrupt and frigid. America today is a nation of midgets led by dwarves. The midgets are small and normal. The dwarves are small and warped. The sickness comes from the top down.

The ‘music’ is mostly 60’s and 70’s rehash, esp. LED ZEPPELIN, who I never could stand in the first place. Also ‘folk-rock’ is back as ‘alternative’. gimme a break. the ‘bands’ dress this mess up in various ‘HIP’ clothes and ‘political’ postures to encode a ‘lock’ on social belonging which you can open by purchasing a combination of products, especially their own, none of them have fuck-all to say.

I hate the inane worship of gross ‘supermodels’ and I positively loathe Calvin Klein ads and that whole school of photography. it is not beautiful. Our gods are assholes.
There are continual ‘shock and rage’ movements in the performing/conceptual arts, but are they bringing anybody a good time? they bring filth death & loathing of self as fashion. I understand them, though. People are lost and frustrated, AND UNSKILLED.

Our country is stupid and degenerate. Nobody is here. People are starving. No one talks to you. No one comments. You are cut off. No one is straight. TV morons. A revolution is coming, and in reaction, a strongman will emerge. Everything sucks. Don’t bother me.

I hate it all. heavy metal. Hollywood movies. SCHPOLOOGY! YeHEHCHH!

Iggy Pop

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