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Iggy Pop explains what he learnt from Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison


For as long as Iggy Pop has been performing, he has pushed boundaries and tested the limit. On the odd occasion, his feral streak has landed Iggy in hot water, and he learnt from the best in Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison.

While Jagger has never acted as deranged as Morrison did on stage, he knew precisely how to prompt the audience to make them fall into a state of utter hysteria. For many years, The Rolling Stones’ concerts became shorthand for chaos, mainly down to the mischievous way the frontman would orchestrate those in front of him.

The Stooges’ wild concerts quickly garnered a similar reputation as The Stones, and this was down to Iggy, who had picked up tips from the best in the business. He wanted their shows to be deliberately rough around the edges and with an element of jeopardy lingering in the air.

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However, as Iggy’s career began after his predecessors had already reigned supreme, it would have been playing it safe if he had simply replicated their antics. Instead, the frontman had to go that one step further as the boundaries had been moved.

In 2007, Iggy Pop opened up about their influence on his career and how he likes to be a commanding presence when performing. The singer told Rolling Stone: “From Morrison, it was the way to stand at the mic — the stance and the grab. He hung on the stand. Nobody else did that. The other thing was he might do anything — and he doesn’t respect you. You don’t get respect for ten bucks — sorry! From Mick Jagger, it would be his moving around while he performs the song. Also, the voice as an irritant. When he sang, it was the opposite of nice.”

He continued: “They went as far as they needed to go. If I was going to work in the same direction, then I had to go farther. But it didn’t necessarily mean more extreme. The Stooges went farther afield in our influences. We listened to [the acid-folk band] Pearls Before Swine and [avant-garde composer] Harry Partch. The drumbeat on ‘1969’ is not a Bo Diddley beat. It’s straight off a belly-dance record. Stone fucking Fertile Crescent.”

Although musically The Stooges perhaps looked far and wide for influences, Iggy Pop did include Jagger and Morrison in his list of favourite singers of all time. In his ranking, he had the Englishmen in 11th and The Doors frontman in 18th.

Iggy expertly used the influence of both frontmen. Unlike many others from his generation, he added an extra ingredient to the mix, which created this whole new exciting entity which paid homage to his inspirations without veering into tribute act territory.

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