Remembering the moment Iggy Pop sliced open his chest at a Stooges show in 1973
We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to revisit one of Iggy Pop nearing fever pitch and mutilating himself for his audience. As Iggy puts it, “bloody is bloody”.
As part of The Stooges, Iggy Pop grappled his way to the top of the rock pile and soon became the shirtless Godfather of the punk scene and, if you were ever in the need of a reminder as to why Iggy was given such a moniker, then no look no further than this blood-spurting story from 1973.
Iggy and his band were in the midst of their third—and what they believed would be their final tour—promoting their seminal (and again they believed their last) album Raw Power. The release saw the band take up residency at one of New York’s finest grimy spots, Max’s Kansas City. It was the perfect home for Pop.
Max’s was a club in NYC that Iggy was familiar with, as was much of the underbelly of the New York scene. Stars including Andy Warhol and Patti Smith were frequent customers with Debbie Harry even becoming a waitress at the venue. Why did they all end up there? Well, Max’s was a place to find yourself when all was lost and perhaps more pertinently, to get a little more lost in.
One performance of the four nights which made up The Stooges’ residency saw Iggy up the ante on stage. His usual prowling and predatory performance was enough to get audiences riled up and raring to go, bouncing around and baying for more of Pop’s power. However, Iggy wasn’t satisfied and on this night he took himself up on to Max’s tables to give the crowd a brand new view—but they weren’t aware they were sitting in the ‘splash zone’.
Nitebob, who worked at the club during this period was interviewed for the punk book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk, recalls: “Iggy was trying to walk on the tables. Max’s had tables all the way up at the front, the stage was too small, and sometimes Iggy would go walking on the tables… I was working the stage that night, and Iggy fell off a table.”
Nitebob confirms that the table he fell on was, naturally, filled with glassware from the evening’s revelry and Iggy had cut himself pretty badly. “He was 20 minutes into the set and I asked him if he wanted to stop the show because he was cut pretty bad. He had a pretty good gusher going. But he wanted to finish the show, so he went on playing. I was blown away… Alice Cooper wanted him to go to the hospital.”
While the crew moved around offering Iggy gaffer tape and other binding agents to try and stop the bleeding, Iggy was more concerned with spraying blood over his adoring crowd and unwittingly cementing himself into punk folklore.
As it was this, and many other incidents, which would show Iggy to be one of the baddest men in town.