“Bloody is Bloody”: Iggy Pop slices open his chest at a The Stooges show in 1973
Iggy Pop, along with his band The Stooges, is famed for being a 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 The Stooges 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 grime spots, Max’s Kansas City.
It was a club in NYC that Iggy was familiar with, as was much of the underbelly of the New York scene including Warhol and Patti Smith 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 when all was lost and to, in the end, get a little more lost in.
One performance of the four nights which made up The Stooges’ residency saw Iggy up the ante. His usual prowling and predatory performance was enough to get audiences riled up and raring to go but 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 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, and he 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 glasses 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 the 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.