Rare candid images of Iggy Pop from his girlfriend Esther Friedman from 1976-1982
Iggy Pop remains one of the most enigmatic artists of modern music. His stature as an inflammatory and innovative star continues to rise with age and as more and more fans discover his back catalogue. One candid insight into Iggy’s life behind the music is from his former girlfriend Esther Friedman. Her photography of the singer between 1976 and 1982 offers a glimpse of the man behind the performance.
Friedman met Iggy in 1976 during his time in Berlin, when the star was living with David Bowie during a creative rebirth for the pair. The two were living in West Berlin at Hauptstraße 155 in Schöneberg hoping to dry out after a period of consistent heavy drug use. While Bowie’s work during this time gained huge critical and fan appreciation, it remains a crucial moment for Iggy Pop.
Following the second break up of The Stooges Iggy found himself at an artistic crossroads. Having just been on his first-ever large scale tour as part of Bowie’s support on the Station to Station Tour, he signed to RCA Records and started on his first two solo records. Bowie helped write and produce The Idiot and Lust for Life, Iggy’s two most acclaimed albums as a solo artist, the latter featuring one of his best-known songs, “The Passenger”.
Another album followed in 1979, with New Values harkening back to The Stooges’ old style. Unsurprising with James Williamson producing and latter-day Stooge Scott Thurston playing guitar and keyboards. Although the album remains as one of the best LPs for Stooges fans it did not prove popular in the mainstream. Iggy would go on in 1980 to then write his autobiography I Need More which would add another string to his bow.
This plus many other factors add up to this period in Iggy’s life being one of the most interesting and confusing in equal measures. It represents a time where Iggy was trying to find his own feet in a world all too different to the one he had dominated in New York with The Stooges.
At that same time, Friedman was a prolific photographer, and she took many revealing photographs of Iggy Pop in various locales all offering a different light shined on the star.