Iggy Pop’s American flamboyance

John Savage interviewed Iggy Pop in THE FLESH MACHINE: SURVEYING THE INDUBITABLE STYLE OF IGGY POP, for Vice Magazine. In the first excerpt below Iggy clarifies, that while his music may have been see as macho Raw Power personified, he was really interested more in the power dynamics of gender and society.

Q – Some perceived your style as machismo, but you weren’t particularly macho onstage.

A – No. I actually think there shouldn’t be any genders. Male dogs smell each other’s dicks and stuff, and then they jump female dogs and do everything to everything. That’s the way humans really are, but there have been elaborate codes adopted to weed out parts of behavior that don’t match whatever gender or social group you want to belong to. And I think that actually cuts both ways, straight and gay—each cuts out or emphasizes certain bits. It’s sort of like using hair spray on your personality. But no, I never wanted to look particularly macho. For one thing, I realized the girls don’t really go for it. [laughs] I think ideals of beauty in our society are dictated by those who identify themselves as feminine, at least in their thought processes. Whether those are gay people, or women who are thinking in a particularly devious, savage, amoral manner, which is how women think when they really get down to business. And that’s where the bread is buttered, so I wanted to look kind of smooth, slinky, and super forward.

Iggy soaking up the sun in his yard, 2012.

Old(er) Iggy

A rarely seen shirted Iggy dons greaser gear in New York City, 1980.

Young(er) Iggy

Later on in the interview Iggy provides an answer as to what made the period and milieu from which the Stooges emerged so unique.

A – It’s not a flamboyant place. That’s a good word for what I was saying about before, what got lost around 1975. If there was ever an American flamboyance, it happened in those 25 years from ’50 to ’75, and it had to do with the blues, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, big cars, and giant breasts.


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