My parents wanted to light my artistic candle. But over time, the definition of ‘the arts’ began to stretch. And as I got older, they suddenly realized, Oh, my God, we’re the parents of Iggy Pop.
There’s a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk: every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-’60s/early-’70s band, the Stooges.
~Greg Prato (allmusic.com)
The Idiot is the debut solo album by Iggy Pop. It was the first of two LPs released in 1977 which Pop wrote and recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. Although issued after Low, the opening installment of Bowie’s so-called Berlin Trilogy, the pair began writing and recording songs for The Idiot in mid-1976, before Bowie started work on his own album. As such, The Idiot has been claimed as heralding the unofficial beginning of Bowie’s ‘Berlin’ period, being compared particularly to Low and “Heroes” in its electronic effects, treated instrument sounds, and introspective atmosphere. A departure from the hard rock of his former band the Stooges, the album is regarded by critics as one of Pop’s best works. Its title was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot, three of the participants in the recording—Bowie, Pop and Tony Visconti—being familiar with the book. I will argue that there’s really a “Berlin-quintet” consisting of: The Idiot, Low, “Heroes”, Lust for life and Lodger.
Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, is equally a David Bowie album as a guest singer/composer; Davis Bowie co-wrote all the songs (except Sister Midnight that was co-written with Carlos Alomar and David Bowie) , played many of the instruments and produced it (kind of…). Tony Visconti tried to salvage the over-modulated tapes at the mixing stage.
March 18, 1977
July 1976 – February 1977,Château d’Hérouville, Hérouville, France, Musicland Studios, Munich, Hansa by the Wall, Berlin
Post-punk, art rock
David Bowie (and Tony Visconti)
“Poor Jim, in a way, became a guinea pig for what I wanted to do with sound. I didn’t have the material at the time, and I didn’t feel like writing at all. I felt much more like laying back and getting behind someone else’s work, so that album was opportune, creatively”
– David Bowie
So, Iggy Pop acted as a guinea pig. David Bowie seemed tired of his ever-changing narrative or masks, so he used the opportunity making an Iggy solo record as a way to start re-inventing himself as well as Iggy. Iggy Pop and David Bowie worked extremely well as a team.
Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark enter European Economic Community (Jan. 1)
A ceasefire is signed, ending involvement of American ground troops in the Vietnam War. (Jan. 28)
US bombing of Cambodia ends, marking official halt to 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia (Aug. 15)
Fourth and largest Arab-Israeli conflict begins when Egyptian and Syrian forces attack Israel as Jews mark Yom Kippur, holiest day in their calendar (Oct. 6). Egypt and Israel sign US-sponsored cease-fire accord (Nov. 11). Background: Arab-Israeli Wars
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) hikes oil prices tremendously in retaliation for Western countries’ involvement in Yom Kippur War.
Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California (also known as Coffee and Cigarettes III) is a 1993 black-and-white short film directed by writer/director Jim Jarmusch shot in Northern California. The film consists primarily of a conversation between Tom Waits and Iggy Pop in a coffee shop. The film would later be included in the feature-length Coffee and Cigarettes released in 2003.
The film won the Golden Palm at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival as best “Short Film”. We love the deadpan humour and the awkward dialogue. It gets better with age.