Ya know, I never got into Iggy Pop in my earlier years. When I was young, his harder edged sound just wouldn’t have been my thing. And when I became more aware of his history, particularly the drugs, I would have just normally shied away. That level of excess is just a little bit triggering for this old addict, and I take no joy in someone who was that excessively strung out. So I paid him little attention, and frankly was confounded whenever some cruise company or other commercial enterprise would pick up “Lust For Life,” a song pretty clearly about heroin and dildos, to represent their brand. But, whatever.
In any case, I think it was listening to Underground Garage that brought me to Iggy, both through playing “The Passenger,” which I loved, and his vocals on Teddybears’ “Punk Rocker.” And then I picked up some Stooges digitally, and liked it, but again, it’s just harder than I normally go. For whatever reason, however, Lee is a bigger fan than I am – Iggy just connect for her in some way. And so early on in our vinyl renaissance, not long after we had moved to Phoenixville and were shopping in Deep Groove Records, I saw this double album of Iggy for sale and picked it up as a little gift for her. I honestly had no idea what was on it, but figured Iggy is Iggy.
It turns out that what looks like a compilation on the discount Pair Records label is really mostly from a single Iggy album, 1979’s “New Values.” Along with two tracks from 1980’s “Soldier” and two more from 1981’s “Party.” It’s a bit more even and less raw than the Stooges tracks, and I do like to hear it now and then but it’s kinda lonely on the shelf without other Iggy vinyl to lead into it or out of it.
This may be my only opportunity to talk about the time that we were absolutely convinced that Iggy Pop was camping in the same campground as we were. The kids were very young, and we were camping at Taconic State Park in the Hudson Valley, and kept seeing this very wiry, shirtless little dude who looked in every way like Iggy. We were of course certain that Iggy Pop probably wasn’t hanging around state campgrounds, but at the same time, this guy looked SO much like Iggy, we couldn’t be sure. (I’ve since told this story to some friends who said “for sure, that was Iggy.”)