By Matthew SingerAugust 15, 2017 at 11:36 afternoon PDTIggy Pop"s human body is a wonderland. Or, relying on your perspective, a home of horrors.

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Either way, over there isn"t an additional quite prefer it in absent "n" roll, lot like there has actually never been one more performer favor the male born James Newell Osterberg Jr. In a Michigan trailer park in 1947. And also really, those two things space inextricable from each other. Favor Hendrix and his Stratocaster, or Kiss and also their makeup, Iggy"s physique—lithe and also leathery, less sculpted from marble 보다 chiseled right into flank steak—is integral come his legend. It"s the punk-rock Rosetta Stone. In ~ a time when hippies were making "head music," he and his cohorts in the Stooges to be making music for every other part of the anatomy, a visceral cacophony he fairly literally embodied—sex and also violence rolled right into one tight, thrilling, horrible package.

And despite he"s grown less fearsome end time—appearing in insurance money ads and also The Rugrats Movie will do that—his body continues to be a organic wonder, as lot as he stays a force of nature. It"s a work of art depend itself, and also has been studied together such: critical year, Iggy modeled nude because that artist Jeremy Deller"s life-drawing course in brand-new York, the result sketches developing an exhibition in ~ the Brooklyn Museum.

As Deller told the media, Pop"s body "is main to an expertise of rock music," and also it is command to expertise Iggy Pop. Below we present a physical background of the eternally do not wear shirts Godfather of Punk.


They"re most likely the last thing you"d an alert on him, but the story the Iggy popular music starts in ~ his eyebrows. Actually, that officially starts with his high college band, the Iguanas, which motivated the an initial part of his stage name. Yet the second component came just before the Stooges" debut at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1968. "Iggy had actually shaved turn off his eyebrows," so late drummer Scott Asheton recalls in the oral background Please kill Me. "We had actually a friend called Jim pop who had a nervous condition and also had shed all his hair, including his eyebrows. So as soon as Iggy shaved his eyebrows we began calling him Pop." That"s additionally the present where the recently christened Mr. Pop sustained his first self-inflicted injury. "Iggy started sweating, and also then he realized what you need eyebrows for," Asheton said. "By the finish of the set, his eyes were completely swollen due to the fact that of all the oil and glitter."


Iggy was constantly smarter than he looked and acted, however if you were making a movie around a depression Midwestern town and also casting because that a sweet but dim gas station attendant, young Ig would"ve been her guy. While definitely handsome, v his huge eyes and also gaunt features, it to be an odd sort of handsome, a truth he seemed to recognize. "Here come my face/It"s level bizarre," that sang ~ above 1977"s Lust because that Life, one album in i beg your pardon he appears on the sheathe posed as if he"d displayed up to take his senior photo after ~ a three-day coke binge. Through age, he"s included extra crags and also creases, lending him a particular weatherbeaten dignity. But haters remain. A couple of years ago, a U.K. Vote voted his the worst celebrity face, above Cher, Mickey Rourke and Donatella Versace. Harsh—but, because that the guy who as soon as snarled "Your Pretty challenge Is Going to Hell," most likely fair.

Although Iggy gradually burned his assorted stage stunts as he thrived older and less out of his mental on drugs, he preserved stage diving right into his 60s—he invented the move, therefore why not?—until 2010, once he introduced himself into the audience in ~ Carnegie freaking Hall and also splatted on the floor, dislocating his shoulder. It was the punk tantamount of Michael Jordan blowing a dunk top top his 3rd comeback through the Washington Wizards. He chose right then that his days together a human being projectile were over.


Adam"s rib. Achilles" heel. Iggy Pop"s torso. ~ above a human body scarred through history, this is whereby he carved his legend—and that"s intended 100 percent literally. He began with a splintered drumstick at a university gig in 1969 and also kept going from there, using whatever sharp object taken place to it is in on hand in ~ any specific show. Self-mutilation soon became his version of Pete Townshend"s windmill or Mick Jagger"s rooster walk, the rock-star relocate fans would certainly come out expecting to see. (As Iggy admits, his early fans to be sketchy weirdos.) One particularly insane instance, at a specifically insane allude in his career, associated slicing an X into his chest through a knife after failing to entice someone in the audience come stab him. Thankfully, he placed away the cutlery lengthy ago, permitting his long-suffering pectoral an ar to wrinkle v dignity. Well, he tried anyway—Google "Iggy pop sad torso" for a reminder that age, and the internet, comes for us all.


Last year, when photos from Deller"s life-drawing project emerged, Vogue salivated end Iggy"s washboard abs, noting the they appear "inexplicably unaffected by time or gravity" and also pondering how they"ve organized up in spite of years the extremely bad living. Lot of of others have actually wondered the same. Men"s Fitness appeared to call bullshit on his professed regimen of tai chi and also light swimming. But that"s much more than he was apparently doing in 1980, in the dregs that his heroin addiction, when Creem inquiry what that did to stay so fit. "Rock go it all for me," that responded. Smack is a hell of a wonder drug.


A British magazine once defined Iggy Pop together "a hyperactive packet the muscle and sinew right out the Michelangelo"s wet dreams." however given how he imagine the biblical David, not also the master could"ve dreamt Il Stoogio v the exactly anatomical dimensions. Story of the Stooges" many prominent, um, member aren"t just the stuff of groupie legend yet documented fact. While the signature hip-huggers and also bikini briefs the wore on stage left pretty lot nothing come the imagination, Pop frequently went ahead and removed every doubt. "Iggy took out his dick and put it on the speaker," Steve Harris, the former vice chairman of Elektra Records, recalled that one beforehand gig in Please death Me. "It was simply vibrating around. The was really well-endowed." He mostly keeps Not-So-Li"l Iggy sheathed these days (well, mostly), though the hasn"t stopped the curious from investigate the myth. In ~ Keller Auditorium last year, a fan got to out that the crowd to take a handful for themselves. Slightly Bigger Iggy, naturally, didn"t flinch.


Iggy popular music doesn"t move like other rock stars. Writhing, whirling, contorting himself at odd angles, he more often each other an untrained ballerina trying come improvise a routine while high top top ayahuasca. Part of that"s through design, and part of the is just how he"s designed. As he called Rolling Stone, he acquired "run end by a big guy" playing football in junior high, resulting in his appropriate leg gift an inch and also a fifty percent shorter than the left, which explains why he seems to normally curl right into a kind of S shape. Various other maladies include a bad hip and also what he calls a "twisted spine" carried on from year of pratfalls and cramped flights. And also yet, below he is, at age 70, still standing, quiet shirtless, still putting his body with the wringer every night he"s onstage. Whenever Iggy ultimately kicks off, his cadaver will certainly hopefully acquire donated to science—or, at least, the Rock and Roll hall of Fame.

Iggy pop plays Aug. 26 in ~ 8:20 pm.

MusicfestNW presents job Pabst is Aug. 26-27 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Obtain tickets here.

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