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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka
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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed (2007)

by Paul Trynka, Paul Trynka

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The life and deeds of Jim Osterberg known to everyone as Iggy Pop, the godfather of punk. Iggy IS sex, drugs and rock 'n roll incarnate and had a fascinating life. Which makes more unbelievable how one could write a so boring book about him.... It should to be interesting to read about the birth of a new genre and it's main character but I almost fell asleep more than once..... ( )
  TheCrow2 | Jun 12, 2013 |
I've been into Iggy since discovering The Stooges whilst at school in the mid 1970s. Everything I found out about him appealed to my troubled teenage self. My fascination has continued into adulthood and middle age. I was at the Virgin Megastore in Marble Arch, London in 1979 to get my copy of the then newly released "New Values" signed by Mr Pop (and I happened to notice Scott Thurston hanging about in the background and got him to sign it too). As a sixteen year old, on the night before my Maths O'Level examination, I was at the Music Machine in Camden Town, London watching Iggy live (it *was* worth it - and I passed the exam). Over the years I've seen him play live over ten times, and consider watching Iggy and The Stooges play Raw Power live in 2010 at Hammersmith Apollo, London to be one of the greatest nights of my life.

So, whilst not an über-fan, I'm pretty keen: Raw Power, Funhouse, Lust For Life and The Idiot would feature in my list of greatest albums of all time. Despite this enthusiasm I've never read a biography of Iggy. Until now.

Paul Trynka, ex-Mojo Magazine editor, has produced the definitive biography here. He appears to have spoken with everyone who has been involved with Iggy over the years and seems have been completely honest, and has certainly included plenty of examples of Iggy's selfishness and unpleasant behaviour. As a reasonably well informed fan, I discovered a wealth of information I hadn't known previously and much of this information has added to my understanding of his work and personality. It also sent me straight back to the music - always a good sign.

I do wonder how much a non-fan, or even casual fan, would get out of this book. There is plenty of depravity, in amongst the creativity, and incessant highs and lows, but would this be enough for a reader who has no interest in, or history with, the Ig?

For this fan it's unquestionably a five star read: well written, exciting, redemptive, informative, and inspirational. My only complaint is that, since its publication in 2008 more has happened: the induction into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame; Ron Asheton's death; the return of James Williamson; another Stooges album; and more solo Iggy albums (including the current French obsession). That's a very minor gripe though, as this is unquestionably the final word on Iggy, and provides in-depth coverage of the all important Stooges' years and the late seventies, post-Stooges renaissance with David Bowie. A classic. ( )
  nigeyb | Jun 7, 2013 |
Fascinating subject matter. The writing tripped me up, though. I found it repetitive, draggy, and pedestrian. I bailed out about half-way through. The photos are worth the price of admission. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Definitely worth a read. I'm giving it 4 stars not so much because it's a great book, but for my fellow fans of the rock music (the *TRUE* rock music), it's definitely something you should read to understand the full history of one of rocks greatest, consistently under-appreciated icons. ( )
  tlockney | Feb 5, 2012 |
This is a biographical account of Jim Osterberg, better known as rock 'n' roll singer Iggy Pop. This very detailed book follows its subject from growing up in a trailer park in Michigan as a suburb student to falling in love with blues music and eventually becoming a drummer in various blues and rock bands. The formation of The Stooges is covered in great depth, and Osterberg's development of the Iggy Pop persona is presented as an example of a split personality that would have repercussions in the future. The rise and fall of The Stooges, one of rock 'n' roll's most influential bands is a highlight of the book, as is the coverage of the complex relationship Pop has with David Bowie during the 1970's and 80's. The book drifts a bit when covering its subject's mercurial solo career, into a haze of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Band members, girlfriends and producers come and go at such an alarming rate that it's impossible to keep track of all of the characters. Despite the book's drawbacks, it is an intriguing portrait of one of rock music's most fascinating personalities and foremost survivors. Trynka's dept of research is commendable, he literally left no stone unturned. If that level of detail leaves us focused more on the trees than the forest, it still presents a memorable narrative. ( )
  blueslibrarian | Jan 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767923200, Paperback)

“Fellow rock stars, casual members of the public, lords and media magnates, countless thousands of people will talk of their encounters with this driven, talented, indomitable creature, a man who has plumbed the depths of depravity, yet emerged with an indisputable nobility. Each of them will share an admiration and appreciation of the contradictions and ironies of his incredible life. Even so, they are unlikely to fully comprehend both the heights and the depths of his experience, for the extremes are simply beyond the realms of most people’s understanding.”

—from the Prologue

The first full biography of one of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest pioneers and legendary wild men

Born James Newell Osterberg Jr., Iggy Pop transcended life in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to become a member of the punk band the Stooges, thereby earning the nickname “the Godfather of Punk.” He is one of the most riveting and reckless performers in music history, with a commitment to his art that is perilously total. But his personal life was often a shambles, as he struggled with drug addiction, mental illness, and the ever-problematic question of commercial success in the music world. That he is even alive today, let alone performing with undiminished energy, is a wonder. The musical genres of punk, glam, and New Wave were all anticipated and profoundly influenced by his work.

Paul Trynka, former editor of Mojo magazine, has spent much time with Iggy’s childhood friends, lovers, and fellow musicians, gaining a profound understanding of the particular artistic culture of Ann Arbor, where Iggy and the Stooges were formed in the mid to late sixties. Trynka has conducted over 250 interviews, has traveled to Michigan, New York, California, London, and Berlin, and, in the course of the last decade or so at Mojo, has spoken to dozens of musicians who count Iggy as an influence. This has allowed him to depict, via real-life stories from members of bands like New Order and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy’s huge influence on the music scene of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, as well as to portray in unprecedented detail Iggy’s relationship with his enigmatic friend and mentor David Bowie. Trynka has also interviewed Iggy Pop himself at his home in Miami for this book. What emerges is a fascinating psychological study of a Jekyll/Hyde personality: the quietly charismatic, thoughtful, well-read Jim Osterberg hitched to the banshee creation and alter ego that is Iggy Pop.

Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed is a truly definitive work—not just about Iggy Pop’s life and music but also about the death of the hippie dream, the influence of drugs on human creativity, the nature of comradeship, and the depredations of fame.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born James Newell Osterberg Jr., Iggy Pop transcended life in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to become a member of the punk band the Stooges, earning the nickname "the Godfather of Punk." He is one of the most riveting and reckless performers in music history, with a commitment to his art that is perilously total. But his personal life was often a shambles, as he struggled with drug addiction, mental illness, and the ever-problematic question of commercial success in the music world. That he is even alive today, let alone performing with undiminished energy, is a wonder. Biographer Trynka spent time with Iggy's childhood friends, lovers, and fellow musicians, and has spoken to dozens of musicians who count Iggy as an influence, and portrays in detail Iggy's relationship with his enigmatic friend and mentor David Bowie. He also interviewed Iggy himself. What emerges is a psychological study of a Jekyll/Hyde personality.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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