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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka

Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed (2007)

by Paul Trynka, Paul Trynka

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1556121,992 (3.61)3
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)

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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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Trynkaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Trynka, Paulmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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