A Young Iggy Pop Portrayed Poignantly in Photographer Paul McAlpine’s Book ‘Iggy Pop: Bare & Real’

Iggy and Steve Jones. 'Jim wore a different chain top designed by Michael Schmidt on stage with finger size rings perfect for the kids to hang on to - © 1988 Photo by Paul McAlpine
Iggy and Steve Jones. 'Jim wore a different chain top designed by Michael Schmidt on stage with finger size rings perfect for the kids to hang on to - © 1988 Photo by Paul McAlpine

By DONNA BALANCIA

A new book of photos documenting Iggy Pop’s early days has just been released and California Rocker has an exclusive inside look.

“Iggy Pop: Bare & Real” (Fat Possum Records and Tyrant Books) is a collection of photos and anecdotes by Paul McAlpine, Iggy’s longtime photographer. He toured with the Godfather of Punk in the late 1970s, the 1980s, and returned to photograph him again through his recent tours including Post Pop Depression.

We’re fortunate to get an exclusive first look at this great book and congrats to Paul, who worked hard to get this collection of images out there.

Iggy was no stranger to California and venues like The Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, where he invited some impressive friends along to the gigs. Former Sex Pistols’ player Steve Jones, known in LA for his radio show “Jonesy’s Jukebox” was around for the Instinct rehearsals and gigs.

Paul McAlpine: ‘Ghosts of Whisky past come hanging from the ceiling’ – Photo © Paul McAlpine

 

‘This image of Steve and Jim became the first promo still from the ‘Instict’ rehearsals, McAlpine recalled – Photo © Paul McAlpine

 

Steve Jones with Iggy at Whisky – © Paul McAlpine

 

In the foreword, Iggy wrote: “I’ve always been kind of a wandering soul of street rock n roll, and as louche as that sounds, there’s a time when you’ve got to come in out of the rain, and meet the assholes who own the roof. For me, these were the years 1976 through ’89, during which I flailed, tranced, mimed, and outraged my way through the halls of the professional music business. 

“Frankly, looking at these photos I’d say that I was a breathe of fresh air, albeit a skinny desperate and pretty hopeless one.

“Here in Paul’s lens you see people like David Bowie, Suchi, Art and Henry the managers, occasional flashes of my butt, professional English Musicians like Ricky Gardner, Kevin Armstrong, et al, brassier American musos the Sales Brothers, international uber rich nobility such as Julio Mario Santo Domingo Jr., dirty filthy lovely die hard drug ridden Iggy Pop fans, and wacko Europunks like the legendary Andy McCoy, as we toured and toured and toured.

“Oh yeah, can’t forget Jos (who do I bash?) Grain my lifelong friend and roadie. Steve Jones shows up with his Sex Pistol and I meet Roland Rat on his preteen chat show. Anything to survive, and I did, so there! Thanks to Paul for all, Iggy Pop.”

Iggy on telephone at a Santa Barbara motel while on the road – Paul McAlpine

Banned on UK TV, Revived by Roland Rat

There were some interesting adventures while on tour outside of the U.S., McAlpine recalled. While in the UK there were some censorship issues after an alleged on-camera assault of a stuffed teddy bear.

“We did a live Saturday morning children’s TV show, all we were told was the parents were away and the kids invite a rock band to play in the basement,” recalled McAlpine. “They did ‘Wild One’ and Iggy picked up a huge teddy bear and gave it a little doggie. ‘News of the World’ called for a ban of Iggy on future TV in the UK. Someone should have told us it was a live kids show!”

Iggy got banned for having doggie fun with a teddy, here he reads News of The World while seeking advice from Jos Grain – © Paul McAlpine

But while the prank didn’t go over big with certain people, McAlpine said there were other kids’ characters who felt differently about Iggy.

“We went to do Roland Rat and he laughed,” McAlpine said.

“Roland Rat was a television puppet character created by David Claridge,” recalled McAlpine. “Our worries about ‘News of the World’ wanting to ban Iggy Pop from British TV faded quickly when David smiled and handed Jim a pile of solo and The Stooges albums to sign.”

 

Iggy and Roland – © Paul McAlpine

To check out “Iggy Pop: Bare & Real” go to the Fat Possum website.

 

Iggy Pop and Elmore Leonard – Photo © Paul McAlpine

 

Psychedelic Furs, Richard Butler, Robin Clark, Carlos Alomar, Jim and Tim Butler, Paul Young, Jim, Rick James and David Bowie - Photo by Paul McAlpine
Psychedelic Furs, Richard Butler, Robin Clark, Carlos Alomar, Jim and Tim Butler, Paul Young, Jim, Rick James and David Bowie at The Ritz in NYC – Photo © Paul McAlpine
Iggy on the floor – © Photo Paul McAlpine

 

Steaming hot – All Photos © Paul McAlpine