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Monday, June 9, 2008

Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed

(Broadway Books), by Paul Trynka

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  Former Mojo magazine editor Paul Trynka appears to have spent 15 years, on and off, interviewing thousands of people, listening to an ungodly number of recordings and poring over tens of thousands of pages of documents and photographs, only to come up with one important revelation about singer Iggy Pop: Contrary to myth, Iggy (real name: Jim Osterberg) was extremely well regarded in school and in his neighborhood of Airstream trailers, which carried little or no social stigma during his upbringing. In the first chapter of his book, Iggy Pop, Trynka documents this fact in interesting detail.

  Iggy Pop is a language fanatic, a profound scrambler of words, a beacon of primal sound and maybe the most funny, terrifying, exciting and unpredictable pop musician one could ever see or hear. With an utter absence of prosaic flavor, an abundance of inexcusable errors, pedestrian dismissal of some of Iggy’s best solo work (Soldier, Zombie Birdhouse and the astounding single “Bang Bang” are said to be uninspired failures) and page after page of gossipy hearsay, Iggy Pop is a cemetery of storytelling, a droning litany of groupies, wastoids, crash pads, rehab and ultimately—barring that tantalizing first chapter—an infuriatingly boring hack job.

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