One of the most striking and iconic pieces of rock and roll clothing has to be the leopard head jacket worn by Iggy Pop on the back cover of 1973’s Raw Power, in the classic shot taken by photographer Mick Rock (above). The jacket was made by John Dove and Molly White in 1971 and appeared in L’Uomo Vogue. They only ever made five of them. Iggy bought one. Zoot Money bought another. One was a gift to their agent in Paris, Dove kept one and an unknown guy bought the other.
From their Wonder Workshop website:
The saga of IGGY POP’S JACKET returns 18 years later when Iggy’s Jacket turns up on the back of Stan Lee, lead guitarist of the Dickies in the pages of Rolling Stone. Ruby Ray’s picture shows Stan half heartedly assuming the Raw Power stance. The interview starts with Vale’s recognition, “The jacket looks like the one Iggy wore on Raw Power!”
“It IS Iggy’s jacket - I got it in a dope deal a few years ago. He didn’t have the bucks so I took that for collateral. For a while, he couldn’t afford it back, and now he’s a rich bitchin’ Iggy, he tried to buy it back and I said NO!...”
The same story is recounted in We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen.
Andy Seven: “I remember seeing Iggy at Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco after the Stooges broke up when he still had the platinum rinse, with Michael Des Barres, the singer for Silverhead. Stan Lee, who later started the Dickies, used to go there. He was this short, pushy little puffed-out guy with a Marc Bolan poodle shag, and he claimed he had the leopard jacket that Iggy wore on the back cover of Raw Power, he told me he got it from Iggy for dope collateral.”
Ron Asheton: “Oh, yeah, Iggy would trade his possessions all the time for drugs. That’s how he lost some of those great clothes, like that plastic jacket on the back of Raw Power with the Leopard head ... that got traded to somebody for drugs or whatever”.
Stan Lee: “When I was sixteen I used to hang out with Iggy. I got his Raw Power jacket in a drug deal that went down in The Whisky parking lot. It was used as collateral, and thankfully I kept it.”
A few years later, art and toy collector extraordinare, Long Gone John, boss of the Sympathy for the Record Industry label (where the White Stripes, Hole and many others got their start) bought the jacket from Stan Lee. He picks up the story now in an email sent to John Dove and Molly White:
John and Molly
I wrote this for you while flying home from no. California… let me know if you need anything else ... want an updated photo of the jacket ?? all the best as ever…like that, john xx
“I remember Stan Lee from the Dickies wearing the Iggy jacket every time I saw him and remember thinking he’s gonna wear it till it falls apart…he was obviously really really proud of owning it…when you see photos of him wearing it you can see it was still in very good condition at the time…about 5 years before I bought it from Stan, a friend of mine, Tim Warren who ran the label Crypt Records who was living in Germany came to LA. and apart from whatever else he had to do he had intentions of buying the jacket from Stan for his cute french girlfriend ...Tim offered Stan $5000.00 which seemed an enormous amount of money…seems Stan was pretty flush at the time or at least he didn’t currently have a severe drug habit which he often did have throughout the years…anyway, Tim’s offer was turned down and his girlfriend was considerably heartbroken, but still very cute…
I didn’t think about the jacket for a long time until one day a friend called and said Stan wanted to sell the jacket and asked if I was interested…he said he thought Stan wanted $3000.00…I thought that the jacket was so important and would one day belong in a museum and figured it was well worth the money…I drove out to the Valley to meet him at the converted garage he lived in…the jacket was pretty worn, but it was also obvious it was made out of really cheap fake leather material to begin with…the cheetah head on the back was a bit rubbed off, but to me that was inevitable with age and gave it a air of authenticity considering it was at least 25 years old at the time…best as I can remember this was about 1998…being the bargaining fool that I am I offered stan $2000.00 and after considerable haggling he finally agreed to accept it…the jacket was tiny Iggy is 5’ 1” as documented in the song with the same name Stan was also short, but not that short…i’m 5’ 11” so of course it didn’t fit me, but my interest in it wasn’t to wear it anyway…to me that jacket was so iconic I thought of it as The Shroud of Turin of Rock ‘n’ Roll…
I was about 21 yrs old when Raw Power came out and very impressionable…it was one of my favourite albums and r was completely mesmerized by both the front and back cover photos…that record was amazing and I never got tired of listening to it and never got the image of the jacket out of my mind…I have always felt extremely honored to own the jacket and will protect it’s legacy until the next caretaker happens along…”
Below, the trailer for the documentary, Treasures of Long Gone John. Truly he is a man after my own heart:
(via The Look)