Iggy Pop on the UK TV music show, The Tube, 1983
About four months before UK music TV show The Tube went off the air, one of its hosts, the excellent Jools Holland uttered the phrase, “be there or be ungroovy fuckers” while doing a live trailer for the show. It’s also a fairly accurate way to ease into this equally excellent footage of Iggy Pop performing on the show back in 1983.
During its five-year run, The Tube played host to a wide range of musical guests like The Cramps, PiL, and Motörhead. The Jam even played their last live televised gig on The Tube before calling it quits in 1982. This clip from The Tube features a live set from punk king, Iggy Pop performing with what appears to be his Zombie Birdhouse Tour lineup of Larry Mysilewicz (drums), Frank Infante (formerly of Blondie on guitar), Michael Page (bass) and Rob Duprey (former Mumps member also on guitar). The always shirtless Iggy rips through three songs, “Run Like a Villain”, “Eat or be Eaten” (from 1982’s Zombie Birdhouse which was produced by Blondie guitarist Chris Stein), and the sweet throwback “Sixteen” from 1977’s Lust for Life.
According to legend, The Tube was sort of infamous for screwing up the sound for their live acts from time to time, and while the sound isn’t great in this video, the performance is fucking great and true to form, Iggy kicks out the jams like a punk rock version of The Rockettes. I’m also pretty sure Iggy’s eyes were on the verge of shooting lasers at the audience because he looks, let’s just say, enlightened (according to the book Open Up and Bleed, during the soundcheck Iggy fell backwards into the drum kit so there’s that).
Iggy had a really good run in the 80s due much in part to his pal David Bowie who not only gave Iggy a fat paycheck thanks to his cover of “China Girl” (which was originally recorded by Pop on 1977’s The Idiot and co-written by the pair), but who helped convince Iggy to kick his drug habit to the curb. Is there anything The Thin White Duke can’t do? Probably not. But I digress. Here’s Iggy Pop, his crazy abs, and some sweet punk jams, courtesy of 1983.