I’m very terrified of this country, the USA…some of the values are so foul and so wicked… It’s very wicked the way people are restrained, and I’m in favor of something else.
—Iggy Pop predicting our current reality in his 1982 book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories
I make no apologies for looking for any opportunity to write about Iggy Pop. He is as close to a god walking among us and the only deity I’d be likely to bow down to if the situation ever presented itself. Today’s deep-dive into Iggy’s illustrious past involves his very first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in December of 1982.
Iggy had just penned his book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories and was on the show to promote the book as well as his latest album, Zombie Birdhouse. After being introduced by Dave, Iggy jangles out onto the stage wearing bright red boots, turquoise blue eyeshadow, fierce black cat eyeliner, and blush. He spazzes brilliantly through the frenetic single “Eat or be Eaten” and then heads to the couch for the interview segment with Dave. And that’s when we get to the really good stuff.
After chatting with the often unpredictable, charming and highly quotable Igster about what it was like growing up in the Coachville Gardens Trailer Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they move on to the subject of Pop’s injury-prone stage antics—specifically his penchant for stage diving. It’s then that Iggy tells Dave that he was in a dentist’s chair that very morning because the night before he had accidently smashed his front tooth out in an energetic frenzy involving his microphone. Clearly intrigued by Pop, Dave ends up continuing the interview after a commercial break.
I’ve watched this footage so many times since coming across it and I have a feeling that you will too as it heartwarmingly reveals yet another layer of the complicated onion that is Iggy Pop. The video also captures Letterman’s famous flub pronouncing the last name of Pop’s pal, David Bowie as “Boo-wie.” Good times!
Iggy Pop’s first appearance on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ December 1982.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘I am the f*cking greatest of all time!’: Iggy Pop live on ‘The Tube’ in 1983
Perpetually shirtless Iggy Pop annihilates an acoustic version of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ on UK TV
‘Hiya Dogface!’: Wasted Iggy Pop goes totally off-the-rails on Australian TV, 1979
Naked: Iggy Pop’s eye-popping performance in see-through pants leaves little to the imagination