"Can I come over, tonight?" asks Iggy Pop in an early song with the Stooges, the late '60s/early '70s band from Michigan that directly inspired many later wild rock music movements, especially punk. "We will have a real cool time, tonight."
Like most Stooges songs, it's more of a chant, a primal mood set to grinding, twangy, sludgy guitars that sound like a factory assembly line, or maybe a military sortie in Vietnam, to name the two things Pop was desperately trying to escape in his early 20s.
Iggy and the Stooges reduced rock to its essence of sex and drugs—of sensual, nihilistic escape from a dreary everyday life that seemed to be their birthright as members of the white working class. "Dope, dope, dope. Fucking Vietnam…Joy and insecurity of being young…Oblivion necessary to escape America," Pop writes in 'Til Wrong Feels Right, a brilliant collection of lyrics and photos documenting his life's work and the half-century of U.S. history whose sounds and rhythms his work beautifully warped.
Now 72 and revered as a rock elder, Pop lives in South Florida like the semi-retired Baby Boomer he is and drives a Rolls Royce. This book documents the life of a great individualist who, even more than Sinatra, did things his way—including inventing stage diving, playing the muse to David Bowie and countless others, kicking all sorts of addictions, and constantly updating his sound and image as he matured.
The man born as James Osterberg, late of a Midwestern trailer park, hasn't just lived the American Dream of ceaseless growth and reinvention; he inspires it in others.