Photo by Thaib A. Wahab
Along with his storied musical career, Iggy Pop‘s unfiltered opinions have earned him the title of punk rock’s biggest badass. If you’ll recall, The Stooges frontman has been rather forthcoming about his not-so-savory thoughts on some of music’s legendary acts — he dissed “the sincere punks” of The Clash in 2012, and, in 2014, slighted Bono and the rest of U2 for their gimmicky Songs of Innocence giveaway on iTunes.
Not surprisingly, the punk icon has been speaking his mind for decades, as the below letter circa 1995 proves. The Pop-penned message, addressed to journalist Joshua Berger following an interview they did for Plazm magazine, features sharp criticisms of America, Calvin Klein ads, Hollywood, and the performing arts world.
The most interesting tidbit, however, has to do with his pointed views on US music: Pop admits that he “never could stand” Led Zeppelin. Gasp! Here’s what he had to say:
“The ‘music’ is mostly 60’s and 70’s rehash, esp. LED ZEPPELIN, who i never could stand in the first place. Also ‘folk-rock’ is back as ‘alternative’. gimme a break. the ‘bands’ dress this mess up in various ‘HIP’ clothes and ‘political’ postures to encode a ‘lock’ on social belonging which you can open by purchasing a combination of products, especially their own, none of them have fuck-all to say.”
Does Pop still stand behind those harsh words some 20 years later? It’s unclear, but he did happen to smile for the cameras alongside Jimmy Page not too long ago:
Read the very quoteworthy letter in full below (via Dangerous Minds).
PHLASH: nation of midgets
the arts in America today are above all else. Successful artists live like gods. They are REMOTE and useless. the painting and sculpture generally on offer ranges from coy & cute to incomprehensible & huge. Everybody’s sick of it, but it’s exactly what it’s patrons deserve. These people are corrupt and frigid. America today is a nation of midgets led by dwarves. The midgets are small and normal. The dwarves are small and warped. The sickness comes from the top down.
The ‘music’ is mostly 60’s and 70’s rehash, esp. LED ZEPPELIN, who i never could stand in the first place. Also ‘folk-rock’ is back as ‘alternative’. gimme a break. the ‘bands’ dress this mess up in various ‘HIP’ clothes and ‘political’ postures to encode a ‘lock’ on social belonging which you can open by purchasing a combination of products, especially their own, none of them have fuck-all to say.
I hate the inane worship of gross ‘supermodels’ and i positively loathe Calvin Klein ads and that whole school of photography. it is not beautiful. Our gods are assholes.
There are continual ‘shock and rage’ movements in the performing/conceptual arts, but are they bringing anybody a good time? they bring filth death & loathing of self as fashion. I understand them, though. People are lost and frustrated, AND UNSKILLED.
Our country is stupid and degenerate. Nobody is here. People are starving. No one talks to you. No one comments. You are cut off. No one is straight. TV morons. A revolution is coming, and in reaction, a strongman will emerge. Everything sucks. Don’t bother me.
i hate it all. heavy metal. hollywood movies. SCHPOLOOGY! YeHEHCHH! – Iggy Pop