"The Light of My Life": On the Friendship of David Bowie and Iggy Pop

"My friendship with David was the light of my life..."

Details of the relationship of two rock stars

Iggy Pop and David Bowie - real icons of their era, about which legends never cease to be composed! Their acquaintance took place in 1971 year and subsequently grew into a strong friendship, which was attributed to both "slave" and sexual character. However, for Iggy, she became fateful, as well as for David, who learned a lot from his new comrade. And it was he who pulled Pop out of the addiction pit: it’s not for nothing that he is called King Midasthat turns everything it touches to gold.

Their relationship has seen a lot: both moments of joy and rage. But it is impossible to dispute that there was a special magic between these two, which even today is not given to outsiders to understand.

How Magic Began: A History of Dating

David Bowie and Iggy Pop
David Bowie and Iggy Pop

David Bowie passed away in January 2016 of the year. Then Iggy Pop wrote on his twitter:

“My friendship with David was the light of my life…”

Pop and Bowie's paths crossed quite by accident. It happened in 1971 year at a nightclub "Max's Kansas City". That day, Iggy lay lazily at home on the couch. Suddenly he received a phone call and was informed that a certain London musician had arrived in the city. And that musician was David. The fact that Pop got up and went to the meeting was only facilitated by the fact that Bowie repeatedly spoke of his admiration and love for "The Stooges". And this, in turn, aroused the curiosity of the leader of the group towards him.

Mid 70s and Madness

Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop

Alas, in four years there will be a split "The Stooges", shortly after which Pop will go downhill. His addictions became very serious. In his own words, at some point he lost the thread between reality and illusion.

“One day I woke up in an abandoned building. Well-being was to hell ... "- recalled the artist.

Soon he settled for a month in psychiatric hospital, and this experience made an indelible impression on him for life:

“I spent a whole month in the same cell with real psychos! One always mutters something under his breath, the other burns toilet paper for some reason, the third tells incredible stories ... Then I realized that everything was in order with my head. During this time, I went outside once. It was kind of crazy…”

In the same interview, Pop recalled walking past the cinema that very day and seeing the poster that inspired him to write "The Passenger".

Regarding David Bowie, then in mid 70s his affairs were no better: he also suffered from a severe addiction.

David Bowie in the 1980s
David Bowie in the 1980s

In 1976 friends were even arrested for possession of illegal substances. At some point, Bowie realized that this could not continue. It was he who suggested that Pop move to Berlin. And he agreed. Bowie understood that Iggy, like no one else, needed to be saved. And only he could give him a helping hand.

Joint creativity

Iggy Pop and David Bowie
Iggy Pop and David Bowie

Given that David admired "The Stooges", there is nothing surprising in the fact that he offered Iggy cooperation. As a result of this, two beautiful albums were born - "The Idiot" and "Lust for Life".

It cannot be denied that throughout their friendship between Popom and Bowie there was rivalry, especially from the first. However, mutual love gradually arose between them - bright and friendly. And David was guiding hand in these strange and not fully understood relationships. He helped Pop in many ways, and together they wrote great music. Although not without conflicts.

For example, David wrote the melody for the track "Success", but Iggy didn't like it. The musician described her as "too cloying". Then he decided to act independently: together with his brothers Sales Iggy came to the studio before Bowie and remade everything in his own way! David, on the other hand, adopted Iggy's spontaneity in his approach to the texts. In his own words, this was reflected in the track Heroes.

In addition to the studio sessions, the two also toured the world, most notably the "Station to Station".

Station To Station

Iggy Pop, David Bowie and their friends
Iggy Pop, David Bowie and their friends

It is worth noting that for the Bowie tour "Station to Station" was not just fun, but hard work. In between performances, drinking parties and going to clubs, David took the time to analyze each show, put everything on the shelves and even prepare for questions from the hated press. In addition to Pop and Bowie, the tour was accompanied by Coco Schwab, Barbara de Witt with husband Timand concert manager Pat Gibbons and photographer Andrew Kent.

The tour started in Vancouver February 2, 1976. And on his first day, it became clear to everyone: David was serious about getting Iggy out of the pit.

“He’s not that cool, he’s not a know-it-all, he’s not a hypocrite. He doesn’t always drive… although there are epiphanies,” Bowie once said during a rehearsal.

David Bowie and Iggy Pop goofing around for a photo
David Bowie and Iggy Pop goofing around for a photo

It seemed to many that Gaunt White Duke looks down on a friend. Rumors spread from here that Iggy is a kind of slave for David, and Bowie takes a role in their difficult relationship. manipulator. But it was not at all.

Bowie genuinely admired Jim (Pop's real name) and wanted only the best for his friend. They communicated as simply as possible, in a friendly way, on an equal footing. As a result, this led to the fact that they began to attribute their friendship romantic character.

Iggy Pop, David Bowie
Iggy Pop, David Bowie

One way or another, the friendship of the two icons brought rich creative fruits, including albums that marked a radical change for popular music. And if Pop proved to the whole world that he is able to produce quality material without "The Stooges", then Bowie secured the title of world idol!

Trip to the USSR

David Bowie and Iggy Pop in Moscow
David Bowie and Iggy Pop in Moscow

Probably the most interesting page in this whole story is Bowie and Pop's secret trip to the USSR! She happened in 1976 year, at a time when David was chasing dystopias. From Iggy's memoirs:

“This is an amazing experience… We approached the border of the Soviet Union, out of nowhere appeared a man in a bowler hat and round glasses! He came up to us and said: “Hello! I am Sergey and I am your guide!” And we didn’t even have visas!”

David Bowie and Iggy Pop
David Bowie and Iggy Pop

According to Iggy, Bowie took away a book and several magazines "Playboy." and tore them to pieces. And later, several men stuck to the stars, who stubbornly demanded 20 cents.

All these events slightly frightened the musicians, but, having arrived to Moscow, they were quickly forgotten. Friends went for a walk around the capital, having fun and laughing like happy schoolchildren! By the end of the day, the travelers jumped on the train and went to Helsinki. It is safe to say that this trip finally brought them together.

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