French Kisses and Fucking Media People - The Reykjavik Grapevine

French Kisses and Fucking Media People

French Kisses and Fucking Media People

Published May 19, 2006

At 30 years of age, I am easily in the oldest tenth percentile at most shows I attend. But not at Iggy and the Stooges. People in attendance were more or less three generations removed from the median concert audience, with a certain number of industry insiders in attendance, suggesting that an Iggy Pop concert demands respect. His presence should not be taken lightly.
Dr. Spock opened the show with their usual fanfare. As customary, their show was more about the looks and the attitude than it was about the music. On that note, they set the tone perfectly for the evening, plus they unveiled a new polka song—an unusual genre for a hard rock band, but Dr. Spock specialize in unusual.
Midway through their set, singer Óttar Proppé, aided by a mild underscore from the keyboard player, delivered a confessional song about French kissing an old man. Considering that Óttar was at the time half naked, wearing only pink glimmer disco pants and high-heeled boots, and that he is not really a young man himself, the recital stirred imagery in my head that I could have lived without.
Dr. Spock continued with a strip show that might have stolen the thunder from a lesser band, but Iggy and the Stooges are veterans of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and were not about to be outshined by men in ladies clothes with apparent gender issue complexes.
Iggy took the stage with a storm. Half naked, tan and with streaks in his hair, he looked like a metrosexual punk god. Much like the opening act, Iggy and the Stooges seemed to be aiming for attitude as much as anything else. That might have been a wise move as the auditorium was not really fit as an auditorium, so a little was lost in the form of acoustics.
Despite that, there was no denying their professionalism. From the first song onwards, they were blazing with authoritative riffs and energetic presence. The added bonus was the fact that the Stooges current bass player is the veteran Mike Watt, formerly of the Minutemen, an institution by himself in the alternative rock scene.
Only two weeks removed from his 59th birthday, Iggy Pop was every bit as crude as he has ever been. His first act on stage was to raise his middle finger and direct it towards the people in the expensive seats upon the balcony. There was no mistaking the message, but I am not entirely sure what exactly he expected from this crowd of baby boomers.
Shortly thereafter he caught a glimpse of a poor bastard wearing a V.I.P. pass. “You must be a member of the press or a politician,” he observed in the microphone, and continued, “both kinds of people I FUCKING HATE.”
He followed this up by kicking a photographer’s camera. By then, music had unmistakably taken a backseat to attitude.
The Stooges opened the show strongly, with many of their best-known songs, like I Wanna Be Your Dog, 1969, and No Fun, delivered rapid fire. I guess that is a common problem with old people– they tend to climax too early.
By the third song, Iggy did his first of many stage dives of the night. He then handed his microphone off to a member of the audience in an invitation to get a message across. The patron in question let out a real genuine “aaarrghh” gnarl, reminiscent of the Wilhelm Scream. When he recovered his microphone, Iggy Pop sarcastically deadpanned, “yeah right, the most literate nation in the world.”
By the fourth song, Iggy announced, “I’ve had enough of this shit! Get up here!”
His words were directed at the crowd, and along with his roadie, he assisted people in climbing over the safety fence to join Iggy in a dance on stage.
By the fifth song, he demanded the lights be turned on so he could see the people in the back. When the lights didn’t instantly appear, he thundered, “obey my command, or there is going to be a fucking incident.” Sadly, the lights were turned on, since I would much rather have witnessed “the incident.”
For nearly two hours, Iggy managed to entertain a crowd that most likely had not felt so alive since the sometime during first half of the cold war.
In the last few years, Icelanders have been blessed with the presence of Echo and the Bunnymen, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Megadeath among others. With three quarters of The Ramones being dead and a comeback almost effectively out of the picture, and Mötorhead, Roger Waters and Iain Anderson all due to play in Iceland this summer, I guess all we have left is to bring in Ozzy for the circle to be complete.
Although bringing in past greats may be a nice gesture from a historical and perhaps humanitarian standpoint, I wish Icelandic promoters would set their aim a little higher and perhaps offer us something of relevance for the time and age. Modernity is now, not 30 years ago.
That being said, I still enjoyed Iggy. And word is out that Dweezil Zappa visits Iceland June 6th to perform with the Frank Zappa Band. However that factors in.

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