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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed Hardcover – April 10, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Turning 60 in April, "Godfather of Punk" Iggy Pop still displays the body and energy of a 20-year-old, and in this volume Trynka (Portrait of the Blues) captures Iggy's debauchery in an obsessively detailed and compulsively readable biography that is as high-energy and entertaining as its subject. Trynka covers all phases of the "driven, talented, indomitable creature" born James Newell Osterberg Jr. in 1947, with special attention paid to how his band the Stooges roared out of Detroit in the late 1960s, then crashed in a "slow, painful" drug-addled disintegration in the early '70s. While he expertly details Iggy's many comebacks, especially those involving David Bowie, Trynka is most sympathetic to how the Stooges' "brutal, monotonous riffing" was the perfect musical support to Iggy's outrageous gender-bending performances, in which "the blood running down Iggy's chest would become a defining image in his career." Ending with a look at how the Stooges' 2004 reunion shows attracted both older fans and younger postpunks, Trynka shows how every aspect of Iggy's work has now become "an integral element of today's rock and alternative music." (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the last throes of the 1960s, Jim Osterberg, a charming, hyperintelligent, ambitious boy from a trailer park near Ann Arbor, Michigan, teamed up with two miscreant brothers to form the band the Stooges, single-handedly presaging the entire punk, new wave, metal, and alternative rock movements. His alter ego, Iggy Pop, perhaps the greatest rock front man and sex icon ever, was exalted with unbridled enthusiasm on the one hand yet reviled as an abject failure, a joke, and a loser on the other. A true survivor, Iggy Pop is today a respected elder statesman of rock, known as the Godfather of Punk, but his road was famously brutal. Trynka reminds us that this legendary shamanic performer, epitomized as the ultimate rock 'n' roll god, is a human being who struggled with the distinction between Jim, the sensitive poet, and Iggy, the outlandish child-man who must outdo himself at every turn. This fitting biography from a former editor of Mojo magazine finally tells the full story of Iggy's life, rescuing coherence from a tale of thrills, contradictions, debauchery, betrayal, and (ultimately) redemption. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; First Edition edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767923197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767923194
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Hands down the best Iggy Pop biography written thus far.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Jim, his musical styles, anyone who enjoys reading biographies, and especially anyone who loves excellent writing!
Paul Trynka does an admirable job of telling the story of James Osterberg and the rise, fall, and rise of the band, The Stooges.
Renaldo Rigatoni

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some rock stars fade away. Some self-destruct at a young age. Some kept on chugging away despite it all, and are still going today (see: David Bowie and Mick Jagger).

But a few seem to be truly indestructible -- they bounce back from anything, whether it's drugs, madness, or their own genius. And in Paul Trynka's "Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is a pretty brilliant look into the chaotic life, influence, and constant ups and downs of one such rocker.

Pop was born Jim Osterberg, to some slightly quirky parents in 1950s Michigan. And Ann Arbor turned out to be the perfect place for him to bloom into a musician -- he became part of the Stooges, a fledgling band that gained and lost contracts like underwear. And they soon developed a reputation for two things: raw, wild, powerful punk, and a tendency to have really wild'n'violent concerts.

And Iggy's own life was just as volatile -- a cocktail of drugs, sex, creative eruptions, and extremely volatile personal life. But as the Stooges fragmented over time, Iggy's own life began seesawing between order and chaos, the bottom of the barrel with the rock'n'roll heights. And even now, as the godfather of punk rock, he spills over with wild energy and creativity.

The core of "Open Up and Bleed" is that Jim Osterberg and Iggy Pop are almost like two different people, like a demon possessing someone's body and making him wreck his life. As Trynka -- and many people he interviewed -- put it, Osterberg is intellectual, polite, clever man, while Pop is a force of self-mutilating destructive chaos.

It actually makes a lot of sense.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dan Plankton on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rob Trynka has done a great job gathering the details of Iggy's life, including a few "lost" eras when Iggy dropped out of the public eye. The author presents a very readable account that rings true in a way that many rock biographies don't. Even though he interviewed Iggy extensively, he also interviewed seemingly every living musician who's worked with Iggy (with the notable exception of David Bowie, who would not participate). He also interviewed many of Iggy's childhood friends and acquaintances and other musicians from the late-60s Michigan scene. And in recounting a lot of Iggy's self-mythologizing, and a lot of the classic Stooges tales, Trynka will often conclude that the recollections of another witness are more plausible than Iggy's version. That's something you usually won't get in a rock biography whose writer has the access that Trynka had. There are behind-the-scenes recollections from the participants of just about all of Iggy's albums, Stooges and solo. And the author even makes a strong case for the origin of the term "punk" in describing music--citing Lenny Kaye's original review of the first Stooges album, which he called the music of punks cruising for burgers. I'd always wondered where the first reference to "punk rock" appeared.

Beyond the 320-page biography, there's an appendix that lists Iggy's albums in chronological order, with original release and label information and info on the musicians. And as hard as it is to get excited about footnotes, they really stand out in this book. Each chapter's notes are like an add-on chapter, where the author provides supporting quotes, and often gives a longer version of a short quote from the narrative.

Maybe best of all are the two sections of photos. You can flip through the photos and captions and get a good preview of the full narrative, with great photos from the Stooge and solo eras. But if you read in public (as I did, on the subway) you might want to watch out for the full-nude shot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By FemBot on April 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Hands down the best Iggy Pop biography written thus far. I may even have to say it's better than his personally penned tome "I Need More".
Paul Trynka did the research and delivered the goods!
I'm impressed and can't put the darn thing down. It is one of those books you keep rereading.
Yep, I need more, lol.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I agree with the positive reviews of this biography. It is extremely well researched. Trynka's interviews are to the point and he weaves a kaleidoscope of views of a mercurial, talented and often plain sleazy singer.

What most shocked me in this book was not the drugs, hot and cold running groupies, or the way too often mention of the size of the Ig's equipment (c'mon Paul, why the fixation on the Ig's schlong? By the 20th time you mention it, "It makes me wonder" as Led Zep would no doubt opine having read the book).

Rather, it was the Ig's predilection for underage girls. Traveling with 14 year old while in your 30s? Dumb, predatory and just plain illegal. Taking them across state lines? Even dumber and much sleazier. Ever hear of the Mann Act? Chuck Berry learned about to his cost. I was amazed that there were no repercussions from this behavior. I guess it helps to be free, white and over 21. Way over 21. If the Ig were a priest, the mob would be pursuing him with a rope and pick up truck. In Trynka's pages, there seems to be a shake of the head and boys will be boys, or supposedly grown men will be boys in this case, ethos to the whole thing. It is an issue where Trynka ducked, and in doing so missed an opportunity to delve deep into Jim's psyche by asking him, and insisting on an honest answer, what were the roots of this obsession.

I was a huge fan of the Stooges through their early albums. "1969" encapsulated the moment better than any whiny singer-songwriter or 'political' bands like the Airplane. While the MC5 was the most committed revolutionary band around, trying in one set I recall to convince the audience that burning down the venue was somehow a 'revolutionary act', the Stooges just turned up the amps and proclaimed that it was "No fun.
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