James Newell Osterberg Jr., AKA Iggy Stooge

Iggy Pop was born this day, April 21st, in the year 1947. Today he is 73 years young. I have been a fan of Iggy Pop for quite a while and I saw him perform twice, though the first time he was at Bimbo’s 365 Club, a bar, in San Francisco and I wasn’t 21. I could hear the music and just before the last song finished they let some people in the back door. This was right after Raw Power came out. My friend Bill had just gotten out of the Navy and he was inside. He told me that a woman had performed something sometimes referred to by the initials of a girl in a Michael Jackson song on Iggy while he danced among the crowd, and I didn’t believe it because Bill was kind of a prankster. Much later on I found a clipping online from SF rock critic Joel Selvin who reviewed the show and reported that the person had come forward and said that the “event” had in fact occurred but the fan was not a woman, though he appeared to be one to the naked eye. Ah, San Francisco. The coldest winter Mark Twain ever spent was one summer in San Francisco, though Twain never said that, but things are not always what they appear to be in the City by the Bay.

It was during a concert at Crosley Field in June 1970 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Iggy Stooge invented crowd surfing, while smearing himself and others with peanut butter. I once heard someone dine out on the story that he was in fact the person who had provided Iggy with the jar of PB, and I can picture him repeating that claim when Iggy and The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, insisting that he deserved a trophy as well. I was in High School at the time, and I was embarking on my own career as a Rock and Roll Singer, and I heard about this, though I didn’t witness it. I was inspired by it, nevertheless.

So, Happy Birthday, James Newell Osterberg Jr.

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