Our boys and girls from Down Under, Insight, pay tribute to the Godfather of Punk, the Iguana, the one, the only, James Newell Österberg Jr., a.k.a. Iggy Pop.
With his off-the-wall and onto-the-floor stage antics, including everything from covering himself in peanut butter, rolling around in shards of glass, puking on audience members after consuming enough narcotics to kill an army and performing in outrageous outfits (if anything at all), Iggy Pop forever changed the way we listen to, behold and even think about rock & roll.
Following an all-too-brief career with hometown friends Ron and Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander of Ann Arbor, Michigan as lead singer of The Stooges (a history of which should be an entire set of books, much less a blog), Iggy burned bridges and left a wake of excess with every imaginable music industry outlet until he was left for dead and long-forgotten by his peers in other legendary acts such as the New York Dolls, The Ramones and the MC5. It wasn't until 1976 when Iggy was visited at one of many, many, many rehab stints by David Bowie, who convinced Iggy that, despite the lack of commercial appeal or monetary success of The Stooges, he was a one-of-a-kind musician and deserved a second (okay... third, fourth or fifth) chance at success. Bowie essentially babysat Iggy throughout a world tour, where Iggy came to realize that hard work, not performing in a haze of inebriation, was the key to success.
Following his greatest solo achievements to date with albums The Idiot and Lust for Life in 1977, Iggy tirelessly released album after album throughout the 1980's, among those New Values and Zombie Birdhouse, both oft-overlooked works of, in our humble opinion, a tormented and shattered, yet eloquent and sensitive musical genius. Insight must share out sentiment for the Igg-ster's catalog, using the latter two albums, as well as 1977's Kill City, as insipration for three of its latest spring line standouts.
The Kill City Button Up shirt, with it's edgy, near-militaristic design (damn, those epaulettes!) is made for giving it up and turning it loose as the shirt's namesake song lyrics suggest. Despite a soft, 100% cotton composition, this one looks hard as hell, especially with the intricate pinstriped lining around the collar... the whole scene is a fascination, man.
A perfect companion to the button-up is The New Values Cardigan; a navy blue composition with royal blue piping is the Bowie to Iggy in blending these two together for a night of hell-raising. There's one new value that has finally come your way.
Iggy, the rock & roll Jesus that he is with his many reincarnations, is caricatured perfectly on The Zhombie Birdhouse Tee. The text at the bottom reading "Cupido Enim Vita (Passion is Life)" perhaps explains why Iggy has surpassed lifespans of many of his peers. Rock & roll music has always been the man's passion, as evidenced by his insistance in bringing the sounds of himself and The Stooges to generation after generation as the group continued to tour up until very recently.
However, it is with heavy heart and busted eardrums that we recognize the passing of founder and original Stooge, guitarist Ron Asheton. Asheton passed away following a heart attack on January 6th, 2009, perhaps slamming the final nail into the coffin of what many consider to be the original "punk" rock act to offend, amuse and entertain millions throughout the world for more than 30 years.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Insight spring line at Karmaloop here for even more rock & roll madness.
Rest in Peace, Ron Asheton. 10.17.48 - 01.06.09