Has Iggy Pop sold out?

Answer”¦has he fuck!

what do you think? comments please?

Droning on in the blogosphere is this endless debate about Iggy Pop selling out.
There were the car insurance ads that got them typing frantically before signing off under an assumed name. The debate has been re-ignited by Iggy’s appearance on American Idol. Somehow this has been construed as some sort of attack on the principles of punk rock. Instead it was glorious moment of in your face, misfit rock n roll going wild in the studio. Mainstream TV soft sells soft porn to the coach potatoes so it’s great to see something truly feral connecting to the fuck power of R’n’R.
The moment when Iggy gets primal in front of Jennifer Lopez is priceless. Lopez has spent years selling sex and her revulsion at the real thing is great TV.

But has Iggy sold out?

Lets look at this point by point.

1. One of the claims over his car ads is that Iggy Pop has sold punk out. Iggy Pop was never a punk. He started in the mid sixties. He has never claimed to be punk rock. The ideals that came with punk rock are something that happened in a different country to a different set of people ten years later. Iggy’s music was a massive influence on punk- but it’s not the other way round.

2. Appearing on the car insurance ad hardly makes Iggy a one off sell out. It’s not like he’s the only person in the history of rock n roll to do ads. Somehow, though, he has been singled out for criticism. The anonymous internet critics seem to forget the countless ads that John Peel voiced, Blur or The Fall’s music appeared on, as well as endorsements from Johnny Depp, Paul MacCartney, Dwight Yokum, Joss Stone, Missy Elliot, Madonna and about 300 other celebrities have appeared in commercials from GAP clothing. David Arquette and Courtney Cox-Arquette, Bill Cosby, Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block, Aretha Franklin, Bill Gates, Roy Orbison and more fo Coca Cola. Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Shakira, Madonna, Faith Hill, Ray Charles, Bob Dole, Michael J. Fox, Shaquille O’Neal and more for Pepsi
And there is Johnny Rotten’s butter ads”¦but we won’t be talking about those.
At least Iggy looks cool in his ads and takes the piss out of himself.

2. Iggy Pop never ”Ëœsold in’ so he can’t sell out. His music is timeless and untarnished. In the 21st century surely we are all far too cynical to care about ads. Is there anyone out there who thinks car insurance is more rock n roll because the Ig appears in the ads?

3. What is the big deal with appearing on American Idol? Its hardly an endorsement of the show- the usual tedious talent show that makes up early 21st century entertainment.
Half the time people moan that there is nothing on TV and when there is they moan about it being there. Iggy’s run tough of ”ËœWild Child’ on the show is , of course, not his greatest moment but it was still funny, dangerous and animalistic. The sanatised TV studios are the perfect platform for someone to really tear it up and Iggy tears it up.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Iggy has been the only good thing on the dire American Idol series. The guy wrote the book on how to be a rock legend and never got the credit he deserved at 65 years old who can begrudge the guy making a fortune finally…its just the same as Hendrix doing the Lulu show in the 60s … A classic TV moment.

  2. People don’t want to pay for music – and then they suddenly get on their high horse when the musicians flog it to people who will still pay them a living…

  3. i think the problem is that far too many left leaning people took it as gospel when Bill Hicks said anyone who works in advertising should kill themselves,that there off the list.but id take slightly watered down Iggy beamed into the homes of middle america over nothing

  4. yeah, everyone needs to eat, but Iggy has enough money to eat, for fucks sake. And two houses in Florida and a some really fucking mean classic cars. So don’t give me that shit about Iggy needing a payday. He hasn’t been poor since the mid eighties. When he did the car ads the Stooges had reformed and a festival date from them would set you back in the hundreds, rather than the tens, of thousands.

    I’m not saying he was right or wrong to do the ads, and they are a fuck sight better than Johnny’s rancid butter ads, but purrLEASE don’t say that he needed the money.

    The same goes for John Lydon saying he used the butter money “so that PIL could tour again”. Totally irrelevant. Selling out venues at £25 a ticket means you shouldn’t have to prop up the tour with greasy cash…unless of course someone ON the tour needed a big fat fee to do it.

  5. The insurance ads are awful. Iggy playing to the Confederacy of Dunces is classic. The man was a Stooge. For that alone almost all is forgiven. Iggy has more rock’n’roll in 1 pube than the entire assembled ‘Idol’ finalists. Gawd Bless Iggy!

  6. Depends what exactly “sold out” means nowadays – it hasn’t carried much currency since the 80s. Like most rock originals, Iggy is very effectively trading on the back of records he made a very long time ago. He’s marketing a sharply observed, almost (but not quite) cartoon of his younger, wilder, more debauched self very successfully and has been doing since the late Eighties at least. For some maybe that is selling out, although I’d draw a distinction between Iggy and the arguably similar Alice Cooper. For Alice, it’s all theatre. For Iggy, there’s still a real heartbeat and germ of unpredictability somewhere beneath the shtick and that’s what keeps him interesting, some of the time at least

  7. i just imagine watching this might be some kid’s first step towards discovering the beauty of real rock’n’roll. i kind of think its good – iggy is like an elder statesman for all things naughty. Jeez, how old is he and how many drugs did he take?! amazing really!

  8. Has Iggy Sold Out? Fuck yea and how you can defend his position is ridiculous. You wanna know what I think here goes……..”Get a life get swift covered” yea very rock and roll. I’m glad someone mentioned Bill Hicks because Bill understood that once a “artist” starts selling products they cease to be a artist and become a salesman. Some artists start out as salesman people like J.L.S. who were never about the music and were only ever about selling product. Even if the product is music it is still being a salesman. What Iggy has done is started out as a artist and become a salesman and that is the difference and that my deluded friends. One day you are a performing artist the next you are a salesman. What happens when you make that transition is you lose all your artistic integrity. Like I say some never have any artistic integrity to begin with John Lydon famously said he was always in it for the money the Sex Pistols were always in it for the money Lydon never said otherwise and that is the difference Iggy did repeatedly bitch about “The Man” and now he cashes his dirty insurance company money. It is obvious most people on this blog are gonna defend Iggy’s position to the hilt and thats your opinions and you are entitled. To me it would be like John Lennon doing a T.V. Advert for land mines. Bill Hicks was right and it is subtle shit like a rock and roll icon becoming a insurance salesman which is slowly eroding power away from the people and firmly in the hands of big business. WAKE UP.

    • I agree. Iggy Pop has clearly sold out especially if he ever considered himself punk. Seems like he’s just another spoilt baby boomer. Only here we have a ‘profit-monger’ dressed in rebel’s clothing.

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  17. oh shit yeah he sold out big time working for swiftcover, did a song with keisha terrible just terrible, and now american idol, also personally he hasn’t done a good song or a good album in 35 years , his solo career sucked he stopped being relevant after lust for life , i think he blew bowie too many times i dunno my own opinion of course


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