|Iggy Pop in 1978|
Truckin’ along, choosin’ some driving songs, can be a hard task do, especially if you’re trying to please your passengers and yourself. The following two songs explain a lot of what goes on in ones mind when we chose to travel, mentally or physically. Metaphysically, Iggy Pop’s two songs “I’m Bored” and “The Passenger” are intertwined in feeling. One “I’m Bored” uses really propulsive rhythms to portray Iggy’s need to remain engaged in a tedious world and the other “the Passenger” uses a languid tempo to signify the studied, unhurried passage of time that reflects on a traveler from destination to destination. Both show how, that as much as a rabid ape man like Iggy is portrayed to be, he sure was a learned fellow in the matters of transference.
“I’m Bored” from the brilliant New Values album takes the opportunity to mock boredom by subverting it from the inside out. Rather than wallow in it, Iggy uses the battering ram of his mutant funk rhythm section as a means to display his boredom of boredom. His sick of all the bores in life and oh does he let us the listener know exactly who they are. Somehow, this track is the spiritual cousin of an early Stooges track, Loose, which has Iggy looking for kicks to cut loose with. I guess, this song answers what happens after all of those kicks wear off. Leave it to Iggy to find some way to entertain himself when no one else can…I mean, haven’t we all had trips that could only be enjoyed this way?
The softie of the day is quite an obvious choice, “The Passenger” off Lust for Life if you haven’t heard by now, you’re bound to hear on TV any day…but the sentiment of it all should remain timeless. For Iggy, a man so many times close to mentally/physically checking out from this world, to find uncharted ways to find a zest for life required trying and experiencing new things well out of his comfort zone. The road he followed to turn from a proto-punk, hard nosed rocker into a krautrock-influenced post-punker required more than just cojones, it required emotional and intellectual courage. Simply working with guys like David Bowie, or the Sales Brothers required stamina of the musical and physical kind. Its just a wonder now to behold how he managed to stay mostly sober and twice as musically proactive.
“The Passenger” simply serves as a humble affirmation of the new kicks that move him the most. Its the beauty of the city night, the wonder of a winding road, and most importantly the company of another passenger to enjoy all this scenery with. Its a remarkable acceptance of the reversal of his life’s direction and passion. In the end, it is this type of startling, vivid romantic song which deeply presents the lure of just enjoying THE trip that is getting you to where YOU want to be. Anyway, more hard and soft songs tomorrow. We’re just at the beginning of this great August trip, don’t ya know by now!
Bonus track time…Iggy and D-Bow performing “Funtime” from my favorite release of his The Idiot on the Dinah Shore Show (wtf?):