Monday, October 3, 2011

The discrete charm of an IGGY POP magazine cover shoot

Someone on Facebook asked me if I hung out with Iggy Pop who was this person's hero. Rather than proffer a terse "no not really" I wrote the following about the above photo session.

A: You have good taste, because although Iggy has owned up to his setbacks in life, many of them incredibly self-destructive, he has overcome them all, stayed with his unique artistic principles and forged real success from them, eventually garnering his much-deserved, worldwide recognition.

I'm a photographer, which is like "staff." That means I'm there to do a job on a limited time basis (and The Stooges have their own photographer which would be the ultra-talented Robert Matheu) so I don't have a lot of "face time" with these artists. The most access around Iggy was in 1990 for a magazine cover studio session with Don Was and him.

I'm not a naturally chatty person, so I told two of my three assistants (pretty girls, one under twenty years old. Had the clients been gay, I would have tried to hire good looking young men for similar eye candy) that their main job was to chat with Iggy and Don so I could stick to my technical concerns and cameras. When I did make small talk with Iggy, he showed his famous charm and prescient sympatico by choosing a conversation topic dear to me-- masterful Japanese film director Akira Kurasawa-- with no prior prompting whatsoever as to my own tastes.

He's a smart as well as intuitive guy, and for someone who's one of the art form's best ever practitioners, one with a lot of interests beyond rock and roll. And for a down-to-earth touch, he had borrowed that fabulous star-spangled leather jacket from a friend of his then guitarist Whitey Kirst (LINK) just for my photo session. (Results above and below. Trivia: as this was the pre-digital era of media, neither photo was retouched as the deadline was far too tight for post-production detailing.)

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