Iggy Pop – The Idiot
I was listening to this all through 1977 at a time when I was staying at a flat in Buckingham Gate with Linda, the famous dominatrix – y'know, beating up MPs and all that. And we'd have the New York Dolls in there and various members of the Pistols hanging out. I was staying there because that was where my friend Jordan lived, who worked with Vivienne [Westwood]. Everyone had gone to bed and I had the headphones on listening to The Idiot. I only ever listen to it late at night; I can't listen to it any other time. It's got such a great mood to it. It's a very dark record, the songs are really grinding.
I went to do a gig a year or so later in Berlin at a club called SO36 on Oranienstrasse. The Idiot was mixed in Berlin and was the perfect soundtrack to going there when the Wall was still up. It was such a volatile, dangerous place to be. People were disappearing on the way there. We stayed in an old building. The place hadn't changed much since the war, it was still bomb damaged. There were lots of really old ladies with fur coats on going around buying gloves. There seemed to be lots of shops there selling these beautiful handmade gloves. It was in the Turkish quarter and it was quite exciting to go over there and play a gig. It was lost in time, that place.
The fans there were quite ahead of the game. They had their own scene. The SO36 club was the reverse of any club we'd ever played. It was completely white with these dazzling neon lights, so you played in this absolutely bright, white room. The crowd were all there with their wedge haircuts, looking all existentialist. And at the end of the show the police tear gassed the place and it came to an abrupt end. That album always reminds me of that time. But every song on that album is a mood; him in a basement breaking out of whatever it was going through at the time. It's the perfect late night record.
I met Iggy once at a theatre in Fulham during the Lust for Life tour, I think. He was there rehearsing and we were introduced. The thing that impressed me was that he'd introduce himself off stage: "Ladies and gentlemen, Iggy Pop." [Chuckles] He came out and played that night and he had jeans on with a big fur tail hanging out the back and a German helmet and he'd covered himself in paint. Typical Iggy. He was a great performer. Off stage he was very smiley, really sweet to talk to.