No Idiot


The truly brilliant Iggy Pop was once voted “Student most likely to become President” at his school. He extended his fabulous and eccentric career this monday night by giving a Peel Lecture for the BBC on the subject of “Free music in a Capitalist society”. Here are a few of his choicest quotes.

“When I was a boy, I used to sit for hours suffering through the entire US radio top 40 waiting for that one song by The Beatles and the other one by The Kinks”

“I worked half of my life for free. I didn’t really think about that one way or the other, until the masters of the record industry kept complaining that I wasn’t making them any money. To tell you the truth, when it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail. It just happens to be a huge one unimportant detail. But, a good LP is a being, it’s not a product. It has a life-force, a personality, and a history, just like you and me. It can be your friend. Try explaining that to a weasel.”

“Everybody made a lot of money reselling all of recorded musical history in CD form back in the 90s, but now the cat is out of the bag and the new electronic devices which estrange people from their morals also make it easier to steal music than to pay for it.”

“The Stooges were organized as a group of Utopian communists”

“If anyone out there can get a chance to put an instrument and some knowledge in some kids hand, you’ve done a great, great thing”

“in America The Beatles replaced our assassinated president Kennedy, who represented our hopes for a certain kind of society. Didn’t get there. And The Stones replaced our assassinated folk music which our own leaders suppressed for cultural, racial, and financial reasons”

“the old time record crooks just made it their business to make great, great records, but also to rip off the artist 100%, copyright, publishing, royalty splits, agency fees, you name it. If anyone complained the line was “Pay you? We worship you!”

“The most punk thing I ever saw in my life was Malcolm McLaren’s cardboard box full of dirty old winkle pickers”

“And I think that prosecuting some college kid because she shared a file is a lot like sending somebody to Australia 200 years ago for poaching his lordship’s rabbit. That’s how it must seem to poor people who just want to watch a crappy movie for free after they’ve been working themselves to death all day at Tesco”

“I can’t help but note that it always seems to be the pursuit of the money that coincides with the great art, but not its arrival. It’s just kind of a death agent. It kills everything that fails to reflect its own image, so your home turns into money, your friends turn into money, and your music turns into money”

“Stay away from drugs and talent judges”