Along with bands like the New York Dolls and the MC5, Iggy Pop and his Stooges more or less invented punk rock. So it’s understandable that Iggy would consider himself an expert of the craft, especially its history. However, in a new interview from the New York Times, the 65-year-old divulged some of his thoughts on a few of the ’70s’ “sincere punks,” namely four Londoners called the Clash. To wit:
Many date the birth of punk rock to a show the Stooges played in London in 1972, which was seen by founding members of the Clash and the Sex Pistols. What did you think when the punks started releasing music a few years later?
I reacted to it better than I had to the hippie thing. As it developed, I couldn’t stand the sincere punks. I never believed them. Still don’t.
The sincere punks?
Like the Clash were going to make the world politically correct for everybody’s benefit — but only if you kept buying Clash records. I never really went for the righteousness. I went more for the profligate, sneering groups. I also realized that it was good that I wasn’t doing that sort of music anymore. In penile, postpubescent rock, the generation is five years; it’s not 25 years. It would have been worse if I was still knocking out stuff that sounded like my first record but not as good.
So, Iggy Pop: all-knowing punk historian or grumpy old man? Read a “condensed and edited” version of the Times interview, in which Pop also talks about his relationship with his penis, here.