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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,254 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
“Fellow rock stars, casual members of the public, lords and media magnates, countless thousands of people will talk of their encounters with this driven, talented, indomitable creature, a man who has plumbed the depths of depravity, yet emerged with an indisputable nobility. Each of them will share an admiration and appreciation of the contradictions and ironies of his inc ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Three Rivers Press (first published March 8th 2007)
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Peter Krakow
Jun 19, 2012 Peter Krakow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this thinly veiled fictionalization of the Democratic Party since the late 1950's author Paul Trynka (whom I suspect is actually David McCullough using an alias) digs deep into why Liberal ideals have never risen to their rightful place in the pantheon of American history.

Using a made up character named Iggy Pop to represent the brilliance and visceral embodiment of the Thinking Left, we're taken on a roller coaster ride of the highs and lows of the party, what could have been and whose resp
...more
Dan
Jun 04, 2011 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A generally well researched and fact-filled biography but not written in a manner that keeps your interest for very long. Iggy Pop is one of my favorite artists yet I struggled to read more than a chapter without having to put the book down due to the author's bothersome writing style. I do not recommend this book to anyone, whether you are an Iggy Pop fan or not.
Tosh
Nov 15, 2009 Tosh rated it really liked it
This is a very good rock n' roll biography by Paul Trynka (who was the editor at Mojo Magazine) on Iggy Pop. He did his research well, and interviews I think almost everyone who is close to Iggy, except Bowie - and there is a lot of material in this book on the Bowie/Iggy relationship.

The fascinating aspect for me is how Iggy deals with his fellow band members over the years. Sometimes charming, sometimes cruel - he is sort of goes off like the weather. Yet he's a guy who is usually in control o
...more
Jeanne T.
Sep 23, 2007 Jeanne T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put this down and when I was done I had an erotic dream about Iggy Pop. Amazing. Unlike the Susan Sontag biography, this book was a riot of action. It was interesting to read about a such a punk legend and how he didn't really find much "success" in the time when he was writing/making the music. In retrospect (fueled by the inclusion of his songs in the Trainspotting soundtrack), it seemed to me that he was always famous and amazing. Also, I love the stories of people who had a hard lif ...more
Nigeyb
Jun 07, 2013 Nigeyb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been into Iggy since discovering The Stooges whilst at school in the mid 1970s. Everything I found out about him appealed to my troubled teenage self. My fascination has continued into adulthood and middle age. I was at the Virgin Megastore in Marble Arch, London in 1979 to get my copy of the then newly released "New Values" signed by Mr Pop (and I happened to notice Scott Thurston hanging about in the background and got him to sign it too). As a sixteen year old, on the night before my Mat ...more
Dr. Detroit
Oct 08, 2009 Dr. Detroit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to The Stooges and their slightly troubled front man Iggy Pop, attempting to separate myth from reality, contextualize it, understand it, and then shape the whole mess into something that doesn’t make you want to grab a razor blade and run a warm bath after reading it, dances a fine line between brave and foolhardy.

Despite the title, Paul Trynka’s chronicle is as much about The Stooges as it about Iggy, the specter of the Asheton brothers, Dave Alexander, and James Williamson both
...more
Ms Tlaskal
Mar 26, 2011 Ms Tlaskal rated it liked it
I am interested in late 60's/70s pop/rock and Iggy Pop struck me as an emblem of this uninhibited era.

This excellent biography is a good example to use to illustrate a need for alternate points of view in narrative writing. Paul Trynka is a great writer who keeps us speeding from his student years as a possible presidential candidate, to his first gigs, adulation and debauchery, yet I longed to hear his own voice, rather than the measured one of his biographer. I honstly did not read eavery page
...more
Mr_wormwood
Who doesn't like Iggy Pop? well, me now, just a little, since reading this book.But only because a good quarter of this book details how pathetic he had become just before he hit it big with Bowie and the Idiot (begging for drugs in hotel corridors, stealing drugs from star-struck teenagers, eagerly prostituting himself for drugs by being the kept rock-star of various middle-aged women with a penchant for rock stars and a lot of money to burn). Also another good quarter of the book details his l ...more
Caddy Rowland
Mar 10, 2016 Caddy Rowland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how anyone could give this book less than 5 stars unless they don't find Iggy Popp fascinating...and if they don't, why would they read it?

I enjoyed it very much. Many times it made me sad for Iggy. I felt compassion for him, even during his ugliest moments, as I think he has some issues most people will never understand, including me. But to have a persona that completely takes over your mind and body...it can be your performance but it also can ruin your personal relationships. A
...more
Anna
Jan 16, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a kid, I never knew why Ziggy Stardust was a character of David Bowie's and the name and the story sounded so much like Iggy Pop. The intertwining of Bowie and Iggy was very interesting. Jim/Iggy was diagnosed as hypomanic, he probably could get other diagnoses like bipolar or borderline. I don't mean this to be glib but where can people with chronic mental illness find sufficient employment? ADD and ADHD cases continue to rise but it that because we are now predominantly white-collar ...more
Alicia
Dec 16, 2008 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Iggy Pop, or at least I like Iggy Pop's music. I quickly discovered that I am not that fond of the man. This was a fairly well written biography and it was interesting to see how Iggy rose to fame but the endless descriptions of destructive behavior, drug use and sexual escapades quickly lost it horrified fascination for me. Instead of being a train wreck I couldn't look away from it just became tedious. For example, if they told me once, they told me a hundred times about how incredibly ...more
catechism
I may try to read this again, when I am feeling a little more tolerant, but the first time I tried, I could barely make it through the first few chapters. It read more like a love letter to Iggy Pop -- sorry, Jim, his name is Jim, and we must call him Jim in every paragraph -- and also seemed a little too into the size of Jim's dick. Like. Almost every page, we must hear about how big Jim's dick is. There aren't many things I care about less than I care about the size of Jim Osterberg's dick.
Hannah
Dec 05, 2011 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I didn't think it was possible for the life of Iggy Pop to be boring, but Paul Trynka made it that way! If you are a hardcore Stooges fan, this might be worth a look; otherwise, move on. This is another book that could have been really interesting, but suffered from an overly-academic writing style.
Thomas Strömquist
"Probably the best rock biography I read - the man is absolutely fascinating and at the same time very much human in this great book."
Jeff Jackson
Jan 05, 2017 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punk-rock-etc
Engaging bio of both Jim Osterberg and his alter ego Iggy Pop. Well-researched and smartly written with a keen eye for outrageous set pieces, ranging from blood-letting stage theatrics to Hollywood Hills debauchery to Haitian voodoo curses. Evocative chapters on life in desolate West Berlin with David Bowie, too. Plus spot-on analysis of the music itself throughout Iggy's career.
Mark Toelsche
Jan 04, 2017 Mark Toelsche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy or fun read by any stretch (though it does get better as it gets past the halfway point), but a hugely informative and thoroughly researched look at the greatest rock n roll front man of all time.
Adrian
Mar 22, 2015 Adrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For fans of a certain raw attitude, aesthetic, and delivery, Iggy Pop has few equals. Maybe no equals. Paul Trynka’s biography Open Up and Bleed unpacks Iggy’s life from childhood through 2007’s The Weirdness, with a marked emphasis on Iggy’s 1969 to 1979 output – arguably his finest period. The result is a comprehensive picture that both demystifies the icon and shows why he’s worthy of his legend.

The book held more than a few revelations for me, like the influence of the Byrds on Ron Asheton’s
...more
Simon
Apr 02, 2012 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iggy Pop Open Up And Bleed by Paul Trynka

The first book I read on holiday was this mighty
430 page biography of Iggy Pop by Paul Trynka
and having read Iggy's views on the book before
reading the book I know where Iggy was coming
from saying he was almost more interested in who
was being quoted as the authour tracks down a
multitude of childhood friends and collaborators
and girlfriends and at times the parents of
underage girlfriends who gave Iggy Permission to
sleep with them!!
This book goes
...more
James Higgins, Jr.
May 29, 2007 James Higgins, Jr. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Iggy fans, Punk historians, Rock lovers, anarchists, DIY's, etc.
So far I am only three or four chapters into it, and it is everything I'd hoped it'd be so far. You really get to see somewhat of a character study as young James Osterburg steadily evolves from Overachieving popular school boy into the down-on-his-upside godfather of punk, Iggy Pop.

It starts from his youth, describing himself and his parents, not to mention that though you would think a man such as him would come from a bleak environment, in truth he was part of the upper echelon of his clas
...more
Amanda
May 02, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this audio book from the library and didn't realize that it was 12 cds. It took forever to listen to and I'm afraid I may have forgotten what was on the first 6 cds. Ah well.

I'm a Stooges fan, newly minted. My friend introduced me to the Stooges music a few years ago and I was hooked. Naturally I knew who Iggy Pop was (the old guy who never wore a shirt) but I mainly new him from movies, oddly enough. Open Up and Bleed is a comprehensive story of Iggy/Jim's life - from growing up in M
...more
Aaron
Oct 17, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it
Whilst mostly written in a dull, assumptive style, I guess this will be the best bio of James Osterberg/Iggy Pop. There are some interesting facts that I never knew about - Iggy's introduction to herion via the radical-Queer 'Cockettes', how important the Bowie/Osterberg relationship was to Osterberg's life and how Iggy ultimately shunned the man who saved his life and gave him the best creative years and produced his greatest works outside the Stooges, and finally Osterberg's massive failure on ...more
Tim Niland
Jan 01, 2008 Tim Niland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: John Trembly
Shelves: 2007reads
This is a biographical account of Jim Osterberg, better known as rock 'n' roll singer Iggy Pop. This very detailed book follows its subject from growing up in a trailer park in Michigan as a suburb student to falling in love with blues music and eventually becoming a drummer in various blues and rock bands. The formation of The Stooges is covered in great depth, and Osterberg's development of the Iggy Pop persona is presented as an example of a split personality that would have repercussions in ...more
Chris Craddock
Aug 24, 2015 Chris Craddock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, bowie
Now I wanna be your dog.

I saw Iggy at Bimbo's in SF in January '74. Raw Power tour, with the Stooges and James Williamson on guitar. I couldn't get in because it was 21 and over. I could hear 'Gimmie Danger' from the alley, and then they let some groupies in and I tailgated them. It held about 700 but there weren't that many. My friend who was just out of the Navy and had gotten in, he was over 21, said that Iggy jumped off the stage and was in the 'crowd' and some girls gave him a BJ. I believ
...more
Libby
Apr 09, 2009 Libby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: musicology, celeb-bio
What I knew about Iggy Pop before this book consisted of The Stooges albums and some wild live performances involving blood and not much clothing. I didn't know about the David Bowie connection (though it makes a lot of sense)or his normal upbringing or the development of his two personas. I also had no idea that there was so much of a sense of failure about what he did as an artist. I wasn't left with any sense of liking him as an individual - as a person he doesn't seem like he could connect.. ...more
Geoff
Aug 31, 2008 Geoff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rock Fans
This was a good book. I can't imagine a better one on the topic. It portrays Iggy as a survivor which he undoubtedly is whether it is in regard to his mental health or his artistry. I felt that Iggy came of sounding pompous and unapolegetic for the destruction trailing behind him. I have to believe that if he was that much of a dick people wouldn't associate with him. My take on him before reading the book was that he was enthusiastic and energetic about music and art which is how I have seen hi ...more
Wendi Manning
May 29, 2015 Wendi Manning rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I may have to stay away from rock biographies for awhile. This was like reading a textbook written by someone in love with the subject. This book is more superficial than it seems. I've read other books he's written and there's a lot of detail and a lot of research done on the subject, and sometimes you find out things you didn't really want to know about the person. That doesn't happen here. This book goes into a story, gets about halfway through it, stops, checks in with current day Iggy (oops ...more
Jeff
Mar 12, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book interesting, if perhaps a little too overly concerned with certain phases of Iggy's life as opposed to a coherent lifetime narrative. The lessons in rock history were very interesting in that the "family tree" of Iggy was broader than I had realized. While the depths of his lows were well explored, the author seemed to lose interest when it came to highlighting the eventual monetary success that came Iggy's way. He also seemed to have a fascination for Iggy's . . . endowment . ...more
Erin
May 30, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently moved to Ann Arbor and living a hop, skip and a jump from the Osterberg's beloved Coachville trailer park, plus driving down Packard everyday on the way to work I was eager to hear the local angle on the man whose music I have loved for a long time. This was a page turner and exhaustively researched. I was surprised at the amount of Ann Arbor detail and enjoyed the history lesson. If you're a fan or just curious you will not be disappointed. It's a detailed and close-up look at a ...more
Amy Formanski Duffy
Jun 18, 2007 Amy Formanski Duffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Indie/Punk Music Fans
Um, Iggy Pop is insane. I don't know how to sum up this book because this guy's life has been nuts. What did surprise me is that he's almost a split personality: Iggy Pop, the hyper, determined, crazy rock star, and Jim Osterberg, the educated, intelligent, mostly kind-hearted person.

There are so many insane stories in this book. Broken glas on his chest during a show, living on the street, drugs, horrible concept albums, Elton John in a gorilla suit. What??? But then there were really fun time
...more
Heather Anderson
Mar 18, 2013 Heather Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did I really want to know this much about him? Probably not. This book makes me glad I'm not famous and that no one will go back and ask people who knew me in high school, "what was she like?" This book is well-written and well-researched, and covers every possible detail and flaw you could imagine, including a few that I didn't. A full history of the Stooges is contained in this book. I can totally identify with Iggy/Jim when he was in the mental hospital! In fact, I have been a patient in that ...more
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Your favourite Iggy/Stooges albums 5 5 Dec 13, 2013 03:54AM  
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Paul Trynka was formerly the editor of Mojo magazine (1996-2003). He has also been the editorial director of Q magazine, launch editor of The Guitar Magazine, and editor-in-chief of New Projects at Emap. He is the author of Iggy Pop (Broadway 2007), Portrait of the Blues, and Denim, a history of the fabric. He lives in London.
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