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Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  985 ratings  ·  79 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,912)
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Peter Krakow
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
Tosh
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.
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
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
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
Dan
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.
Dr. Detroit
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
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
Anna
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
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.
Aaron
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
Hannah
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."
Libby
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
Adrian
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
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
Nycdreamin
I'll admit, a bit shame-faced as I do so, that I'm a relative late-comer to the Iggy & The Stooges party, as I've only really listened to their stuff for the past decade I guess. And fucking shame on me! In my Heavy Metal obsessed teens and twenties the band was almost a completely unknown entity to me other than the fact that I did know who they were and that they seemed to have a pretty dedicated, if somewhat scattered and seemingly small in numbers fan base. But certainly no one I ever kn ...more
Amanda
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
Tim Niland
Jan 01, 2008 Tim Niland rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Jeff
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Troy Friendimension
Like all great rockstars, he came from a well disciplined home and used his inherited middle class work ethic for show business sucess and artistic excellence.
Christopher Winterburn
Iggy Pop and the Stooges are music legends, a 5 star act. There's no one else out there like them, never has been and never will be. The book I give only 3 stars because I felt it contained a lot of unnecessary and pointless information that didn't add anything to the book other than to pad it out, to make it bigger than it should be. Things liven up around the time Iggy is living in Berlin with Bowie and in fact reading this book I learned new things about Bowie which was good to read. Read the ...more
Swanson
At the time nothing sounded, or offended like the Stooges -and the offended part was not calculated. Their sound was a mix of the last poison fumes of America's Mid-Western industrial revolution, and the graveyards of the Delta. With the volume turned up.
Open Up And Bleed, much better than the narrow in scope '80s Iggy bio 'I Need More', give us the social, musical, and cultural history of a time and place, and how it intersected with a very unusual guy named James Osterberg and his alter ego I
...more
Tom Schulte
A real fun read covering Iggy from pre-Stooges to the 21st Century Stooges reunion tour and recording. I was particularly fascinated with the pre-Stooges forays he had as a pick-up blues drummer and how much the pre-album Stooges were challenging damaged art noise experiences presaging Velvet Underground. Talk about foreshadowing, Iggy more foreshadowed GG Allin than I realized. The complication relationship with Bowie and the the self-destructive excess as well as zombie assault in Haiti comple ...more
Tom Schulte
A real fun read covering Iggy from pre-Stooges to the 21st Century Stooges reunion tour and recording. I was particularly fascinated with the pre-Stooges forays he had as a pick-up blues drummer and how much the pre-album Stooges were challenging damaged art noise experiences presaging Velvet Underground. Talk about foreshadowing, Iggy more foreshadowed GG Allin than I realized. The complication relationship with Bowie and the the self-destructive excess as well as zombie assault in Haiti comple ...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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