april 21 iggy pop birthday in

Iggy Pop celebrates his 66th birthday today, and he remains the only strong case we can imagine for a macrobiotic diet. He’s never been a hippie, though. In fact, the legendary rocker has cut a fine post-punk figure as an impressively unaffected musician. He started in the ’60s with The Stooges as a daringly innovative and uncommercial act. Things got shakey in the ’70s, though. Iggy was mowing lawns and living with his parents. A heroin addiction landed him in a mental hospital. Things didn’t turn around until old pal David Bowie helped Iggy with launching a solo career in the late ’70s–although the Pop/Bowie composition “Lust for Life” (from the 1977 album of the same name) took a while to become a rock standard.

Iggy was on solid ground by the start of the ’80s. He made some great albums and a few uninspired attempts at breaking out of the college-rock scene. Then he went into the ’90s with Brick by Brick, and became an elder rock statesman while scoring his first gold album in America. He even landed on MTV with “Candy.” Remember that one? It begins with a spoken introduction where Iggy says, “Geez, it’s been 20 years…” Yeah. Now he can do it in concert and say, “Geez, it’s been 43 years…” And the way Iggy is going with the reformed Stooges, we’re thinking he might manage to intone about when 63 years have passed, too.

It’s not easy to choose one video from Iggy’s long career, so here’s a random selection of greatness and weirdness. We’ve skipped over some of his artsier moments, but Iggy’s been pretty impressive on that end. He’s certainly managed to successfully indulge his ambitions better than Lou Reed. Those guys in Metallica probably think they invested in a partnership with the wrong legend. Anyway, enjoy a few of the fine faces of Iggy–although that torso of his has only started to age in the past few years…

Oh, the Celebrity Watchdog has been around the block a few times--often urinating all over the Great White Way and the Hollywood Walk of Fame and even a couple of times on the great theaters of the West End. It is shameful.