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WHAT GENERATION GAP?

Iggy & Dinah.jpg

Above is a poor-quality but nevertheless compelling screen grab of Dinah Shore’s attempt, in 1977, to imitate Iggy Pop’s pose on the cover of his album The Idiot, as an amused Mr. Pop looks on. Iggy, as Snobs know, recorded The Idiot in Berlin with David Bowie and modeled his cover pose after a disturbing portrait by Erich Heckel, a German Expressionist artist, of Ernst Kirschner, another German Expressionist artist, who had become mentally ill. (Bowie did his own Kirschner vogueing on the cover of his “Heroes,” also from 1977.)

The interview footage from which this grab was taken was just recently posted on YouTube. It’s the marvelous missing link between Iggy’s two much-bootlegged performances on the show, exuberant versions of “Funtime” and “Sister Midnight” with Bowie on keyboards and the Sales brothers, Hunt and Tony, as the rhythm section. People like to laugh at the incongruity of Dinah and Iggy on the same soundstage, but it’s a tribute to both that they were open to the experience and got along so well. Dinah, who was 61 to Iggy’s almost-30 at the time of this broadcast, out-snobs today’s Rock Snobs by playfully calling Pop “Jimmy” a good decade before it was fashionable to do so. And the Igster is the picture of charm–his menacing, schlong-whipping Iggy persona switched off so that Dinah can meet “Jim Osterberg, doe-eyed, boyish and coy,” in the words of Paul Trynka, whose forthcoming, semi-authorized Iggy bio, Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed, comes out in April from Broadway Books (also the publisher of the Snob’s Dictionaries). Per Trynka, this was a happy period for Iggy, who had, for the moment, and with Bowie’s help, kicked heroin.

To top it all off, that’s Rosemary Clooney with whom Dinah is discussing punk rock at the beginning of the “Funtime” clip. Snobsite friend and Peggy Lee biographer Peter Richmond happened to be interviewing Clooney for GQ in 1994 when she got word that her good pal Shore had passed away. Peter says that Clooney was badly shaken by the news and teared up–Dinah was good people, and there was much more to her than Burt Reynolds and ladies’ golf tournaments. Really, why isn’t today’s talk TV more open to these sorts of wacky but cordial, nonconfrontational juxtapositions, whether it’s Iggy and Dinah or Woody Allen interviewing Billy Graham? As Peter says, “It just wouldn’t happen now: The View welcoming Trent Reznor…”

February 22, 2007 More Rock Snobbery »

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