by Cai Trefor Contributor | Photos by Still

Tags: Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth 

Iggy Pop reveals the story behind 'Gardenia' to Thurston Moore in new documentary

A new documentary by Rough Trade shot in Iggy Pop's Miami home also sees them jamming together


Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression best album of the year 2016 Rough Trade Photo: Still

After Iggy Pop's awesome new album Post Pop Depression was named album of the year by Rough Trade, they were invited to film an interview in Iggy's home in Miami. You can watch it on Gigwise below.

Rough Trade had the genius idea of getting Thurston Moore to do the interview and the twenty minute documentary is an intimate, fascinating portrait of one of rocks greatest ever frontmen.

The story about what 'Gardenia' is about - the best song and Thurston Moore's particular favourite on the record - is particularly interesting. It's a story of a brief love affair and involves the tale of Iggy meeting Allen Ginsberg. Sipping from his Stooges branded pint glass filled with Iced Coffee, drunk to ease the effects of the torrid Florida temperatures, he wasn't shy of details and said:

"'Gardenia' was a very tall very black very strong young woman who liked junk and she lived in San Francisco and I met her during one of my tours [...] she dressed shabbily but she was a physically impressive alien presence not totally unlike Angelfood McSpade in the Robert Crumb comics. She went to the gig with me in North Beach and Allen Ginsberg came. 

"She wore a little tiny very cheap polyester babydoll dress and this was  a very large woman, she was over six feet big powerful limbs and devil eyes. Ginsberg went crazy, and she wore Gardenia in her hair to the gig and he was just ogling at her all night, he was like 'You all are ok, but Gardenia!'. He was fascinated with her.

"I was quite poor at the time, after the gig I stayed in a cheap motel [..] and I took her back with me.  But that particular night I gave it all to the audience, this happens a lot with me (laughs). We'd done that otherwise, thank god or I probably would have killed myself.

"So that was Gardenia and I never saw her again and years later in the 90s i was having a sexually dry period and also emotionally. I'm the kind of person who will do risky things but before I do I like to have a think about it and maybe even write it out so I wrote 12 essays about different people who had made a big impression in my life but with whom I'd also been intimate. There was one girl who was leaving my room and she slammed the door on her fingers and the tip fell off [...] things in this nature and she was the subject in one of the essays and I was looking for something to put a little boy girl in the new record so I dug it up."

As the above story suggests, the documentary is essential viewing for any fan of rock 'n' roll, and is cut with footage of an exciting jam between Thurton Moore and Iggy in his frontroom, including a jam of Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode'.


Cai Trefor


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