Saturday, July 19, 2008

Iggy Pop: Romanian Caesar


When I was younger I went to several concerts to see the man they dubbed The American Caesar. I loved this guy, his raw energy thrilled me beyond belief and, I know it's corny, but I felt he was speaking just to me. Once I even turned up at Brixton Academy from work in my suit and with a briefcase – one of precious few memories that I recall with any degree of pride. The point is, brothers, I’m now washed up a long way from home and from anything that affirms my own individual identity. Rather pathetically, I’ve decided that to survive in this alien culture I must prove that Iggy exists for me here just as he existed for me then. So..... oh, good grief..... here’s why he’s Romanian:

Pop is a very common surname here: we have a neighbour called Mr Pop. Romanian boys are named after Caesars: Iulius, Claudiu, Traian (Trajan), Tiberiu.... and you can even be called Cezar, as my nephew is. (You can also be christened Romulus or Remus - yeah, even the most Slavic-looking parents imagine that they’re direct descendants of Rhea Silvia and the god Mars, but that’s another story.)

The only other “American” man to look genuinely fantastic with his top off (and I’m speaking objectively, as a heterosexual) was Hollywood Tarzan and 5-gold-medal Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. He came from near Timişoara - which is now part of Romania, thanks very much - though he tried to forget this.

The lank hair is a strong indication. Indeed, many women from Moldova might wish to ask him which shampoo he uses. The wild eyes and sunken cheeks bespeak a life-time of either recreational drugs use or herding sheep around in crap weather. He could have done either, really, it’s hard to tell.

So there you go, pretty conclusive I think you'll agree. I feel much better now, thanks.

16 comments:

No Good Boyo said...

He's a real wild one (wild one).

You ought to point this out to Stay-At-Home-Indy Pop, who probably hails from Târgovişte or something.

Iggy also looks uncannily like a colleague of mind called Penny. I may, or may not, point this out to her.

Kevin Musgrove said...

He certainly dresses like a Romanian.

A story about going to see a Johnny Weissmuller gig upstairs in a pub near The Angel might go down better with the locals.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Indy Pop is welcome to visit any time - do encourage him. Târgovişte was where the Ceauşescus were executed, so I can imagine making an indie pop video there capitalising on the ambience - but maybe that's far too 1980s.

He does a bit, Kevin, you're right. My 68-year-old uncle Tavi is often seen scything his grass with his shirt off, and bloody impressive he looks too.

M C Ward said...

It's a strange feeling to envy a 61-year-old's physique, and also rather sad. Maybe if I start now I might catch him up by retirement. But I utterly doubt it.

Gyppo Byard said...

Envying a 61-year old's physique? Oddly enough, one of the weekend papers had a rather fetching picture of Helen Mirren (62) in a bikini on its front page. And then there's Ronnie Wood...

The only thing putting me off the thought that for some the 60s can be a time of disgraceful but enjoyable excess is the nagging certainty that this only applies to very rich people.

Boyo - your observations about certain colleagues of ours just caused me to spit coffee over a keyboard, risking the ire of another colleague who looks oddly like Salma Hayek in a certain light. Boyo knows what I'm talking about. Nobody else will. Even me...

No Good Boyo said...

Imagine what would happen if "they" (mad scientists like Father-in-Law of Boyo) were to find a way that would allow Pop/Wood and Mirren to mate.

The offspring would shag the world, smoke the leftovers and drink the dust in a cocktail of our distilled tears.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Given the rebellion of youth it would probably look like Michael Hordern and make the Pope look like Russell Brand.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ms Mirren is an example to young British slappers everywhere. She's a good-looking women, but perhaps not exceptionally good-looking; I maintain that we fancy her because she's got character - yes, an old-fashioned word and I'm using it in an old-fashioned sense, and am starting to sound pompous already. And then of course there’s Joan Collins, who’s 76 next year and probably still looks fantastic. (And can somebody post some pictures of Penny? I'd really like to see this for myself.)

Ha! Hasn’t there been a reality TV programme called something like Job Swap (oh come on there must have been): Russell Brand swaps with Pope Benedict XVI, Father-in-Law of Boyo can adjudicate, now that’s entertainment.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Knees, though, Gadjo. Remember it's all in the knees.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Welcome Mrs Pouncer! Yes indeed, your latest blog post did indeed become quite knee-related towards the end.

By the way, my memories that I recall is a tautology, but you didn't spot it. And that turns me on.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Two words: Joan Bakewell

Now wash your hands.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Tell me in what way it's a tautology, then. Go on, spell it out. (Do you like that rather hectoring tone?)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Absolutely, Kevin. Then there's a whole raft of continental actresses who always looked mature yet just on the right side of mumsy: Sofia Loren, Simone Signoret....

Mrs Pouncer, I believe it's a tautology because memories are recollections by definition, and so to recall memories is saying the same thing twice. It's like "free gift" or "forward planning", n'est pas? Hector all you like!

Gyppo Byard said...

"Surrounded on all sides" is another one that bugs me. And don't get me started on "boil them in hot water" or "with a smile on her face"...

I once heard someone come out with the magnificent phrase "I seem to have a problem with tautology - I keep saying everything twice," which quite frankly deserves an award of some kind.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ah, no, that's an attempt at defining the nature of the tautology: duplication rather than multiplication.

Gadjo Dilo said...

I seem to have a problem with tautology - I keep saying everything twice.... defining the nature of the tautology: duplication rather than multiplication

I think that's called stammering. Hmm. I used to have the most appalling stammer, and you’ve just made me realise that I can write a pseudo-intellectual blog post about it and finally purge my demons. After all, it ain't over till it's over.