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.