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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, blood, drugs and rock'n'roll
Some rock stars fade away. Some self-destruct at a young age. Some kept on chugging away despite it all, and are still going today (see: David Bowie and Mick Jagger).

But a few seem to be truly indestructible -- they bounce back from anything, whether it's drugs, madness, or their own genius. And in Paul Trynka's "Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is a pretty...
Published on 31 Mar 2008 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 star book about a 5 star character
Iggy Pop and the Stooges are music legends, a 5 star act. There's no one else out there like them, never has been and never will be. The book I give only 3 stars because I felt it contained a lot of unnecessary and pointless information that didn't add anything to the book other than to pad it out, to make it bigger than it should be. Things liven up around the time Iggy...
Published 15 months ago by C. Winterburn


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, blood, drugs and rock'n'roll, 31 Mar 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Iggy Pop: Open Up And Bleed: The Biography (Paperback)
Some rock stars fade away. Some self-destruct at a young age. Some kept on chugging away despite it all, and are still going today (see: David Bowie and Mick Jagger).

But a few seem to be truly indestructible -- they bounce back from anything, whether it's drugs, madness, or their own genius. And in Paul Trynka's "Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is a pretty brilliant look into the chaotic life, influence, and constant ups and downs of one such rocker.

Pop was born Jim Osterberg, to some slightly quirky parents in 1950s Michigan. And Ann Arbor turned out to be the perfect place for him to bloom into a musician -- he became part of the Stooges, a fledgling band that gained and lost contracts like underwear. And they soon developed a reputation for two things: raw, wild, powerful punk, and a tendency to have really wild'n'violent concerts.

And Iggy's own life was just as volatile -- a cocktail of drugs, sex, creative eruptions, and extremely volatile personal life. But as the Stooges fragmented over time, Iggy's own life began seesawing between order and chaos, the bottom of the barrel with the rock'n'roll heights. And even now, as the godfather of punk rock, he spills over with wild energy and creativity.

The core of "Open Up and Bleed" is that Jim Osterberg and Iggy Pop are almost like two different people, like a demon possessing someone's body and making him wreck his life. As Trynka -- and many people he interviewed -- put it, Osterberg is intellectual, polite, clever man, while Pop is a force of self-mutilating destructive chaos.

It actually makes a lot of sense. And Trynka's detailed, intricate recountings get a lot of information from many people who knew Pop -- some fondly, some angrily, and thankfully there's no whitewashing of his personal flaws. But the author really makes you feel and see why Pop/Osterberg is such a powerful presence in rock'n'roll, since he poured his body and soul into his work.

And Trynka strikes a nice balance between his work and personal life, outlining marriages, drug problems, possible mental issues (is he or is he not bipolar?), and his repeated rises from the ashes. Despite all the chaos, he also focuses on the quieter parts of Pop's life, such as domestic bliss with Wife No. 2. And occasionally we even get a funny story, such as the "peanut butter sandwich on Iggy's chest anecdote.

One of the best parts of the book is his ongoing friendship with David Bowie. The past bond between these two men is the sweetest part of the book, especially when Bowie and Pop joined forces musically. It's a bit sad when they drift apart.

Trynka also paints a dark, gritty portrait the burgeoning punk scene of the time, as well as the proto-punk ferocity of the Stooges -- they were SO groundbreaking and raw that the record companies didn't know what to do with them. It took decades for them to be appreciated for what they truly were, and for Iggy Pop to be appreciated as a musical pioneer.

"Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is not just a biography of a brilliant musician, but a portrait of the rapidly-changing music scene that he first bloomed in. Definitely a must-read for rock'n'roll fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The godfather of punk - from riches to rags., 27 Aug 2007
By 
If you like your Biographies edgy and dangerous this is for you. Ok, so Iggy kept getting himself sorted but, everytime he did, he'd just as soon get screwed up again. His early days and the differnt image he likes to portray to how his childhood really was (safe, suburban and not at all dysfunctional) is in sharp contrast to his hell raising drugging, drinking and womaning. Where does he get all of these insecurities from?
The way he continuously fails to realise his recording potential until his is saved (albeit in a sanitised form) by Bowie. His on off Stooges relationship and love\hate with almost evey musician that he's ever worked with. Scary but compulsive stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The final word on Iggy, 7 Jun 2013
By 
I've been into Iggy since discovering The Stooges whilst at school in the mid 1970s. Everything I found out about him appealed to my troubled teenage self. My fascination has continued into adulthood and middle age. I was at the Virgin Megastore in Marble Arch, London in 1979 to get my copy of the then newly released "New Values" signed by Mr Pop (and I happened to notice Scott Thurston hanging about in the background and got him to sign it too). As a sixteen year old, on the night before my Maths O'Level examination, I was at the Music Machine in Camden Town, London watching Iggy live (it *was* worth it - and I passed the exam). Over the years I've seen him play live over ten times, and consider watching Iggy and The Stooges play Raw Power live in 2010 at Hammersmith Apollo, London to be one of the greatest nights of my life.

So, whilst not an über-fan, I'm pretty keen: Raw Power, Funhouse, Lust For Life and The Idiot would feature in my list of greatest albums of all time. Despite this enthusiasm I've never read a biography of Iggy. Until now.

Paul Trynka, ex-Mojo Magazine editor, has produced the definitive biography here. He appears to have spoken with everyone who has been involved with Iggy over the years and seems to have been completely honest, and has certainly included plenty of examples of Iggy's selfishness and unpleasant behaviour. As a reasonably well informed fan, I discovered a wealth of information I hadn't known previously and much of this information has added to my understanding of his work and personality. It also sent me straight back to the music - always a good sign.

I do wonder how much a non-fan, or even casual fan, would get out of this book. There is plenty of depravity, in amongst the creativity, and incessant highs and lows, but would this be enough for a reader who has no interest in, or history with, the Ig?

For this fan it's unquestionably a five star read: well written, exciting, redemptive, informative, and inspirational. My only complaint is that, since its publication in 2008 more has happened: the induction into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame; Ron Asheton's death; the return of James Williamson; another Stooges album; and more solo Iggy albums (including the current French obsession). That's a very minor gripe though, as this is unquestionably the final word on Iggy, and provides in-depth coverage of the all important Stooges' years and the late seventies, post-Stooges renaissance with David Bowie. A classic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex, blood, drugs and rock'n'roll, 1 Feb 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Some rock stars fade away. Some self-destruct at a young age. Some kept on chugging away despite it all, and are still going today (see: David Bowie and Mick Jagger).

But a few seem to be truly indestructible -- they bounce back from anything, whether it's drugs, madness, or their own genius. And in Paul Trynka's "Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is a pretty brilliant look into the chaotic life, influence, and constant ups and downs of one such rocker.

Pop was born Jim Osterberg, to some slightly quirky parents in 1950s Michigan. And Ann Arbor turned out to be the perfect place for him to bloom into a musician -- he became part of the Stooges, a fledgling band that gained and lost contracts like underwear. And they soon developed a reputation for two things: raw, wild, powerful punk, and a tendency to have really wild'n'violent concerts.

And Iggy's own life was just as volatile -- a cocktail of drugs, sex, creative eruptions, and extremely volatile personal life. But as the Stooges fragmented over time, Iggy's own life began seesawing between order and chaos, the bottom of the barrel with the rock'n'roll heights. And even now, as the godfather of punk rock, he spills over with wild energy and creativity.

The core of "Open Up and Bleed" is that Jim Osterberg and Iggy Pop are almost like two different people, like a demon possessing someone's body and making him wreck his life. As Trynka -- and many people he interviewed -- put it, Osterberg is intellectual, polite, clever man, while Pop is a force of self-mutilating destructive chaos.

It actually makes a lot of sense. And Trynka's detailed, intricate recountings get a lot of information from many people who knew Pop -- some fondly, some angrily, and thankfully there's no whitewashing of his personal flaws. But the author really makes you feel and see why Pop/Osterberg is such a powerful presence in rock'n'roll, since he poured his body and soul into his work.

And Trynka strikes a nice balance between his work and personal life, outlining marriages, drug problems, possible mental issues (is he or is he not bipolar?), and his repeated rises from the ashes. Despite all the chaos, he also focuses on the quieter parts of Pop's life, such as domestic bliss with Wife No. 2. And occasionally we even get a funny story, such as the "peanut butter sandwich on Iggy's chest anecdote.

One of the best parts of the book is his ongoing friendship with David Bowie. The past bond between these two men is the sweetest part of the book, especially when Bowie and Pop joined forces musically. It's a bit sad when they drift apart.

Trynka also paints a dark, gritty portrait the burgeoning punk scene of the time, as well as the proto-punk ferocity of the Stooges -- they were SO groundbreaking and raw that the record companies didn't know what to do with them. It took decades for them to be appreciated for what they truly were, and for Iggy Pop to be appreciated as a musical pioneer.

"Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed" is not just a biography of a brilliant musician, but a portrait of the rapidly-changing music scene that he first bloomed in. Definitely a must-read for rock'n'roll fans.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing biography, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Chris S (London, England) - See all my reviews
One of the finest biographies I've ever read, this puts most hack life stories to shame. Iggy had an amazing life, and the author seems to follow him at every step - whether it's his high school debates, his first public performance, his first taste of heroin, or him losing his mind in Haiti, Mr Trynka seems to find a first-hand witness. Iggy is treated sympathetically, but this is a warts and all portrait, and his selfishness and occasional stupidity, as well as his obvious intelligence, are fully documented. The book also shows David Bowie in a completely new light, going well beyond any previous books or articles on their life together in Berlin. A rollercoaster ride, that made me go back and listen to the music with a new understanding.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for any Iggy and The Stooges fans., 30 Dec 2007
By 
A roller-coaster ride from start to finish. Starts off with Iggy's childhood and family background, and the kid who was voted "most likely to...". Then onto his early musical career before forming The Stooges with the Asheton brothers. The next several chapters are compelling, taking us on a journey with what was being tipped as the next great band, only to have self-destructed by drugs, parties, groupies, drugs, back-stabbing, on-off relationships, more drugs, cross dressing, live performances, and more are all documented and make fascinating reading. Hard to believe The Stooges reformed after all those years.
Post-stooges, we move on to concentrate on Iggy's solo career and on-off relationships with James Williamson and his relationship with David Bowie and the recording of Iggy's solo albums.
Some childhood photos of Iggy and some early photos of The Stooges, plus some solo photos, right up to modern day Iggy are in the book.
I'm a big Iggy fan, but even more of a Stooges fan and was hoping I could find some quality reading of the Stooges short-lived career. And here it is...and more.
With all the troubles that the Stooges brought upon themselves, it's remarkable how close they must have been to have produced some great music.
All in all, a great book focusing on the musical career of Iggy and the people he's worked with.
A must read for any fan of Iggy and The Stooges.
A good addition for any rock fans library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another of my musical hero's, 24 Jun 2013
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After reading reviews decided this was the best book for me.
Great price for hardback.
Looking forward to reading this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading, 13 May 2013
By 
D. O'CONNELL - See all my reviews
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This book outlines in minute detail the life of a true rock original. Some of the stories will have you shaking your head in disbelief, more so that the central protagonist is not only still alive but still creating intensely original and essential music. Vital reading for any true music fan and for people who like to live vicariously through their heroes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 3 star book about a 5 star character, 16 April 2013
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C. Winterburn (Wakefield, UK) - See all my reviews
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Iggy Pop and the Stooges are music legends, a 5 star act. There's no one else out there like them, never has been and never will be. The book I give only 3 stars because I felt it contained a lot of unnecessary and pointless information that didn't add anything to the book other than to pad it out, to make it bigger than it should be. Things liven up around the time Iggy is living in Berlin with Bowie and in fact reading this book I learned new things about Bowie which was good to read. Read the book if you like but certainly listen to the music.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't look down, 12 Mar 2013
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There's a very good depth of research gone into this and finding folks to interview must have taken some time. I learned plenty of minutae that I didn't know but overall this is a rather depressing read because it has covers Iggy's lower moments a bit too much. It barely lifts at the end, either. I bought this because I was enjoying Danny Fieldman's Wonderland Avenue, who relates Iggy's 'downs' much better.
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Iggy Pop: Open Up And Bleed: The Biography
Iggy Pop: Open Up And Bleed: The Biography by Paul Trynka (Paperback - 3 April 2008)
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