BBC Radio 6 Henry in for Iggy Pop, January 20 2017


Henry Rollins in for Iggy Pop
20 January 2017

Hello BBC Radio 6 listener and fellow music enthusiast. It’s quite a daunting task to fill in the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rock and Roll, Iggy Pop but when the offer came in, there was no way I was going to turn it down.

Like for a lot of people, Iggy’s music has been an essential part of my listening for decades. Not only are the records indispensible, but being at the live shows is also a big deal. Last year was great for the man. Not only was Post Pop Depression an amazing album, the live shows with Joshua Homme and company were incredible. What a band! When it comes to Iggy live, my regrets only reside in all the times I could have seen him but for some reason did not. I don’t think one should let something like a plane flight over thousands of miles deter one from a great live music experience, which is why I flew to Seoul, South Korea to see the Stooges a couple of years ago and flew to London last year to catch another show of the PPD tour. It was a twofer. I wanted to see the show and had never been to the Royal Albert Hall. Talk about worth it. What a night! There is no way they couldn’t have sold out a few more shows there.

This is not the first time I have stepped in when the man was elsewhere. You might remember that last year, in January, I subbed for Iggy for three shows. It is an honor to be back with you again for two more. 

Late last year, when I got the call, I was on a tour that only ended a few days ago, finally burning down, falling over and sinking into the swamp at 156 shows in 19 countries. In numerous backstage areas, I worked on these two shows, trying to make them as happening as I could. Iggy puts in a great broadcast every week and I didn’t want to let the side down.

I am willing to bet that you are familiar with the music Iggy has made over the decades. We have a lot to thank him for. Some of those records are as essential as air and water. Some of my favorite cold weather Iggy LPs are The Idiot and Raw Power. The former, along with Low by David Bowie, make for two perfect sides of a cassette, and are two of the more perfect Rock albums of all time.

Many years ago, I was in bands, toured all over the world and experienced many nights of intense audience situations. Having music to listen to, besides the songs we were playing every night, was key to maintaining motivation. The Raw Power album and songs from that era of the Stooges, like Open Up and Bleed, I Got Nothing, Head On, She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills, and Sick of You, are all burned into my life. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you find music that you’ll be listening to for the rest of your life. It’s one of the best and completely unconditional relationships you can ever forge. When you hear it, you know it. That’s how I felt about the Stooges and the Velvet Underground as soon as they heard them. They are so real, I can’t imagine life without their music at the ready. Basically, what I am trying to impart is that it’s really cool getting to do this.

To complete the work on these shows, I flew to London last December to be in the same studio with producer Adam Dineen, instead of doing it long distance in two different studios. Yes, I know it’s a long way to go for a couple of hours of production work but I will use almost any excuse to be in England and the prospect of doing that much flying in only a few days was too brutal to pass up. Unsurprisingly, it was totally worth the trip.

A large part of my record collection comes from England, so just being on the streets holds a lot of meaning. Location and landmarks have always been a big deal to me. Well known venues fascinate me for the bands that have all shared that stage. I have performed in the same venues as a lot of bands I like, albeit in different years but it’s still cool to walk out onto a stage and know that Joy Division, Bob Dylan or even Jimi Hendrix had been there. London has seen everything! So it’s always great to walk the streets thinking of all the music that happened there.

2016 was a great year for lugging vinyl from all over the world back to my building in Los Angeles. In September, on the Australian leg of the tour, Road Manager Ward had to buy an extra suitcase to accommodate our finds. It was only in the second half of December, when I had 10 days off, that I was able to start listening to these records. Over that time period, my goal was to listen to 10 things a day, vinyl, tape, lathe, CD. I got it done and then some but I barely put a dent in all the records I have not played yet. I reckon it’s better to have had more records than you could ever listen to than not enough. I try to acquire records every day, or at least be looking for them every day. When I am on tour, as I was all last year, the level of accumulation was intense. It begs the question, is there such a thing as having too many records? If so, how many is that? I don’t think it’s possible. I have been going to the record store since was 14. I am now almost 56 and it has only become a bigger part of my life. I reckon there are much worse things you could be obsessed with.

Let’s talk a little bit about what we have on hand for you on the show. Many of the tracks are from bands that I got into last year and am still learning about. While on tour, I travel all over the world with Road Manager Ward, one of the more solid and capable people I have ever met. It’s a good pairing. We are both vinyl mavens and thankfully, our tastes don’t collide all that often, so we’re not trying to knock each other out from in front of a bin. We not only hit record stores in every single country we go to but are constantly looking online for records. I think he and I would agree that there is no such thing as too many.

Just a friendly prediction: I think 2017 is going to be a great year for releases. Last year was fantastic. Independent music is in a great place right now. The major labels have cornered the market on boring. I would like to thank them for taking all that weight off the independent labels, so they can move more quickly and put out the real good stuff.

Before we get to the list of great tracks we have lined up for you, I would like to thank press person Monica, who gave us the opportunity to lay track 04 on you. It’s a new band called Crystal Fairy. It’s the Melvins fronted by Teresa Suarez, aka Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and Bosnian Rainbows. Talk about a super group! The record is coming out soon on Ipecac and it is great from start to finish. Can’t wait to hear this one on LP! This might very well be one of the first times this track has been broadcast. Lucky us.

Last year, John Dwyer, mainman of Thee Oh Sees released three, count’em three albums. A Weird Exits, An Odd Entrances and Live in San Francisco. Weird and Odd are easily some of the best work John and his band have ever done, which is saying a lot, as I don’t think there’s record of theirs you should be without. These two came out in unique color variations exclusive to the UK, which should make acquiring them a must-do-it-now priority. We are rocking a track from Odd this time around. 

The Julie Ruin’s first album Run Fast is damn good. However, their recent follow-up, Hit Reset, is even better. Also, they are fantastic live.

There is not one record by Lorelle Meets the Obsolete that you should not hear. Truly, they are unique as they are talented. Their new album, Balance, on the Captcha label is really good. A perfect reason why you need a turntable in your dwelling. You probably don’t need me to tell you, but all these bands sound best on vinyl. One of humankind’s bestest inventions.

What else, oh yeah, I think it was Ty Segall who told me that Tim Presley and Cate Le Bon will be teaming up yet again to make another album under the name Drinks. Their first album Hermits on Holiday was one of my favorite albums of 2015. Tonight, we will play a track from it. Ty, by the way has a self titled album on Drag City coming out any minute. Also, Tim has a new album out called The Wink that Cate produced. It’s great.

If you are a mail order music person, imports can be a drag. Just the postage is enough to turn you away. Whenever I am in England, I have a list of records that I try to pick up when I am there, just to not get hammered on what it costs to mail it. That being said, there is a label in the USA that’ worth checking out. It’s called Drastic Plastic. They are out of Nebraska and their re-issues are top notch. The Damned, John Cale, the Cramps, the Birthday Party—whatever they choose to put their focus on, comes out sounding really good. This year, they threaten to release the Damned’s second album Music for Pleasure. I can’t wait to hear what they do with this one! When you hear how well they mastered Damned Damned Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette and The Black Album, it stands to reason they will make it worthwhile to check out what comes next. They are pressing up a run of the Buzzcocks excellent Time’s Up very soon.
We have a lot of Australian bands on the show tonight. It’s their fault. If they weren’t so good, we wouldn’t be obligated to play them. Hierophants and Terry are relatively new bands and their records so far have been really good. You can make up your own mind, of course, we are merely the sonic messengers, tasked with bringing you nothing but the very best. Another great Australian band is the Ausmuteants. Their new album, Band of the Future is excellent.

Anyway, here are the tunes we have lined up for you in full:

01. Iggy Pop – Funtime / The Idiot
02. The Ruts - West One (Shine On Me) / single  
03. The Sunny Boys – Happy Man / Sunnyboys
04. Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy / Crystal Fairy
05. Lightnin’ Hopkins - Mojo Hand / Mojo Hand
06. Thee Oh Sees - The Poem / An Odd Entrances
07. The Julie Ruin - Time Is Up (Radio Edit) / Hit Reset
08. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - La Distincion / Balance
09. Drinks – Cheerio / Hermits On Holiday
10. Lee “Scratch” Perry & The Upsetters – Kojak / Dub-Triptych
11. XYZ - Drum Machine / XYZ
12. The Fall - I’ve Been Duped / Imperial Wax Solvent
13. Doctor Mix & The Remix No Fun (single A side mix) / Wall of Noise CD
14. Holland – Beep, Kiss / Coughing Up Stars
15. The Laurels - Hit and Miss / Sonicology
16. Hierophants - No Sympathy / High Fashion Sampler
17. Teledetente 666 - À Chaque Ville sa Folle / Karen
18. The Dictaphone - They Shoot Horses Don’t They / Tp Hss
19. Marie Moor - Pretty Day / BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85
20. Kim Salmon - Already Turned Out Burned Out (Fast Burn) / My Script
21. Terry - Tippy Toppy / 8 Girls (7”)
22. Wire – Lowdown / Pink Flag
23. The Warmers - Walking Solves It / The Warmers
24. Cramps - Green Fuz / Psychedelic Jungle
25. Boys Next Door - The Nightwatchman / Door Door
26. Dinosaur Jr. – Tiny / Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
27. David Bowie - Sound And Vision / Low
28. Hiiragi Fukuda - ひまわり / Oya Wa Touhoku, Oto Kumori
29. The Damned - I Believe The Impossible / The Black Album (CD version)
30. Charlie Harper - Talk Is Cheap / single
31. Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express / Trans Europa Express

Hopefully, you will enjoy all the tracks so much, you will not only need to listen to the show a few more times, but you will have to search the internet for more information and get to the record store with all speed.

Three things to remember:

01. Life is tough, you will need a lot of records.
02. I will be back with you next week.
03. Iggy Pop is the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rock and Roll.






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