Iggy Pop, a veteran of the annual Tibet House Benefit Concert, led a group of all-star musicians in tributes to David Bowie at the event Monday night. The Stooge dressed in a royal blue tux and wiggled his hand to the tremolo guitar in “The Jean Genie,” as Lenny Kaye and the rest of the Patti Smith Group (sans Smith) held down the song’s funky lines behind him. Pop and the Patti Smith Group also sang “Tonight,” a track he co-wrote with Bowie for his own Lust for Life LP, but performed it as a duet with Sharon Jones, the way Bowie did with Tina Turner on his album Tonight in 1984.
Prior to performing “Tonight,” Pop delivered a touching remembrance of Bowie. “[This is] another song of his, words and music, I was lucky enough to record it first but with his help and guidance,” he told the audience. “He did it himself later with Tina Turner. It’s a wonderful, elegant song with a deceptively simple lyric, and I think it’s the right lyric for right now and for tonight and it’s called ‘Tonight.'”
The rest of the evening featured performances by Philip Glass, FKA Twigs, Sharon Jones and Basia Bulat, according to Spin.
Pop penned a moving tribute to Bowie for Rolling Stone last month. “I learned a lot from him,” he wrote. “I first heard the Ramones, Kraftwerk and Tom Waits from him. He also had a certain rigor. If he saw something in another artist he admired, if they didn’t pick up that ball and run with it, he didn’t have any problem saying, ‘Well, if you’re not going to do it, I will. I’ll do this thing you should have done.’ And that was very valid.”