Watch Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore Talk Playing Vacuum Cleaners - Rolling Stone
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Watch Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore Talk Early Stooges, Playing Vacuums

Rockers bash out “Johnny B. Goode” cover in new Rough Trade doc, ‘I’ve Nothing But My Name’

Iggy Pop opens up about his latest album, his unpublished collection of essays about former sexual partners and his history of playing appliances in a new interview with Thurston Moore. The clip marks the first installment in an hour-long documentary from Rough Trade, I’ve Nothing But My Name, Pitchfork reports.

Moore opens the interview by asking Pop about “Gardenia,” his favorite Post Pop Depression track, and Pop reveals the song was inspired by both a San Francisco woman who caught his attention and poet Allen Ginsberg. Pop also touched on the events that transpired between himself and Gardenia later that night, which prompted a discussion about a series of unpublished essays about his former partners. The singer wrote the essays in the Nineties during “a sexually dry period.”

Pop also spoke about the Stooges’ early, and undocumented, psychedelic phase and how he came up with the idea to play a vacuum cleaner onstage. Still uncertain about his vocal skills, Pop said he wanted to find a way to contribute something else to the band that would work with the guitar riffs Ron Asheton was writing.

“So I had the idea that I could make the sound of the whistling wind,” Pop said. “So I found by putting my thumb over a vacuum cleaner, I think one day I was vacuuming and I went, ‘Wow, that’s cool!’ And later when we started getting gigs, I got a little money and bought an air compressor, because way better! I went professional!”

Pop discussed firing himself as the Stooges’ main instrumentalist early on because he couldn’t rock as well as Ron and Scott Asheton. He cracked that the band was barely able to play “Johnny B. Goode” – after which, the clip cuts to Pop and Moore offering an endearingly clunky take on the Chuck Berry classic. 

In This Article: Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore


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