Iggy wasn’t in the motel, and the receptionist said he had gone for a walk to the shops. I set off in pursuit and found him and his girlfriend Suki, a Japanese lady, indeed taking a stroll. I introduced myself and passed over the bag. Iggy, who has never been averse to drugs, hard and soft, accepted and invited me into a cafe.

The man was friendly, but weird creative brains like his and more mundane minds like mine don’t always meet fully. Iggy patiently chatted a bit and answered a question as to whether the line in his song "Five Foot One" was "I wish life could be Swedish magazines" or "I wish life could be sweet as magazines". The answer was "Swedish", and Iggy said he would have to improve his enunciation.

He added a sprawling signature to the back sleeve of his brilliant "Lust For Life" album (vinyl days, remember): "For Chris, Best regards, etc. Iggy Pop, Bondi Beach, 6/28/’83". (It’s now framed on the wall at home in Budapest.) Still after, 10 minutes or so, it was clear Iggy would rather concentrate on Suki, and your correspondent decided it was apt to leave.

It was at this point that Iggy, rather like an out-of-reality royal, realised he was enjoying coffee and cakes but didn’t have a bean on him. So he borrowed 20 dollars and said to call backstage that night and collect the debt.

Of course, a conversation and an autograph with Iggy Pop are a good 20 dollars worth, but after the show I was keen to renew the acquaintance, so I approached a security guard and told him I had to get backstage because Iggy owed me 20 dollars. The guard said it was the best excuse he had ever heard and he waved me through, admiringly, I thought.

Problem was, Iggy hadn’t been pleased with his band’s playing, and at one stage in the concert had even gathered them at the rear of the stage to give them a dressing down. After the show he banished them from the dressing room. Once, when the dressing room door opened briefly, Iggy could be seen slumped in a chair, scowling.

Obviously it wasn’t a good moment to continue the good fellowship and remind him about that 20 dollars, so it was time to depart. Still, a man must pay his debts, and there’s always Budapest Park ...


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