The fuller story goes like this, as recorded by Jarmusch: when a child in the 1950s, Iggy – or James Newell Osterberg, as he was then – used to enjoy watching a zany American television entertainer called Soupy Sales. "He encouraged kids to write to him but he said, 'Always when you write the letter, please, 25 words or less'," Iggy recalled. "And that always stuck with me, and when I wanted to start writing songs for our group I thought this is the way to go, try to make it 25 words, different words, or less. I didn't feel like I was Bob Dylan – blah, blah, blah, blah – you know, keep it really short and none of it will be the wrong thing".

The "street-walking cheetah" line is the opening to the song "Search and Destroy" on the Stooges' third and final album, "Raw Power" in 1973, and it is included in Iggy's new book "Til Wrong Feels Right", which is subtitled "Lyrics and More". Each of the selected lyrics – the 25-word thing really only applied to the Stooges' most primitive early songs and was never totally strict – is accompanied by artwork and photos, some known and some not so, and the "More" includes some observations about Iggy by rock contemporaries and a handful of pictures of magazine covers, bootleg albums and backstage passes.

Iggy has penned short introductions to each decade, and his intro to the entire book says: "These are the words that came to me. They came on foot, horseback, in an Eldorado, by motorcycle; staggering, gun in my hand, needle in my arm, joint in my mouth, pills in my bloodstream, but no matter how they got here, they did the fucking job. Here are prophecy, idiocy, an eye for detail and delusions of grandeur. Their burden is heavy, my brain hurts. But they are my pride and joy, and that is that."

That is indeed that for a look into the brain of one of rock music's wildest figures, the unmatched force of primal energy who led the legendary Stooges, stage diving, rolling in glass, threatening audiences, generally violating the peace and sometimes dodging bottles thrown at the stage.

One of his most infamous antics was captured on film at a concert in Cincinatti in 1970, when he threw peanut butter onto an ecstatic audience as he stood aloft on their upraised hands. Not many others in rock music have ever come close to equalling the antics of a frontman for whom the phrase "there's no one else like him" might have been specially invented.

The Stooges managed to produce just three albums before they finally imploded in a morass of self-inflicted chaos, music industry indifference and heavy drugs in 1973. It has to be said, there were a lot of simplistic repetitive lyrics – "Gimme danger, Little stranger, Gimme danger, Little stranger, Gimme danger, Little stranger, Gimme danger, Little stranger, Gimme danger, Little stranger, Gotta feel the pain, Gotta feel the pain, You gotta feel it, Little stranger" is the fade-out to the 1973 song "Gimme Danger" – though the preceding couple of verses show that under the chaos, Iggy actually was an intelligent bloke who does have a way with words too.

Minimalist as "Gimme Danger" was, things hot up on the opposite page, with four photos of an Iggy performance, bare-chested as usual, blood from several cuts running down his chest in a typically self-abusive, crowd-challenging, juiced-up fashion.

Noticeably though, Iggy has chosen to omit from his book the well-known outrageous photo of him, out of his mind, chest covered in blood and being molested by Stooges guitarist Ron Ashton, who's wearing one of his collection of Nazi uniforms. The exclusion seems to be a deliberate move by a main man usually never one to cover up or regret his considerable excesses. (The full-frontal one with his donger on display is included, on a bootleg cover. Iggy always seems to have been proud of his donger.)

Then there is the lyric to "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell", from 1973, accompanied by a picture of the singer with a front top tooth missing, a legacy of a stage dive – a form of artistic audience participation that he is credited with inventing – towards two girls watching the Stooges from a reclining position on the floor (early audiences were often lacking in numbers). The girls understandably rolled away from the descending singer and he crashed to the ground. Presumably the drugs eased the pain.

A revealing double-page photo of the Stooges shows a totally disaffected quartet of young misfits who can't even be bothered to scowl at the camera and would probably rather be back in bed than deal with the straight world. Another telling photo shows three non-comprehending audience members after the wildman has plunged in among them; supine, sweaty torso, dog collar around his throat, pretty much out of it. The picture is accompanied, aptly, by the lyric to the song "Not Right", a slight effort that doesn't even reach the 25-word mark.

More photos: Iggy with Blondie's Debbie Harry, Iggy astride the speakers, Iggy with middle finger raised, with Jarmusch, Patti Smith, Lou Reed ... even the no-nonsense Reed, who wrote hard-drug classics "Heroin" and "Waiting For the Man", looks apprehensive while sitting next to the crazed and unpredictable Ig.

Like Reed's Velvet Underground, the Stooges were one of those bands that was basically ignored at first but became massively influential and appreciated only after time. David Bowie was a man with refined tastes, with a liking for Florence Foster Jenkins (ranked by historian Stephen Pile as "the world's worst opera singer ... No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation.") and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy (a true rock and roll primitive even wilder than cult legend Hasil Adkins), and in the mid-1970s he took the post-Stooges, no-one-will-touch-with-a-bargepole Pop under his wing.

The lyrics of many of the great songs they wrote for the excellent albums "The Idiot" and "Lust for Life", both issued in 1977, are in the book. After those, Pop was on his own for a series of fine solo albums – "New Values", "Soldier", "Party", "Zombie Birdhouse", "Instinct" – that showed his true creative colours and finally revealed why at school he had been noted as someone who could one day be a President of the United States, unlikely as it might sound.

Things come right up to date with the inclusion of lyrics from his very latest album, "Free", released in September 2019, and modern-day still-performing concert photos, with a gnarled 70-years-plus Iggy – enjoying his notoriety but a mature elder statesman of music these days – displaying skin like worn leather after too many hours in the Florida sun.

His book is a lavish hardback with a cloth spine and an inset photo on the cover, at a regular price. It's a well-earned tribute to a survivor with a deep velvet voice who's worth a million in prizes, who searches and destroys, who's been dirt and who rocked harder than just about everyone else.


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