Iggy Pop commands a room of iconic characters at the BBC 6 Radio John Peel Lecture 2014
In honour of probably the most iconic figure in popular radio John Peel, BBC 6 Music presents an annual discussion on all things music and music related media. Past lectures have been delivered by the likes of Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church and Pete Townsend but last year’s lecture was particularly interesting to us with Iggy Pop at the helm.
It is captivating watching someone command a room full of iconic characters from the pop worlds past 30 years. In a time where music seems to have few boundaries and many directions, there is something quite reassuring listening to an old hand talk about past experiences by guiding the audience through future prospects. It is a chance to take the words in and find some sense in the current industry.
The Indie Community seems to currently be left behind from the main stage but the words from Iggy Pop strengthen the need and recommend the longevity of the most vital cog in the musical machine.
The Indie Community was never made to make quick money, it was supposed to breed new talent, new directions and essentially be worlds apart from the commercial sell outs and suits. It fuels the future of music in a way that cannot even be imagined in offices full of executives, chancers, money grabbers and wannabes. Iggy Pop speaks out for the Indie community by highlighting its strongest characteristics that some artists and representatives seem to have forgotten ; freedom, fun, love for the music and the strong bond between the true fans and the artist.
Embracing the current trends of the online community and means of digital distribution is encouraged and his words seem to halt any apprehension associated with the new music industry’s direction.
Iggy speaks of adhering to musical values working with the lack of constraint, originality, being continually able to dream big, staying curious and enjoying the path that music takes us. These become the strong ethic alongside endurance that will bring Indie bands and artists on top, bringing them their success.
The well publicised quote regarding the recent U2 strategy highlighted an important example that some artists may have forgotten in the age of digital links, instant communication and promotion. The lesson given is the premise to not force a musician’s work onto the listener. There is an important bond between the band and the listener and it is a personal decision for any listener to hunt out an artist’s work and choose to give time and love to the artist.
Some would choose to see Iggy Pop dancing around and shouting on a car insurance advert (which was mentioned) but the lecture showed this listener that it is important to listen to these old punks and rockers. They have seen the music industry go through a great deal of transformation and they still have their finger on the pulse. They recognise changing environments and can diversify to stay ahead.
As with any grand master who decides to educate his or her younger apprentices it’s vital that we listen and learn how this thing called the Music Bizz actually functions. And much more than that how important it is to find new ways of creating and reaching an audience. Iggy Pop we salute you.
Feature by Pistolhead