Iggy Pop tells Flea how a fan letter from U2's Bono inspired a key song on his new album Every Loser
Iggy Pop has revealed that a fan letter from U2's Bono inspired the closing track on his current Every Loser album.
Credited to Pop, producer Andrew Watt, Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney, and the late Taylor Hawkins, The Regency's lyrics were directly inspired by an open letter to the singer which Bono published on U2's website in summer 2000.
The revelation. comes in Iggy Pop - Bitten by Flea, a short film uploaded to YouTube documenting a conversation between the Godfather of Punk and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, a confirmed Pop fan himself.
"I received an open letter from Bono... I'd never had an open letter before," the singer tells Flea.
"What the fuck is an open letter?" the bemused bassist asks, to which Pop replies, "It means they're writing you a letter in public, so that everybody sees it."
"The gist of the letter was, he put forth the proposition: he said, 'In rock 'n' roll, there is a sort of regency, in which certain people occupy the castle, and pull up the drawbridge, and it seems to me, that when you hurtle yourself head-first into the crowd, you are throwing away your crown, etc, eftc,."
"So The Regency, is my answer.... which is fuck the regency!"
Seemingly no longer available at its original url (www.u2.com/news/title/your-fan-bono/), the text of Bono's letter is as follows:
“The picture of health that you appear on the cover of the album, LUST FOR LIFE, was so inspirational to me and my friends. We thought to ourselves ‘if Iggy made it, we all can’… that turned out not to be true. But in and around the death cult that follows rock, it felt so bold and bracing to hear you sing…
‘I’m through with sleeping on the
Sidewalk – no more beating my brains
No more beating my brains”
…And the set up was so perfect:
‘Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
He’s gonna do another striptease’
“That voice that carries those words carried so many of us. The intellect as sharp as flint fists… but if you were stupid enough to miss the intellectual Iggy Pop, the instinctual was there for you… part animal/part animus, it was an adrenaline rush to see you leap from the stage into us, smashing the fourth wall with your head.
“There’s something annoying about the safe distance that separates performers from their crowd, but no one brought such a violence to cross that moat like you.
“The stage usually is an up-drawbridge situation that offers regency, a crown… rock is feudal. It appeared to us that you revolted against yourself, you threw away your own crown… or something like that.
“There may be less than a dozen performers that I have felt are so unhappy with the hierarchy of the stage and its separateness, that they might leave the stage any minute and enter your life, follow you home… which is the desire of all dramaturges that the play sleeps beside you, and you will wake with it the next day.
“I witnessed this with Steven Berkoff and Olwen Fouéré in Wilde’s SALOMÉ. I witnessed it with Mark Rylance in Jez Butterworth’s JERUSALEM. Daniel Day Lewis actually walked off stage during HAMLET. Sean Penn has it on film, Ben Mendelsohn too. Robert De Niro might’ve invented it. In rock ’n’ roll Eddie Vedder would definitely share a taxi home. Patti Smith used to push through her own crowd to reach the stage.
“But you, Iggy, may have jumped out of your own skin to get to us.
“Thanks for the blood, the sweat, and the sparing of the tears.
You can watch Pop's conversation with Flea below: