“The perfect marriage”: how Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s Berlin era shaped the new wave of post-punk

A Thursday night in the divided city of Berlin in 1977: Iggy Pop and David Bowie are sat together on the floor of their Schöneberg apartment, having come to the conclusion that chairs are unnatural. They are watching their television set, waiting for the Armed Forces Network telecast, which will deliver them their beloved Starsky & Hutch. Before the show begins the network blasts out a series of beeps in an urgent rhythm that sounds almost like a Motown beat. Inspired, Bowie writes a chord progression on a ukulele and turns to Iggy. “Call it ‘Lust for Life’,” he says. “Write something up.”

Iggy, sensibly, did as he was told. The two albums he released that year under Bowie’s guidance, ‘The Idiot’ and ‘Lust for Life’, were the lizard-skinned punk icon’s first venture into solo territory since his band The Stooges had imploded in a hail of beer bottles, eggs and jelly beans at the Michigan Palace in Detroit three years earlier.

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