Joan Jett intimidates Iggy Pop. Back in the mid-’70s, when he first encountered the then-Runaway at the Tropicana — the Hollywood motel where they both sometimes lived — “I remember thinking, ‘That’s a real competitor,” he told me in an interview for Queens of Noise today. “That’s a real strong force.'”
Admittedly, Mr. Osterberg doesn’t recall a lot about that time period. “It’s not too far off the mark to say that’s what I’m told,” he answered, when I said he was living in LA back then. Hollywood was not then or now a place for a person with raging drug inclinations to get sober. But he managed to pull some funny and insightful memories of Kim Fowley, the Agora in Cleveland, and the Runaways at the Rat in Boston out of the foggy haze.
He did not wax nostalgic about Rodney’s English Disco, where he performed one of the venue’s rare live gigs, his infamous Death of a Virgin. “It was like a hobby for a sick person. It wasn’t like a business or anything. There was no good reason for that place to exist. There were lots of bad reasons for it to exist.”
He admits that Jett, whom he runs into occasionally, still makes him nervous. “She’s hot. She’s good. Her stuff cuts right across. Anyone can understand it.”