Iggy Pop – ‘Funtime’

From the album: The Idiot- March 1977

By Madeline Bocaro © IdiotHandsSukita-2

How Iggy Pop and David Bowie arrived at the glorious sonic abomination titled The Idiot (recorded July/August 1976, released on March 18, 1977) at the height of the Punk vs. Disco era is one of the great anomalies of music history. Bowie suggested that Iggy sing in a lower register and was probably surprised at how low it was!

The Idiot sounds like nothing of this earth. It is the soundtrack of Iggy’s time in Europe with David Bowie. It is devoid of color, neither black nor white. It is mechanical, ashen, lead gray – a warped, disturbing dream of wartime cabarets, factories, smokestacks, Metropolis, Oedipus Rex. It is murky, dreary, haunting, suffocating and eerily beautiful.  When most early synths were being utilized to create mindless Euro disco, Bowie and Pop wrestled those same sounds into submission. Only Bowie could have slowed wild Iggy down to this numbing and anomalous pace…

Iggy described Bowie’s studio methods being akin to a film director. He suggested that Iggy sing like Mae West on ‘Funtime’. The song is the continuation The Stooges ‘No Fun’ – in Germany! Iggy got the idea for the song when he heard the Sex Pistols’ cover version of ‘No Fun’.

The song is Iggy’s zombified version of ‘The Monster Mash’. Iggy is down in the lab with Dracula and his crew, having fun. Some great screams and visceral growls get you into a ghoulish groove.

‘Funtime’ was featured in scenes from The Hunger (starring David Bowie). The band Bauhaus also had their song ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ in the film. Their singer Peter Murphy covered ‘Funtime’ in 1988. There are also covers by The Cars (1981), R.E.M. (1992) and Boy George (1995).

The guy behind the inspiration for ‘Funtime’ got in touch with me upon reading my story about The Idiot album:

https://madelinex.com/2016/05/12/idiot-proof-iggys-no-fool/

Hi Madeline, like your stuff. 

…Last night I was down at the lab was about the time Iggy lived with me in my apartment about 1975 before he went off to his solo career. We would go out at nite to pick up chicks, he would always score, of course, but he would usually attract two, one for me :). Anyways, we sometimes went to the ‘lab’, my workplace where we studied drug addiction at U. of Michigan with monkeys that were addicted to various drugs. He was fascinated with the addicted monkeys. I had a reputation for sleeping at sunrise until noon or so before I went to work, so I am not sure if Iggy was referring to me as Dracula or one of the monkeys was named Dracula and rest were the ‘crew’. His 1st recording came out after he left my apartment, with ‘Funtime’ on it, so everybody started calling me Dracula because they knew I worked at the “lab” and they knew Iggy lived with me. This was later verified by best friend Scott Asheton (rock action).

 – George

Iggy performed ‘Funtime’ along with ‘Sister Midnight’ (with Bowie on keyboards) on The Dinah! show to promote The Idiot album’s release in 1977. He closes the song with an extra-long roar, which leads him to fall on the floor. A hilarious two-segment long interview ensues with Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney in which Iggy proudly proclaims,

“I think I helped wipe out the 60s.”

Horrified housewives across America witnessed this! The band also includes Tony and Hunt Sales (sons of Soupy) on bass and drums, and Ricky Gardiner on guitar – all of whom were in Iggy’s band for The Idiot tour.

(The above is an excerpt from my story about The Idiot album

Idiot Proof – Iggy’s No Fool!)

https://madelinex.com/2016/05/12/idiot-proof-iggys-no-fool/

Watch here:

Iggy Pop & David Bowie – Dinah! – Complete – 1977

https://vimeo.com/214173368

 

Read more stories in my featured category: ABOUT A SONG…

https://madelinex.com/category/about-a-song/

 

Also See: Hey Baby, We Like Your Pants – Funtime!  Iggy Pop’s Style

By Madeline Bocaro ©

https://madelinex.com/2018/06/13/hey-baby-we-like-your-pants-iggy-pops-style/

 

My review of Iggy’s 1977 live show 

https://madelinex.com/2017/08/05/iggy-pop-1977/

‘Funtime’

Fun
Hey baby we like your lips
Fun
Hey baby we like your pants
All aboard for funtime
Fun
Hey, I feel lucky tonight
Fun
I’m gonna get stoned and run around
All aboard for funtime
Fun
Last night I was down in the lab
Fun
Talkin’ to Dracula and his crew
All aboard for funtime
Fun
I don’t need no heavy trips
Fun
I just do what I want to do
All aboard for funtime
Fun
Baby baby we like your lips
Fun
Baby baby we like your pants
All aboard for funtime
Fun
Everybody we want in
Fun
We want some we want some
All aboard for funtime
Fun
Baby baby we like your lips
Fun
Baby baby we like your pants
All aboard for funtime

Songwriters: David Bowie / James Osterberg

Funtime lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

 

 

 

 

 

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