As anybody who has seen an episode of "Behind the Music" can tell you, self-destruction and rock and roll tend to go hand in hand. The rock landscape is littered with early burnouts and premature deaths due to drugs, alcohol, financial woes and a general streak of terrible decision making. For most, the choice is either to detox or face the consequences. But there are a handful of people who completely defy that logic and reinforce the law of averages. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is one of those people (despite consuming nothing but narcotics for several decades of his life, he'll still outlast us all). Another is Iggy Pop, who not only spent part of his career putting strange things into his body but also has spent decades throwing his shirtless body around the stage and generally putting himself in harm's way.
Pop celebrates his birthday today (the dude is 63 years old). Born in a small town in Michigan and raised on the blues, he began his musical career as a drummer in various bands in his home town and in Chicago. Iggy eventually formed the Stooges and served as their enthusiastic frontman, becoming legendary not only for the group's brand of skewered, jagged blues (which eventually lead to the birth of punk) but also for Iggy's live presence, which saw him stage dive (he essentially invented the practice), roll around in broken glass, vomit on himself and get into fights with unruly concert-goers.
The Stooges never became as big as they should have, though like the Velvet Underground, they inspired hundreds of followers to start bands themselves, and history has been kind to their impressive but small back catalog. Pop found his biggest success as a solo artist, as his David Bowie-produced albums The Idiot and Lust for Life became '70s rock staples. The title track from Lust for Life got a renaissance in 1996 when it appeared as a cornerstone track on the soundtrack to the Danny Boyle movie "Trainspotting."