Iggy Pop Says Everyone Should 'Just Drop' Drugs

By McCarton Ackerman 05/23/16

The 69-year-old rocker says he is done with hardcore drug use, though he believes wine and marijuana are okay for most people.

Iggy Pop Says Everyone Should 'Just Drop' Drugs

Iggy Pop has come a long way from his former days of heavy drug use. The rocker urged people to “drop that shit” during a recent appearance at the Cannes Film Festival.

The rocker, now 69, was promoting the new documentary Gimme Danger, which highlights the Stooges and the band's influence on the punk music scene. The New York Daily News reported that Iggy, born James Newell Osterberg Jr., admitted to being “on acid in more than several of the clips in the movie when I was young. I would go from feeling very aggressive for five seconds and then break out laughing.”

The singer told NME in November 2014 that he became drug-free through “craft and willpower.” He admitted rarely attending rehab because he was considered a “hero” when he entered treatment facilities.

"I was pretty alky for a couple of years. I went from grass to hashish to LSD to heroin. Then coke and heroin. Then down the steps from there to meth and Quaaludes. Then, finally, all the way down to outside the liquor store at 6 a.m., waiting for them to open,” he told NME. “Finally, little by little, I was able to wean myself off that with a combination of craft and willpower."

But while Iggy is done with hardcore drug use, he isn’t fully sober. He said at Cannes that he still has wine with dinner and added that marijuana is “okay for most people.” He said: “All can say is I don’t drug up anymore. I don’t do it. I have wine with dinner and that’s about it.” It’s a noticeable difference from a 2008 interview with Canada's CTV News, in which he declared that he was completely sober.

“I do everything my mom used to tell me to do. I’m just 50 years too late,” he said. "I'm still experiencing for the first time things that my contemporaries were experiencing when they were in their late 20s and finally making it in rock 'n' roll ... People, instead of coming up to you and saying 'You owe me $40!'—they're coming up and saying to me, 'You're great, you changed my life.'"

However, he’s been a support for rockers who are looking to mend their wild ways. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, who was hospitalized for a month in 2014 after his liver and kidneys collapsed due to years of alcohol abuse, said that Iggy “had a lot of great advice. He’s been through it all. We’ve been friends for years.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.