“I Wanna Be Your Dog”, The Stooges

Iggy 3

This is such a dirty song.  And I don’t mean that the lyrics are sexually explicit.  Even if you didn’t hear the lyrics, it would still sound dirty.  It’s definitely sexual, but the music itself is dirty in a funky, nasty, fuck-off kind of way—it’s basic, it’s grimy, and it’s perfect.

 

So messed up

I want you here

In my room

I want you here
Now we’re gonna be

Face-to-face
And I’ll lay right down

In my favorite place
And now I wanna be your dog
Now I wanna be your dog
Now I wanna be your dog

 

I will always associate Iggy with my 20s.  Raw Power was the first Iggy album I ever bought, and it’s been in my Top 10 ever since.  “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is from the first Stooges album, and I think the first time I heard it was listening to The Sex Pistols (or maybe just Sid) do a killer version of it.  I knew that The Stooges were an early punk influence, which is how I got into Iggy and hearing the Pistols perform it was quite a revelation. 

 

So, my 20s.  I was a hot mess.  I loved Iggy’s messiness back then.  When I watched videos of him from the early days I could sense the freedom he was living—it was palpable.  His music was immediately accessible to me, it meant something right away, and I needed it every day.

I approached my so-called love life like this song.  I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to get and keep the object of my affection.  When I was out whoring it up in the clubs, the men were my dogs, willing to lay right down before me and give me whatever I asked.  But when it came to the men I actually wanted for more than just playthings, well, I allowed myself to be used and abused in hopes that someday, they’d see that I really was the woman for them.  Guess how often that happened?

 

When I was listening to this song back then I was content in my misery.  I thought it was romantic to be fucked up and clinging to some dude who wasn’t really mine but who I knew I would be the perfect woman for.  I love that whole stupid aesthetic.  I’m a writer, so of course, I had to have drama in my life.  I read books about all these famous hot messes throughout history and I so desperately longed to out-mess them!  Iggy’s music is the perfect soundtrack for that.  After all, first lines of this song are “So messed up”!

 

The way Iggy sings this song, I mean, it’s barely singing.  It’s almost like performance art, like some poetry slam or something.  If you saw some hipster in skinny jeans and a CBGB t-shirt onstage slurring these lines through swigs of PBR, you’d take the piss out of him.  But Iggy gets away with it.  You feel Iggy’s lust, his desire to be treated like shit just to be near you.  He’s resigned himself to being nothing but your dog.    

 

Now I’m ready to close my eyes
And now I’m ready to close my mind
And now I’m ready to feel your hand
And lose my heart on the burning sands
And now I wanna be your dog

 

Fuck yeah. 

 

There’s nothing deep about this song.  It’s three chords and a lot of attitude.  That’s fucking rock and roll.  

Iggy

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