A girl named Laurence once sent Iggy Pop a letter.
In 20 pages written around June of 1994, she told the punk rock icon about turning 21, about her parents’ bitter divorce and the social workers and lawyers that came with it, and about other things.
In February of 1995, Iggy Pop wrote back. On two pages torn from a spiral-bound notebook, he thanked her for her gorgeous and charming letter. He’d read the whole thing, he said.
“I want to see you take a deep breath and do whatever you must to survive,” he wrote Laurence in scratchy cursive. “And find something to be that you can love.”
It was a subject Iggy Pop knew well. His early days as a kid from Ypsilanti, Michigan trying to find his way in the music world had been cloudy, unhinged, without commercial or critical success.
“I was very miserable and fighting hard on my 21st b’day, too,” he said at the bottom of the first page. “People booed me on the stage, and I was staying in someone else’s house and I was scared.”
Things changed, of course. More albums sold, more people came to more shows. But there was drug addition and divorce and plenty of pain, too, for Iggy Pop. Life’s pressures, he wrote, don’t go away.
“So hang on, my love,” he concluded his letter to Laurence, “and grow big and strong and take your hits and keep going.”