The Story Of How Iggy Pop Declined ‘The Doors’ Offer To Replace Jim Morrison

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If a band that impacted you one day asked you to join their band as lead singer, you’d take it. I think we all would.

Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop had a chance to join The Doors as Jim Morrison’s replacement, but he said no…

James Newell Osterberg, Jr., a.k.a. Iggy Pop, first saw The Doors in concert in 1967, and that’s when he was inspired. He saw front man Jim Morrison being himself on stage — crude, darkly energetic, entertaining — and took notes, apparently.

That concert, which was at a homecoming dance at the University of Michigan, is where it all started for Pop. That’s where Pop found the inspiration for his own crazy and controversial stage performances as the front man for The Stooges.

“Here’s this guy, out of his head on acid, dressed in leather with his hair all oiled and curled,” Pop said in 2011. “It got confrontational. Part of me was like, ‘Wow, this is great. He’s really pissing people off and he’s lurching around making these guys angry.’”

And the other part of him was like, I need to do this.

So he started The Stooges in 1967, two years after The Doors formed.

And then when Morrison died in 1971, The Doors, seeking to continue on with a new captain, asked Pop to join them as their lead singer.

But Pop had more respect than that.

The Doors
Jim Morrison on The Ed Sullivan Show

He declined, saying trying to live in the late Morrison’s shadow was just disrespectful. He said he wasn’t going to do a “ghoulish impersonation.”

“What’s wrong with me?” Pop said. “Why do you need Jim Morrison?”

Just think, if Iggy Pop had said yes, we might still be able to see The Doors in concert today, even though they’d be a completely different band.

Below you can listen to Iggy Pop describe his experience with Morrison…

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Caleb Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence Of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He blogs about music at calebjmurphy.com.
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