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Lust For Life
Song

Lust For Life

Iggy Pop
Album:
Lust for Life

Song Meaning of Lust For Life by Iggy Pop, and what it is about


"Lust for Life" is a 1977 song performed by American singer Iggy Pop and co-written by David Bowie.


The song is known for its opening drumbeat played by Hunt Sales, Sales's use of the rhythm was not original, as it was itself derived from "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes.


The opening riff was supposedly taken from a Morse-code that David Bowie had heard on the Armed Forces call signal.


And the line “Of course I’ve had it in the ear before”? “That’s a common expression in the Midwest,” Pop said. “To ‘give it to him right in the ear’ means to screw somebody over.”


The song's lyrics contain a number of references to William S. Burroughs' experimental novel The Ticket

That Exploded, with  mentions of "Johnny Yen" described in the novel as "The Boy-Girl Other Half strip tease God of sexual frustration" and "hypnotizing chickens".

 

In a 1995 interview, Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and manager Danny Sugerman stated that the opening lyrics were about their deceased heroin dealer, nicknamed "Gypsy Johnny", arriving at Wonderland Avenue, with his heroin and his "motorized dildos".

 

Lust for Life" gained renewed popularity in the late 1990s after being featured in the 1996 British film Trainspotting

 

In 1999, Pop reflected on the song's renewed popularity:

“When I made Lust for Life, I really thought America was gonna rock to this. And it took 20 freeking years which is a really long time to wait.

 

I guess what happened is that there was this system that wasn't gonna fuckin' give me a break, and I outlived the system. The movies and advertisers have subverted the stranglehold of radio in America, and there are now other ways for people to hear music.

 

All of a sudden, – a few years ago when Trainspotting came out – I was walkin' down the street and I'd heard Raw Power comin' out of the bars”.


Song lyrics of Lust For Life by Iggy Pop


Here comes Johnny Yen again

With the liquor and drugs

And a flesh machine

He's gonna do another strip tease

 

Hey man, where'd you get that lotion?

I've been hurting since I bought the gimmick

About something called love

Yeah, something called love

Well, that's like hypnotising chickens

 

Well, I'm just a modern guy

Of course, I've had it in the ear before

'Cause of a lust for life

'Cause of a lust for life

 

I'm worth a million in prizes

With my torture film

Drive a G.T.O.

Wear a uniform

All on government loan

 

I'm worth a million in prizes

Yeah, I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk

No more beating my brains

No more beating my brains

With the liquor and drugs

With the liquor and drugs

 

Well, I'm just a modern guy

Of course, I've had it in my ear before

'Cause, of a lust for life (lust for life)

'Cause of a lust for life (lust for life, oooo)

I've got a lust for life (oooh)

Got a lust for life (oooh)

Oh, a lust for life (oooh)

Oh, a lust for life (oooh)

A lust for life (oooh)

I got a lust for life (oooh)

Got a lust for life

 

Well, I'm just a modern guy

Of course, I've had it in my ear before

'Cause I've a lust for life

'Cause I've a lust for life.

 

Well, here comes Johnny Yen again

With the liquor and drugs

And a flesh machine

I know he's gonna do another strip tease

 

Hey man, where'd ya get that lotion?

Your skin starts itching once you buy the gimmick

About something called love

Oh Love, love, love

Well, that's like hypnotising chickens.

 

Well, I'm just a modern guy

Of course, I've had it in the ear before

And I've a lust for life (lust for life)

'Cause I've a lust for life (lust for life)

Got a lust for life

Yeah, a lust for life

I got a lust for life

Oh, a lust for life

Got a lust for life

Yeah a lust for life

I got a lust for life

Lust for life [repeat and fade]

Release Date

1977

Songwriter/s

Iggy Pop, David Bowie

Producer/s

David Bowie

Label/s

RCA

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