Iggy Pop isn't a big fan of shirts.
For casual hangouts, he arrives totally topless.
On dressier occasions, the 67-year-old Godfather of Punk prefers a nice suit jacket over an unbuttoned blouse, flying open to reveal his rippled, bronzed torso.
But what about those semiformal affairs, like last night's launch of Mr. Pop's clothing line for Sailor Jerry's Flash Collection? Well, only a sleeveless denim garment will do.
Unsurprisingly then, when we here at Crossfade climbed the stairs to downtown Miami's second-floor party loft, The Garret at Grand Central, for the decidedly kinda dressy unveiling of Sailor Jerry's latest fashion collaboration with a rock star ...
There was Iggy Pop in a biker-style denim vest with top, middle, and bottom rocker patches that read, "Death," "Shall," "Triumph."
That phrase was a favorite maxim of the late, great Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins (1911-1973) and it figured in a lot of his tattoo designs.
As for Iggy's vest, it's the centerpiece of his limited-edition, three-item Flash Collection, which also includes a brass-buckled, brown-leather belt and a set of six tat patches -- all based on Sailor Jerry's ink work.
"Fuck yeah. Real cool. But sorta weird," one well-groomed fashion punk noted. "He basically only wears pants. And there's no pants?"
For most of the night, Iggy hung out in The Garret's raised VIP section, curling up on a leather sofa with his wife, Nina Alu, while sipping from a Sailor Jerry highball glass and making chit-chat with Miami acquaintances like the Jacuzzi Boys and former Vagabond Miami owner Carmel Ophir.
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Meanwhile, everybody else snatched up complimentary custom cocktails like the Jerry & Ginger, Somewhere in California, and Muskegon Blues. We scarfed free smoked meats, courtesy of Sparky's Roadside Barbecue. And we asked a couple of seamstresses hired for the evening: "If I take them off, could you sew this 8-ball patch over the butt hole of my boxers?"
Unlike your typical fashion designer, Iggy never stepped up and gave a speech explaining his "vision." Instead, he simply sent out a pre-party press release.
"I dig Norman's tattoo designs," it read, "and totally wanted to bring to life his awesome flash art in a clothing range. This is my first time designing a clothing collection and what's been really interesting is digging through all of Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins' work and learning all about the man, the legend!
"It was only through research for this collection that I realized how much we had in common, from our mutual love of art and Hawaii in the '70s through to hosting our own radio shows. I hope that my Flash Collection is one that Norman would be proud of and will help to keep that legend alive."
The Iggster's only actual spotlight moment of the evening came when he suddenly streaked from the VIP to the stage and started screaming, "Get ready! Get fuckin' ready! Get ready! Get fuckin' ready! Get ready! Get fuckin' ready!"
It was a spurt of awesome, kinda confusing chaos ... Until it became obvious that this manic outburst was an enthusiastic introduction for the evening's entertainment, Miami garage rock trio the Jacuzzi Boys, of whom Mr. Pop himself once said: "It's a stupid name, but they've got a good spirit."
As the Jacuzzis began banging and riffing, the guest of honor streaked off, disappearing back to the VIP.
"We want to give a big, wet kiss to Iggy Pop!" chirped the Boys' lead screamer Gabriel.
And for the next 30 minutes, he, Diego, and Danny tore through a bunch of their fuzzy punk sing-alongs, like "Happy Damage" and "Glazin'" and "Smells Dead."
The Jacuzzis dedicated a song to the Godfather of Punk. And they shouted out local rock 'n' roll hero Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra, pointing and grinning, "Hi, Rat!"
Then they closed the night with a cover that's become a recent fixture at the JBs' shows.
"This is our last song," Gabriel said. "It's by none other than Iggy Pop. And it's called fuckin' 'Fun Times.'"
Sadly, Iggy didn't return to handle mic duty. (That probably woulda been too perfect.) But he did wave and smile, signaling his approval, from the balcony.
As the Boys cleared out, we all grabbed another drink. We chowed down on a second helping of pulled pork, beef brisket, baby back ribs. And we collected our swag bags, filled with tat patches, Sailor Jerry history lessons, and even a flask bottle of Mr. Collins' famous spiced rum.
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Then the night was over. So we stumbled down the stairs and out into the street, snapping the seal on our six ouncer of booze while contemplating the connection between shirtlessness (and/or vested-ness) and true greatness.
Visit SailorJerryClothing.com to buy Iggy's limited-edition Flash Collection vests ($600) and belts ($240). There are only 50 of each.
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