April 15, 2010— -- Iggy Pop and The Stooges were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, after seven previous nominations. The 62-year-old Iggy, often referred to as "the Godfather of Punk," lived up to his moniker, giving a double middle-finger salute to the crowd before performing an electrifying -- and shirtless -- rendition of his rock classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog."
Known for his wild stage antics and trailblazing sound, Iggy has been cited as an influence by artists as diverse as Joy Division, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White and R.E.M.
A special remastered edition of Iggy and The Stooges' 1973 album "Raw Power" will be released mid-April. It's one that many consider the first true example of punk rock; Kurt Cobain of Nirvana said it was his all-time favorite album.
Iggy sat down with "Nightline" at the Whisky Blue Bar in New York City to talk about the artists that influenced him.
"If you're gonna write music, you must start with a vocabulary," he said, "So I took mine from blues, jazz, hillbilly, and the English invasion."
Below are some unexpected highlights from Iggy's musical catalog.
Born James Newell Osterberg and raised in Michigan, Iggy recalls one of his first musical memories: sitting in the back seat of his father's Cadillac, listening to Frank Sinatra.
"When I was about 5 years old my father had a large Cadillac and he would drive it all weekend for recreation with the family and I was in the backseat and Frank Sinatra had the hit 'Young at Heart' and my father would sing along," Iggy said.
The song inspired him to be a musician.
"When people would ask me after that what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, 'well maybe a singer?!' I didn't know why exactly. It wasn't that I liked the song that much, but I think because it made such an impression on my father," he said.
Iggy recalls how the 1963 single written by Phil Spector "touched the teen emotions" within him.
"I had the single and I would go into my girlfriend's basement after school and we'd make out on the couch and then there was a table with a phonograph 45 player box across the room and you'd have to play the 45 and then make out for 2 ½ minutes," Iggy recalled. "And I remember I'd jump up and put it on again to keep the mood going. Just looking at the Ronnettes; I wanted to go wherever they came from."
The Shangri-Las: 'Remember (Walking In The Sand)'
In high school, Iggy got his start as a drummer in a cover band called the Iguanas -- hence the name Iggy, he says.
"My cover band…had a professional engagement the summer that we graduated high school at a teen club called The Ponytail in northern Michigan. They served Cokes. And a lot of big acts came through. I got to play drums behind the Shangrilas, the Crystals, the Four Tops. Learned a lot," he said. "Mary, the lead singer of the Shangri-Las, had a really beautiful head of hair…and I just remember being very happy in the back you know playing 'ts, ts, ts,' while she was going, 'remember, walking in the sand.'
Muddy Waters: 'Rolling Stone'
At 18, Iggy decided to study the work of American blues musician McKinley Morganfield, known as "Muddy Waters." Iggy said his mother rented the aspiring musician a spin-it piano to practice in their trailer park home.
"I would sit on the piano and try to work out these Muddy Waters' songs, what notes he was playing. I remember a great one was 'Rolling stone,' basically his story the social life he lives to put it in a nice way -- drinking and having sex -- as he roams the countryside as an itinerant bum basically," Iggy said. "There was no time signature or tonality to it that you could recognize if you'd been brought up on 'doggie in the window,' but it was the real American music."
Link Wray: 'Rumble'
As a student at the University of Michigan in the 1960s, Iggy would obsess over to "Rumble" by Link Wray, a track which he describes like "the soundtrack to a knife fight."
"This was lowbrow, tough, dumb, instrumental music and it was mainly just a beat and a guitar going, 'nah nah nah!' It was maybe the original power chord recording. Also, it influenced Peter Townsend from The Who very much in his writing and pre-figured everything you heard after from ACDC, the West Coast glam bands and punk rock," Iggy said. "And I just remember listening to it and thinking, 'It's simple! I could do that, that's bad. It sounds bad.' And I was also thinking, 'Why is this playing in the student union of an institute of higher learning?!' That whole side of things interested me about early rock 'n roll. The real raw down stuff."