Look Away, by Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop - Naughty Little Doggie CD cover
Iggy Pop – Naughty Little Doggie CD cover – from Discogs

Naughty Little Doggie, the eleventh studio album by Iggy Pop, was released in 1996. Its tenth and last track, “Look Away,” evokes his memories of Sable Starr and Johnny Thunders.

“Queen of the Groupies” in the early 1970s Los Angeles scene, Sable Starr (1957–2009) was with Lori Maddox (b.1958) one of the first so-called “baby groupies,” underage girls who had affairs with rock stars. Iggy Pop claims to have had sex with Sable when she was 13. At 16, she met Johnny Thunders (1952–1991), the guitarist in the glam rock band the New York Dolls. She ran away from home to be with him in New York. Their relationship did not last, due to Thunders’ violent jealousy and drug addiction. He had wanted to marry her after she became pregnant with his child, but she refused and instead had an abortion. Thunders apparently died of drug-related causes.

Iggy Pop with Sable Starr and Lori Mattix
Iggy Pop with Sable Starr (left) and Lori Mattix (right) in 1974

Here is the video on YouTube:

I give below the lyrics from Genius, where explanations are given to the meaning of several lines:

Look Away
words & music by Iggy Pop

I slept with Sable when she was 13
Her parents were too rich to do anything
She rocked her way around LA
‘Til a New York Doll carried her away

Look away
Look away

Now he was blond and she was dark
They called him Thunder ’cause he had the spark
The dream he dreamed was straight and pure
But the confusion of life was gonna get him for sure

Look away
Look away

They shared their clothes and their cowboy boots
Left them all over the floor while they dyed their roots
They live the dream and they went non-stop
They did ok ’til the band broke up

Look away
Look away
Look away
Look away

Unfortunately, the needle broke
Their rock and roll love like a bicycle spoke
I found her in a back street with her looks half gone
She was sellin’ something that I was on

Look away
Look away

Now Thunder and me did not part friends
What we did once, I wouldn’t do again
So he stayed with the pure dream and followed the moon
‘Til the drugs in his body made his mind a cartoon

Look away
Look away

So a few years later, Thunder died broke
Sable had a baby back at her folks’
Me, I went straight and serious, too
There wasn’t much else that I could do

Look away
Look away

So now that I’m straight, I’m settled, too
I eat and I sleep and I work like you
I got lots of feelings, but I hold them down
That’s a way I cope with this shitty town

Look away
Look away
Look away
Look away

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