The Passenger

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Passenger
Iggy Pop
publication 1977
length 4:44
Genre (s) Alternative rock
text Iggy Pop
music Ricky Gardiner
Publisher (s) RCA
album Lust for Life
Cover version
1987 Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Passenger is one of the most famous songs of the American rock - musician Iggy Pop . The piece appeared for the first time on the album Lust for Life in 1977 as well as on the B-side of the only single from the album Success and has been covered many times . The Passenger has been played by numerous radio stations again since the reunion and US tour of Iggy Pop and The Stooges . Pitchfork Media included the title in the 2008 book list of the Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present .


The song was written during the time when Iggy Pop was living in West Berlin with David Bowie and was slowly recovering from his drug and alcohol excesses. At Bowie's instigation, who had been producing with Pop since the early 1970s and in some cases also arranged its music and contributed background vocals, Pop received a record deal. This is how the two albums The Idiot and Lust for Life came into being , which marked his international breakthrough as a solo artist. The idea for the text of The Passenger came from Iggy Pop, who says he was inspired by a poem by Jim Morrison in which modern life is compared to driving a car where you watch everything, but don't get off, just change trains could. The photographer Esther Friedman from Mannheim , with whom Iggy Pop was in a relationship for seven years, stated in an interview that he got the inspiration for the song during his many trips on the Berlin S-Bahn .

The music for The Passenger comes from the Beggar's Opera guitarist Ricky Gardiner , who also recorded the repetitive typical guitar riff of the piece. The refrain is a continuously shadowed “La-la”, originally sung by David Bowie.

In 1998, The Passenger was re-released in the UK after a television commercial for the Toyota Avensis and peaked at # 22 on the UK charts. The song was also used in an award-winning commercial for the Guinness brewery and was featured in the TV commercial for the VW Golf 7 Facelift in 2017. In August 2018, a Deutsche Bahn AG commercial appeared in which not only the song is used, but Iggy Pop plays along with former Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg on board an ICE 4. The song also appears on the soundtrack of various film productions, such as B. The Weather Man , Jarhead , 23 - Nothing is what it seems , 24 Hour Party People or the digital animated film Waking Life .

Cover versions (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. “Modern life is a journey by car. The passengers change terribly in their reeking seats, or roam from car to car, subject to unceasing transformation. Inevitable progress is made toward the beginning […], as we slice through cities, whose ripped backsides present a moving picture of windows, signs, streets, buildings. " - Jim Morrison: Notes on Vision from: The Lords and the New Creatures , 1969
  2. Joe Ambrose: Gimme Danger: The Story Of Iggy Pop. Omnibus Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-84772-116-7 , p. 186.
  3. Christoph Amend: Iggy Pop: The pop of the early years . In: The time . No. 09/2013 ( online ).