Hang on, my love, and grow big and strong
Iggy Pop writes to a troubled fan
It took nine months for Iggy Pop to reply to then-21-year-old Laurence’s fan letter, but really the timing couldn’t have been more perfect as on the morning his thoughtful note did arrive at her home in Paris, Laurence’s family were being evicted by bailiffs. Laurence recalls that moment back in 1995:
By the time I finished I was in tears. Not only had Iggy Pop received the letter I had sent him nine months before, and I could have missed his if he’d sent it a day later, but he had read the whole ‘fucking’ 20 pages, including the bit about my Adidas dress (a semi-innocent allusion on my part), and all the rest, my description of being the child of an acrimonious divorce with the string of social workers, lawyers, greedy estate agents and bailiffs at the door, the fear, the anger, the frustration, the love.
Iggy’s handwritten response addressed Laurence’s problems with both grace and eloquence, and really can’t be praised enough.
thankyou for your gorgeous and charming letter, you brighten up my dim life. i read the whole fucking thing, dear. of course, i’d love to see you in your black dress and your white socks too. but most of all i want to see you take a deep breath and do whatever you must to survive and find something to be that you can love. you’re obviously a bright fucking chick, w/ a big heart too and i want to wish you a (belated) HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 21st b’day and happy spirit. i was very miserable and fighting hard on my 21st b’day, too. people booed me on the stage, and i was staying in someone else’s house and i was scared. it’s been a long road since then, but pressure never ends in this life. ‘perforation problems’ by the way means to me also the holes that will always exist in any story we try to make of our lives. so hang on, my love, and grow big and strong and take your hits and keep going.
all my love to a really beautiful girl. that’s you laurence.
Many thanks to both Iggy Pop and Laurence.