The ghosts of Iggy Pop and David Bowie still hang out at the Paris Bar in Berlin
Two found items while googling on the Paris Bar in Berlin. Firstly, the above painting of the Paris Bar by Martin Kippenberger from 1993. Kippenberger donated his art collection to the cafe for the painting. The collection remains, although the painting of the cafe itself is now owned by Charles Saatchi.
Secondly, this infamous Rolling Stone interview from October 1979: Chris Hodenfield interviews Iggy Pop in the Paris Bar. Iggy gets so drunk he ends up rolling around on the ice in the street outside.
“My last night in Berlin I waited for Iggy Pop in the Paris Bar, a subdued green room holding a few green souls. They had all stepped right out of Van Gogh’s The Absinth Drinkers. It was real art if you could tolerate it. And so has been much of Iggy’s music.
“I thought about Iggy and Bowie. Bowie moved gracefully, half-hidden, British, almost snobbish, always impressive. Onstage, he holds himself taut as a bow drawn by an arrow, and the audience waits for the release. Iggy Pop is sullen, graceless, original, willing, street smart, naive, American, seemingly doomed, but resilient, strong as a horse.”
I recently visited the cafe and liked it a lot. There were no absinth drinkers at the bar, it’s far more glamorous now, but it did retain an air of bohemian bliss, thanks largely to Kippenberger’s art collection that is crammed into every nook (including photographs of Sarah Lucas and Yves Saint Lauren).