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october 1977, manchester apollo.

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
The Passenger on Wikipedia
"The Passenger"
The Passenger (song).jpg"The Passenger" cover
Song by Iggy Pop from the album Lust for Life
ReleasedAugust 29, 1977 (1977-08-29)
RecordedApril – June 1977 at Hansa Studio by the Wall, Berlin
  • Proto-punk
  • Ricky Gardiner
  • Iggy Pop
Producer(s)Bewlay Bros.
Lust for Life track listing

"The Passenger" is a song by Iggy Pop and Ricky Gardiner, recorded and released by Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album in 1977. It was also released as the B-side of the album's only single, "Success". It was released as a single in its own right in March 1998, reaching number 22 in the UK Charts.

The lyrics, written by Iggy Pop allegedly aboard Berlin's S-Bahn, have been interpreted as embodying the nomadic spirit of the punk outcast. Guitarist Ricky Gardiner composed the music. The song is loosely based on a poem by Jim Morrison.[1][2]


  • 1 Background and conception
  • 2 In the media
  • 3 Certifications
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 Siouxsie and the Banshees version
  • 6 Other cover versions
  • 7 References

Background and conception

In an interview with The Guardian, Iggy Pop spoke about how "The Passenger" was partly inspired by travelling with David Bowie on tour, "...I’d been riding around North America and Europe in David’s car ad infinitum. I didn’t have a driver’s licence or a vehicle."[3]

In the media

The song has been featured in the movies This Must Be the Place, Radiofreccia, TV spots for the film Waking Life, the television show 30 Days, the film Jarhead and the 2002 video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2. More recently, the films Up in the Air and The Weather Man featured the song on its teaser trailer, and is played in a shop early in the film. It can also be heard in Kurt Cobain: About a Son, the documentary exploration of the life and influences of the late musician. Scarface: The World Is Yours includes the song on its music selection menu. It was also used in a series of Kohl's commercials advertising the new "Simply Vera" line of clothing designed by Vera Wang. Guinness used the song for a television advertisement featuring an airplane flying through a pint-glass-shaped valley with clouds representing the beer's foamy head. The instrumental lead-in riff of this song is also the intro theme music for the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360. The song is also included in the music/rhythm game Lego Rock Band, complete with a Lego-style avatar of Iggy Pop at vocals. In 2012, the song was played in the Season 5 episode of Sons of Anarchy.

The song is also featured briefly in the opening montage of the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People directed by Michael Winterbottom. It is also featured in the 2014 film If I Stay.

In 2009, New Zealand broadband internet provider Orcon held a promotion where eight fans re-recorded the song via the internet. The recording featured instruments foreign to the original, such as a flute.[4]

The song has been used in various TV commercials around the world such as for the Avensis car in 1998 and Captain Morgan in 2011. It was re-released as a single in the UK in 1998 in the wake of the Toyota Avensis commercial, peaking at #22. It was used in a Dublin Bus commercial in Ireland.

It was also included in the book The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present published in 2008.

In 2010 the German mobile phone provider T-Mobile launched their "Welcome Home" flash-mob advert on British television. Amongst the songs performed using only voices was "The Passenger", sung by local Brighton resident George Ikediashi.[5]

The song was used in promos for season 5 (2015) of the CNN series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and Iggy appeared in episode 2 of that season.

The song was featured in the movie War Dogs.


  • Iggy Pop: Lead Vocals
  • David Bowie: Piano, Organ, Backing Vocals
  • Ricky Gardiner: Lead Guitar
  • Carlos Alomar: Rhythm Guitar
  • Tony Sales: Bass Guitar
  • Hunt Sales: Drums

Siouxsie and the Banshees version

"The Passenger"
Siouxsie Passenger.jpg
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album Through the Looking Glass
B-side"She's Cuckoo", "Something Blue"
ReleasedMarch 16, 1987
Format7" single, 12" single
GenrePop rock, alternative rock
  • Ricky Gardiner
  • Iggy Pop
Producer(s)Siouxsie and the Banshees
Mike Hedges
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology

English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees covered "The Passenger" in 1987 for their all-cover-versions album Through the Looking Glass. The group revamped the song by adding brass arrangements. Released as the second single from that album, it peaked at number 41 in the UK singles chart.[7]

Iggy Pop praised their version and stated: "That's good. She sings it well and she threw a little note in when she sings it, that I wish I had thought of, it's kind of improved it [...]. The horn thing is good."[8]

Other cover versions

  • 1989: Pidżama Porno, on albums "Ulice jak stygmaty" and "Futurista", with Polish lyrics written by Krzysztof Grabowski, called Pasażer ("passenger" in Polish).
  • 1991: Brazilian band Capital Inicial recorded a Portuguese version of the song (whose lyrics follow nearly to letter the original) for their album Eletricidade. An acoustic version appeared in their MTV Unplugged album in 2000.
  • 1994: Kult, on the album "Muj wydafca"
  • 1994-5: Deborah Harry played it many times during her Debravation Tour.
  • 1995: Phil Shöenfelt in collaboration with Czech band Tichá Dohoda, on the album "Live In Prague!"
  • 1995: Michael Hutchence, of INXS, on the Batman Forever soundtrack and used in a Budweiser advert
  • 1996: Die Toten Hosen, on the live album Im Auftrag des Herrn´
  • 1996: Big Cyc, on the "Z gitarą wśród zwierząt" album, sung by Jarosław Janiszewski
  • 1996: Vlado Kreslin, on the album Pikapolonica
  • 1996: Portuguese rock band UHF, on the album 69 Stereo.
  • 1997: Lunachicks did a cover for the We Will Fall: The Iggy Pop Tribute album
  • 1998: R.E.M. covered the song during their first performance on the BBC TV show Later with Jools Holland; the live recording was released later that year as a B-side to the R.E.M. single "At My Most Beautiful"
  • 2001: Rowland S. Howard, on the He Died with a Felafel in His Hand soundtrack
  • 2006: MC Lars used a sample from "The Passenger" for the track "Download This Song", on his album The Graduate
  • 2006: Belgian group Absynthe Minded did a cover for the Windkracht 10 soundtrack album
  • 2006: German group Makrosoft covered it in their Stereo Also Playable Mono soundtrack album
  • 2007: Mark Vidler of Go Home Productions released a mashup called "Peggy Lee vs. Iggy Pop - Passenger Fever" on his album Mashed
  • 2008: Skizoo, a Spanish rock band, did a Spanish version of the song for their album 3, changing its name to "Bla, bla, bla"
  • Bauhaus often performed a cover version of "The Passenger" in live shows
  • 2009: DJ Gollum, a German dance music producer, made a remix of "The Passenger"
  • 2010: Jamaican group The Jolly Boys recorded a mento version on their album Great Expectation. This version was featured in the British television series Skins, Season 5 episode 8.
  • 2011: Kid Loco, on the album Confessions of a Belladonna Eater
  • 2011: Cro, a German rapper, sampled "The Passenger" for his song "Wir waren hier" on his mixtape Easy, and put an extended version of it with a slightly changed instrumental on his album Raop, which was released in 2012.
  • 2012: Los Colorados, on the album Move It!
  • 2012: Alison Mosshart & The Forest Rangers covered the song on the second soundtrack released for the television series Sons of Anarchy.
  • 2013: Big John Bates plays an Americana Noir version sung live by upright bassist Brandy Bones


  1. ^ PBS documentary Rock and Roll episode 7: The Wild Side, 1995
  2. ^ The Lords and the New Creatures Poems by Jim Morrison, Simon & Schuster, 1969, pg. 32
  3. ^ Perry, Kevin EG (5 March 2016). "Josh Homme on Iggy Pop: 'Lemmy is gone. Bowie is gone. He's the last of the one-and-onlys'". 
  4. ^ "Iggy re-records 'The Passenger' with a little help from NZ fans". 3 News. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  5. ^ "George Ikediashi from Brighton lands starring role in T-Mobile national TV ad". Brighton Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Italian single certifications – Iggy Pop – The Passenger" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved November 1, 2014.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Iggy Pop in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  7. ^ "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "120 Minutes" Iggy Pop interview. MTV. June 1990. Excerpt about Siouxsie and the Banshees' version of The Passenger from 08:38

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