“Rage Against the Dying of the Light”

Iggy Pop records Dylan Thomas’ seminal poem Do Not Go Gentle.

Iggy Pop has recorded a moving version of Dylan Thomas’ seminal poem Do Not Go Gentle. A powerful, raw and expressive read, it is the poem as we’ve never heard it.

Hot off the back of a US no.1 album, and during a sell out world tour at 69 years of age, the poem is a prequel to Iggy’s first ever appearance at the Cannes Festival of Creativity on Wednesday 22nd June and sets the tone for the conversation with Grey London’s Nils Leonard. The film, created by Leonard, partners Iggy words.

Do not go gentle into that good night, 
Old age should burn and rage at close of day; 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
Because their words had forked no lightning they 
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, 
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight 
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height, 
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. 
Do not go gentle into that good night. 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

In a year that has seen countless legends fall, the film is what Leonard calls, “A salute to the most alive man I know.” And is a provocation on the world’s current obsession with dead heroes.

“2016 will be the year we lost heroes. But I worry that people are starting to wait for the next cultural figurehead to mourn and it’s bullshit. Like the world’s worst meme,” said Leonard. “Incredible living artists and icons continue to challenge and define our culture, and Iggy is their viking king. Iggy has shrugged off what age is supposed to mean, convention, and expectation. He’s grown old disgracefully and successfully. He is a real-life beautiful and vicious inspiration.”

“Heroes walk amongst us still. We have a lot to learn from the man Josh Homme calls, ‘The last of the one and only’s.’ Social, commercial pressures and the visibility of what we make in the creative industries has made us safe. Iggy and the challenge and danger he brings reminds us of the true power of creativity to move things on. That when things start to get boring, the only way out is to innovate, to create and to never stop diving in.”

In Iggy’s words, ‘The stages are getting higher and higher. And I’m getting getting older and older.’ But he’s never stopped diving.

This year marks Grey’s 10th Annual Legends of Music Seminar. Many of music’s greatest stars including Tony Bennett, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and Yoko Ono have recounted their creative journeys in the intimate setting. The session has become a high point of the Festival and one its most popular events.