Film still from Jim Jarmusch’s COFFEE & CIGARETTES

Iggy Pop and Tom Waits take over BBC Radio 6 Music in a musical odyssey

The program is reminiscent of their iconic joint appearance in Jim Jarmusch's 'Coffee and Cigarettes'
4 December 2023

In a spectacular convergence of music legends, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits recently teamed up for an unforgettable two-hour radio special on BBC Radio 6 Music. The program, reminiscent of their iconic joint appearance in Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ aired during Iggy’s regular slot on Sunday, December 3rd, treating listeners to an eclectic selection of tracks curated by the dynamic duo. The magic doesn’t end there – the show is now available globally for a month, ensuring that fans worldwide can experience the unique synergy between these two musical luminaries.

Listen to Iggy Pop and Tom Waits

In between spinning records, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits regaled listeners with captivating anecdotes, delving into the fascinating tapestry of their musical journeys. Tales ranged from Tom’s hitchhiking encounter with Eden Ahbez, the composer of ‘Nature Boy,’ to Iggy’s surreal breakfast moment with Captain Beefheart in L.A., wisely choosing not to disturb the enigmatic artist.

The spotlight doesn’t only shine on their radio collaboration, as Tom Waits’ impactful middle-period albums have received a fresh lease on life. Personally overseen by Waits and Kathleen Brennan, these albums, originally released on Island Records between 1983 and 1993, have been meticulously remastered from the original tapes. Fans can now relish the sonic brilliance of classics such as ‘Swordfishtrombones,’ ‘Rain Dogs,’ ‘Franks Wild Years,’ ‘Bone Machine,’ and ‘The Black Rider’ on vinyl and CD, thanks to the efforts of Island/UMe.

Released on September 8th and October 6th, these reissues mark significant milestones in Waits’ musical evolution. From the transformative breakthrough of ‘Swordfishtrombones’ to the Grammy-winning apocalyptic stomp of ‘Bone Machine’ and the innovative musical fable ‘The Black Rider,’ each album represents a distinct chapter in Waits’ ability to traverse uncharted creative terrain.

Tom Waits, a Grammy Award-winning American musician, composer, songwriter, and actor, has not only made his mark in the music industry but also left an indelible impression on the cinematic landscape. His acting credits include notable films such as ‘Down By Law,’ ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula,’ ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ ‘Seven Psychopaths,’ and ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’

BBC Radio 6 Music, the UK’s largest digital-only radio station boasting 2.8 million weekly listeners, served as the perfect platform for this extraordinary musical rendezvous. As fans continue to revel in the afterglow of Iggy Pop and Tom Waits’ radio special, it’s evident that the legendary status of these two artists remains unshaken, solidifying their places in the pantheon of musical greatness.

Presenters: Iggy Pop and Tom Waits

Producer: Adam Dineen for BBC Audio