• Iggy Pop Surprise Performance at Billabong Pipe Masters Kick-Off Party

In a collaboration of icons, Iggy Pop played Pipeline last night.

Yes, it happened.

Just say that to yourself again and contemplate the singularity. The Godfather of Punk materialising on stage, tearing his shirt off, screaming at the Pacific sky declaring that he is, indeed, The Passenger and he rides and he rides.

Sightings yesterday had Iggy on the North Shore, pairing his signature Billabong boardshorts with his customary leather jacket, with rumours circulating wildly by late afternoon that he was going to be in attendance at the Pipe Masters kick-off party in the backyard of the Billabong house. The idea seemed so outrageous however that few believed it would actually go down.

The night in the yard was kicked off by Makua Rothman, island style on sunset, before the Billabong team, led by Parko, gathered on stage to welcome Griffin Colapinto to the 2018 Championship Tour. The kid then lit the yard up, rapping a burger order with a side of mad flow, dropping the mic and walking off into the crowd. It’s been a big few weeks for Griff.

Wash played next and it was loud. Real loud. The boys tore through three songs before the crowd parted and a short figure with long hair bounded athletically up on stage, casually grabbed the mic, and screamed at the ocean. Suddenly there he was, the runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb. Iggy Pop at Pipe. With Iggy now unexpectedly joining Wash on-stage, they launched straight into Passenger, followed it up with Search and Destroy, and brought it home with Raw Power. The septuagenarian punker leapt around the stage like a cat, the band came to terms with the fact they were indeed playing on stage with Iggy Pop, and the crowd split their time between slamming and capturing the most Instagrammed moment of the Hawaiian winter.

The last time Iggy had played a gig in Hawaii was back in 1973, a club gig in Wakiki to just 25 people. This time there might have been a couple of hundred souls, but they witnessed something special. Surf rocker Ozzie Wright was front and centre in a “Search and Destroy” T-shirt, barely able to keep his head from exploding. Ozzie had used Iggy’s song Passenger in his movie 156 Tricks, but has lost sleep in the years since because he only used it in the credits.

Then just as quickly as he’d materialized Iggy was gone, spirited off into the night, to another gig, in another city, in a pair of purple boardshorts and a black leather jacket. As Skegss brought home the night – cheekily claiming Iggy as their support band – the crowd came to the realization they’d seen something iconic by iconic.

- Words by Sean Doherty