Ron Asheton of the Stooges dies

Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 08:06 pm
The Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton found dead at 60
DETROIT (AP) " Ron Asheton, the guitarist for the Stooges whose raw sound helped inspire the first generation of punk musicians, has died. He was 60.
Asheton was found at his Ann Arbor home early Tuesday morning by police officers after they were called by an associate who had not heard from him in several days, said city police Sgt. Brad Hill.
There were no signs of foul play, and the death appeared to be of natural causes, Hill said.
Asheton was a founding member of the Stooges, the influential protopunk band formed in Ann Arbor in 1967, along with his brother, Scott.
Lead singer Iggy Pop called Asheton "my best friend" in a statement Tuesday, and the band expressed shock at his death.
"For all that knew him behind the facade of Mr. Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not," the band said in a written statement. "As a musician Ron was The Guitar God, idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him."
Asheton's powerful, distorted guitar on songs like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "T.V. Eye" was a hallmark of the group's sound. His "technically adept but also beautifully raw" style was heavily influenced by free jazz and created "beauty out of noise," said Brian Cogan, a punk-music historian at Molloy College on New York's Long Island.
"He invents the template for punk-rock guitar," Cogan said. "He's the one who allows Johnny Ramone and the guys in the Dictators to play the way they do."
When he was named the 29th greatest guitarist of all time in 2003 by Rolling Stone, the magazine described Asheton as "the Detroit punk who made the Stooges' music reek like a puddle of week-old biker sweat."
After recording three albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Stooges split and Iggy Pop went on to a successful solo career. Asheton played guitar for bands including the New Order, New Race, Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival.
In 2003, Asheston reunited with the rest of the Stooges and a new album, "The Weirdness," was released in 2007.
Russ Gibb, who owned Detroit's legendary Grande Ballroom and gave the Stooges their first major show there in 1968, said Asheton was a gentleman in all of their dealings.
"Wherever he is today, it's a better place because he's there," Gibb said Tuesday. "He was a gentleman musician. The musicland that you and I live in has lost something today and wherever musicians go, they're better today because he's there."
Ronald Asheton was born July 17, 1948, in Washington, D.C.
He is survived by his sister Kathy and his brother Scott, who is The Stooges' drummer.
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Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 05:07 pm
I got into punk rock postmaturely.

At the proper age, I was on the right track. Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth, etc. were the soundtrack to my early adolescence. I would undoubtedly have stumbled upon their influences if it weren't for, well, the fact that I grew up in a suburb full of potsmokers and Deadheads.

I emerged from my classic rock/hippie jam band phase at the same time I emerged from my first serious relationship. I kind of randomly bought the Ramones first LP from a record store called Vinyl Soultion. Before I knew what was happening I was ******* devouring punk rock. The tandem guitars on Down on the Street pretty much commanded me to transform all my stuipd grief into something way more palpable--anger. And from there, swagger. In a way, the mere sound of the Stooges taught me not to take any ****.

Of course that's just one dimension. There are the creepy ballads and the party anthems. I'll end this post by poorly paraphrasing something I read in the liner notes to Raw Power: "This is the sound of bunch of greasy guys driving around looking for cheeseburgers."

RIP Ron Asheton. I'll piss off my neighbors mourning you this weekend.
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Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 05:23 pm
it's funny, i grew up and came of age ( started high school in "76) within about a hundred miles of the mc5 and iggy and the stooges

but for me punk rock was all about the brits, sex pistols and the clash, the damned......

came to appreciate the american scene later

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Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 08:04 pm
I liked the Stooges before there was thing called 'punk'. I think the Brit punk scene was much more of a social phenomena than a musical one - and the American one predates it - And the Australian scene courtesy of the Saints and Radio Birdman wasn't far behind. The Saints loved the Ramones, and were completely turned off by the gobbing brit punk audiences, not really understanding that it was more than just music to them - Chris Bailey looked like a cherubic hippy.

I have always loved this song since I first heard it, but it was only reading Asheton's allmusic bio that I realised he was the guitarists - how dumb am I?

Bored - Destroy All Monsters
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Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 09:24 am
God I love the Saints. I'd put Stranded on a top my 20 or even 10 rock n' roll albums of all time list.

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Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 09:27 am
Are you guys at all familiar with the "super group" New Race, which was comprised of MC5 Drummer Dennis Thompson, Ron Asheton, and what's-his-name from Radio Birdman? They have a live album. But their versions make you want to put on the originals.
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