Stooges Guitarist Ron Asheton Found Dead.

Discussion in 'General Music' started by guitarweasel, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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    Another one gone. :cry:

    The new year has scarcely started and already we've got a major music loss to report: guitarist Ron Asheton, a founding member of American punk pioneers the Stooges, was found dead this morning at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was 60.

    Police were summoned to Asheton's house by his personal assistant, who had been unable to reach him for several days. Responding officers discovered him in his bedroom looking "fairly peaceful," and while an autopsy will be performed, there were no signs of any foul play or drug use; the likely cause is a heart attack.

    There was no such term as punk rock when Asheton, his drummer brother Scott, bassist Dave Alexander and vocalist Jim Osterberg--aka Iggy Pop--formed the Stooges in the University of Michigan college town of Ann Arbor in 1967. To say that they quickly stood out against the hippie counterculture backdrop of the day is beyond understatement. While others sang about peace, love and understanding, the Stooges were voicing the cry of confused, frustrated and alienated youth everywhere with in-your-face anthems like "Not Right," "No Fun" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Released right around the time of Woodstock in the summer of '69, the band's self-titled debut album, as well as its followups Funhouse (1970) and Raw Power (1973) would become touchstones for virtually all who'd later come down the punk pike--or for that matter the grunge one, too.

    True, the early Stooges got most of their notoriety due to frontman Iggy's outrageous onstage antics, which included everything from smearing peanut butter across his bare chest and writhing on the ground through broken glass to diving headfirst into stunned audiences. But it was Asheton's sledge (and sludge) hammer lead guitar (and on Raw Power, bass) that served as the sonic battering ram for the Stooges' music, from the anarchy-r-us wah-wah pedal on "1969" and the hellbent chords of "Dog" to the thunderstruck riffs of "TV Eye" and "Loose."

    While the Stooges broke up in 1974, Iggy Pop's long-running solo career, as well as the band's influential legacy, kept their music alive. That ultimately led to a 2003 reformation that, as of the end of 2008 and a just-completed European tour, was finally furnishing the band its long-deserved worldwide props. For Asheton, who'd stayed on the periphery in a variety of punk and hard rock bands over the years between Stooges tours of duty, it was especially sweet: the man, after all, ranked 29 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

    Here's one of my favorite Stooges tunes....

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS2JhQiV9MA[/youtube]
     
  2. Ne_buddy

    Ne_buddy Member

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    RIP Asheton.

    NPR even played "Search and Destroy" as a requiem.
     
  3. bradsure

    bradsure Active Member

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    Dam I feel old. My first thought when I read the title of the thread was 'they had a band? He had to be real old'.

    I didn't realize there was a band called the stooges. :-\
     
  4. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    :(

    Bummer. I love the Stooges.
     
  5. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    rip RON....i love the stooges..they were still doing shows these past years with Mike Watt(one of the best bassist, but dumbed down some for the Stooges) playing bass...they had an new album(The Weirdness) out like 2 years ago, which was good if you dig the Stooges, that is...Funhouse was my favorite...Ron had a style all his own...sucks hes gone :(
     
  6. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Very sad........... RIP. :cry:
     
  7. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't familar with the stooges either. I watched that vid though and man that lead singer has some strange stage antics! Looked like he had ants in his pants.

    I did like the bass players bass though ;)
     
  8. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    back a few months ago, ALL the Stooges stuff, and the truck it was in, was stolen in Canada..so that bass is in some scumbags hands now...the bass player in my one band Corndogs, has the same sg bass, and had Watt sign it at a Stooges show..sweet bass...
     
  9. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

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    very sad, RIP Ron
     
  10. John J

    John J Active Member

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    Too bad.
    I never got into the Stooges. Iggy was a little too flamboyant for me.
     
  11. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    flamboyant is really an understatement .. cutting himself on stage and just blasting off the stage into the audience usually ending up bloody the end of the show ;D
     
  12. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    i love Iggy!! one of the most entertaining singers there ever was IMO....he dont look to bad for going on 62, and the decadent lifestyle he lived...
     
  13. John J

    John J Active Member

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    [quote author=Voxman link=topic=18478.msg226442#msg226442 date=1231428323]
    flamboyant is really an understatement .. cutting himself on stage and just blasting off the stage into the audience usually ending up bloody the end of the show ;D
    [/quote] I'm just trying to be nice. Even though I didn't care for him he was quite popular.
     
  14. Dettol666

    Dettol666 Member

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    I just saw an advert with Iggy in it for insurance, I thought Johnny Rotten advertising butter was bad enough.
     
  15. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=Dettol666 link=topic=18478.msg226453#msg226453 date=1231442620]
    I just saw an advert with Iggy in it for insurance, I thought Johnny Rotten advertising butter was bad enough.
    [/quote]Johnny Rotten advertising butter? glad i dont have tv...
     
  16. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    For anyone interested, or a Watt(former Minutemen, fIREHOSE, and Stooge) or Stooge fan, Watt wrote this...

    Mike Watt riffs on Ron Asheton and the Stooges
    The Minutemen and Firehose bassist talks about Asheton's innovations,
    inspirations and lasting influence.
    January 8, 2009

    Mike Watt, bassist for the Minutemen and Firehose, was invited in 2003
    by Iggy Pop to join the Stooges when the seminal Michigan band
    reunited for its first performance in nearly 30 years at the Coachella
    Valley Arts & Music Festival. He continued to perform and record as a
    Stooge alongside founding members Ron Asheton, the guitarist who was
    found dead this week; his brother, drummer Scott Asheton; and
    saxophonist Steve Mackay. Watt spoke Tuesday to The Times' Randy Lewis
    about his close friend.

    As a musician, he was a pioneer -- very singular, very unique. To get
    to be onstage with him was incredible for me. We all looked up to
    Ronnie with that guitar sound. Man, it was a sound, but especially in
    those days in the early '70s. Most people at my high school, they
    didn't like that sound. They were like, "You like them?" We took a lot
    of [flak] for liking them, in a way.

    Then the punk scene comes, and the Stooges was the common ground. That
    scene, which was not very popular here in Southern California, was
    just all these different weirdos from different places. The one thing
    in common was the Stooges. It was kind of anti-arena rock -- more like
    Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard than what was happening in the
    '70s. I can't even imagine our scene without that band.

    And then I get to play with these cats. So much stuff comes third-,
    fourth- and fifth-hand, but I got to go right to the source. I was
    born in '57, so I was 10 years behind them. I'd never been in the
    little brother role before, but especially being around these guys, my
    ears grew to the size of elephants' and became like sponges -- I just
    wanted to absorb everything.

    In 1997, I got to make an album with him in a group called the Wylde
    Rattz, which had a song on the soundtrack for "Velvet Goldmine." We
    did a whole album, but then London Records folded and it never came
    out. The song came out in the movie, but that's when I actually got to
    spend a bunch of time with him in the studio.

    In 2000, J Mascis [of Dinosaur Jr.] asked me to go out on tour with
    him -- after I almost died from an infection and used Stooges songs to
    get strong again -- and sing some Stooges songs with him in a project
    called J Mascis -- the Fog. When we got to Ann Arbor, he says, "You
    know Ronnie, right?" I called him and he came down to jam and then
    ended up touring with us.

    He'd come to see me in my band, whenever I was in Ann Arbor. Ronnie
    was up on stuff because he was in a bunch of bands: Dark Carnival,
    Destroy All Monsters. After the thing with J and later with Scotty as
    Asheton, Asheton, Mascis and Watt, this is when Ig called him and his
    brother to do a few songs for "Skull Ring" [Pop's 2003 solo album].

    I was on tour at the time in Tallahassee, Fla., and I get this call.
    It's Ig, and he says, "Ronnie says you're the man." He said, "They're
    gonna get the Stooges back together for Coachella. Can you wear a
    T-shirt? I know you like those flannels." I said, "How about Levi's
    and Converse?"

    It was a mind blow. Them songs had been living in my head for all
    those years, so I would just stand there onstage and stare at them. I
    had to struggle to keep focused because I was just like one of the
    gig-goers, but I've got this bass on. I felt deep in my heart I owed
    these guys the best notes I could ever play. Still, when I think about
    it, it seems impossible that life had put me in this situation.

    On the last tour, Ig gave me a 16-bar bass solo in "Little Electric
    Chair." I played with D. Boon and he would get all trebly and
    chicken-pluck and leave all this room for me, and I'd play a lot of
    stuff up high on the neck. It sounded really lame, but then Ronnie
    helped me construct a solo down in the low end one day on tour in
    Slovakia and that fit really well. The Stooges taught me about being a
    bass player when it was time to record "The Weirdness" album. Ig said,
    "Mike, I want you to get in touch with your stupid side."

    I just feel so indebted to them, as musicians and as people too. They
    were so kind to me. They knew about a lot of stuff. Maybe because of
    the name the Stooges people didn't know that, but Ronnie was a lot
    about history, Scotty about nature, Iggy about culture, Steve Mackay
    about politics.

    They told me they got "Little Doll" from Pharoah Sanders. "Fun House"
    is actually their take on James Brown. Ig said, " 'Shake Appeal,'
    that's me doing Little Richard." All these trippy things, as though
    they invented this whole thing -- and they did, their way, but they
    also were in touch with a lot of the stuff that happened before them.

    I'm going to get more intense with my work, my music. That's what I
    was thinking when I paddled out today. I went in the kayak after
    somebody told me they found him. I'm in San Pedro Harbor and I'm
    always running or kayaking.

    This is going to push me with music ever more. It's a shame it takes
    something like this to do that, but I know all the playing with him
    has rubbed off on me big time.

    I loved being his bass player.
     
  17. vkgphil

    vkgphil Active Member

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    nice piece.

    bradsure... there is a whole lot of rock and roll just waiting for you to find it man. im not gonna knock ya for not knowing em, but you need to know your history dude.
     
  18. 1Way

    1Way Active Member

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    vkgphil
    Thanks for sentiment. I guess I'm in the same shoes as bradsure.

    Here's my personal explanation why I am not well in tune with the music industry for the last 25 years. The music scene changed (radio/movies/MTV videos) in the early/mid 80's away from (classic) rock. However prior to that movement, the direction of the music industry especially concerning rock and roll seemed so good and right. That music was like a good friend, I was proud of our musical heritage (blues and rock and roll), it's a part of me. However, after that change, it was like music no longer agreed me.

    Haven't felt the same about radio or music video's since around '83. I don't mean to sound too traditional, but some things are best the way they were (much like vintage SGs). Errr, that is until youtube came along so that now we can enjoy good old time rock and roll from the era that brought it to life. 8)


    RIP Ron Asheton.
     
  19. vkgphil

    vkgphil Active Member

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    use www.pandora.com or www.slacker.com, type in oh i dunno, say Stooges in the artist box and sit back and listen to not only songs from them but others they influenced or others that were peers. goes for anyone you want to hear. i find it an incredibly useful tool
     
  20. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=1Way link=topic=18478.msg226658#msg226658 date=1231691002]
    vkgphil
    Thanks for sentiment. I guess I'm in the same shoes as bradsure.

    Here's my personal explanation why I am not well in tune with the music industry for the last 25 years. The music scene changed (radio/movies/MTV videos) in the early/mid 80's away from (classic) rock. However prior to that movement, the direction of the music industry especially concerning rock and roll seemed so good and right. That music was like a good friend, I was proud of our musical heritage (blues and rock and roll), it's a part of me. However, after that change, it was like music no longer agreed me.

    Haven't felt the same about radio or music video's since around '83. I don't mean to sound too traditional, but some things are best the way they were (much like vintage SGs). Errr, that is until youtube came along so that now we can enjoy good old time rock and roll from the era that brought it to life. 8)


    RIP Ron Asheton.
    [/quote]well the Stooges were around before arena rock..67' to be exact....well before Emptee-Vee, and corporate rock....I doubt if someone only listened to "classic rock" radio all their life, they probably never heard the Stooges, unless news about Iggy doing something twisted that made the news..dont get me wrong, i was born in 67', and i grew up on my dads Beatles and Buddy Holly stuff, then The Who , Stones, Zep...i didnt hear of the Stooges til i was early teens getting into punk, then i backtracked my way through all the stuff that influenced the punk bands i loved...
    I totally left mainstream radio in the early 80's just cause i thought it started sucking, like you sort of said ;)..but i went into the more unheard of stuff, punk, and the so called "Alternative" stuff...because basically FM(mainstream) was just shoving the new "prefab" "Emptee-Vee circus clown'' bands down my throat..each to their own...i mean the Who, and the bands i grew up with are my alltime favorites, but i dont turn off totally to new music, i just dont go to mainstream radio for it...i shut up now :oops:
     

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