Saturday, January 10, 2009

RIP: Ron Asheton

What with one thing and another, we at PowerPop forgot to take our moment of silence for Ron Asheton, discovered dead at his Ann Arbor, MI home last week after being incommunicado for several days.
In 2007, The Stooges reunited and released "The Weirdness," their first album in three decades.

Asked how it felt to be back with The Stooges, Asheton told The News in an interview that year that it was "great to be back on the road."

Here's a quite funny interview with the band from 07.

Autopsy and toxicology results are, of course, pending.

Iggy weighs in, calling Asheton "my best friend."

Be at peace.


steve simels said...

And let us not forget his great starring role in "Mosquito."

The Sci-Fi Channel still shows it from time to time....

Anonymous said...

I work in Detroit, so it's helped a lot the last few days to hear stories of colleagues who knew him and the whole circle of Detroit-area musicians or remember his shows from their youth.

First time I saw the band, I was pretty young and just sat gape-mouthed. Iggy's antics were one thing, but the cyclone that came out of that guitar was quite another.

Sad sad loss in a city that's a little depressed as it is. We took the loss of Levi Stubbs hard around here, but Ron was way too young to check out like this.

steve simels said...

Not to downplay Asheton's accomplishments, but I've always felt that the secret genius of the Stooges was James Williamson, who's been pretty much written out of their history despite being the main guy behind "Raw Power."

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure, Steve (but, it is a little hazy ... heh) that, when I saw them at some club in Ann Arbor, Williamson wasn't yet Stooges in the band. He came in some time in the early 70s, right? His entry, though, you're right ... they became a little more, and I know it sounds odd, melodic. There were actual chords and a purpose to the songs.

They were all sound and show early on, assaultive and angry and crazy. Iggy couldn't have made that stick on stage without Asheton's wicked guitar.

I was never a huge fan at the time, not until later when they had more context. And I still love "Nazi Girlfriend" more than "Dog," so I'm not the best chronicler.

I revere them as part of a larger Detroit music scene that was amazing and not just for the bands everyone now remembers. We had SRC and The Rationals and Plain Brown Wrapper and god knows who else I can no longer remember. Lively nights, man.

Anonymous said...

I've always felt that Funhouse beat the crap out of Raw Power, politically incorrect as that is. And Iggy is on record as saying that Ron was the main force behind Funhouse. Regardless, Ron joins a too-large group of rock musicians dead before their in peace.

steve simels said...

As I said, I wasn't taking anything away from Asheton, who's death saddened me for the same reasons megisi expressed above.

I think I may have mentioned that my first wife was part of that whole Detroit music scene -- knew all those guys. Hung around with Scott Morgan from the Rationals, painted Bob Seger's psycehdelic van, did Brownsville Station's first DIY album cover. So I always felt like I knew all those people, even though I didn't.

In any case, I think James Williamson hasn't gotten his due.