Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2010
July 17, 1948 – January 1 (?), 2009
Ron Asheton was most famously the lead guitarist for Detroit rock band the Stooges, a garage band lead by the wildly charismatic Iggy Pop. With the Stooges, Asheton was considered by many as ground zero for what would become known as punk rock some ten years later. Born in Washington DC, Asheton began playing the guitar at just ten years of age, perhaps tired of the accordion, which he had been playing since he was five. By the time he turned eighteen, he was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan playing alongside his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and David Alexander in the Stooges. The band quickly established themselves as a must-see act in and around the Detroit area for their aggressive playing and Pop’s shocking stage antics. It must be noted that this was still the ‘60s, a time when such blistering noise and in-your-face singing was difficult for many a Woodstock generation to swallow. But they persevered and soon landed on Elektra Records who released their brilliant self-titled debut in 1969. It was Asheton’s fuzzy guitars that helped define a sound that was the blueprint for the likes of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Ramones and roughly a million more. By the mid ‘70s, the Stooges had disbanded after three brilliant yet commercially dismal albums. Asheton and his brother continued to play, both together and in support of other acts for the next several years. In 2003, Rolling Stone placed Asheton at number 29 in their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. And to the delight of fans old and new, the Stooges reunited to tour in 2003 and later released The Wierdness, their first album in some 30 years. On January 6, 2008, Asheton’s assistant called the police after not being able to reach him for a few days. According to the Ann Arbor News, officers entered Asheton’s home at around midnight and discovered his body on a living room couch, apparently dead for several days. They did not suspect foul play. Later reports indicate that Asheton died of an apparent heart attack on either December 31 or January 1.
Thanks to Fred Jasper for the help
What You Should Own
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