ROCK OF AGES///THE STOOGES’ RON ASHETON R.I.P.
It may only be January 6th but 2009 has already claimed its first casualty of rock royalty. This morning the body of Supertouch friend and heretofore living legend of punk guitar RON ASHETON of Detroit supergroup, THE STOOGES was discovered in his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Suspected of dying several days ago of unknown causes, the 60-year-old was found by local police after a personal friend reported an inability to reach Ronnie for several days. Ironically, Asheton died in the same home where the first rehearsal with Iggy Pop and fellow Stooges Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander took place in 1967. His phone number was, until this day, the very same that a teenaged, trailer park-bound Jim “Iggy” Osterberg would call to arrange rehearsal times during the summer of love. Having effectively pioneered what would become the template for true punk rock guitar on the Stooges gorgeously ugly and iconoclastic debut “The Stooges” in 1969, Asheton went on to perfect the sound on the band’s subsequent masterpiece “Fun House” in 1970, an LP that remains one of rock’s high water marks to this day. At a time when the rest of Pop Culture was coming to grips with the imminent demise of an imaginary hippie wonderland, one only needed to listen to Asheton’s opening snarl on the album’s first track “Down on the Street,” to know that all was not well with the kids in Detroit. The deep, impenetrable groove he would instill in songs like “TV Eye” was unlike anything heard in the genre before or after. The living archivist of the band, Asheton was always able to recall in minute detail the incredible tales of the band’s early years living in the Fun House and out loud across the USA with seemingly photographic precision. Late nite storytelling sessions at his home will remain indelible memories of ours, as his recollections of The Stooges’ riotous first gigs at the Grande Ballroom or late nites with Led Zeppelin in the Sunset “Riot House” assured us we were indeed living in a post-Rock era never to be seen again. It is with a heavy heart that we say our last goodbyes to the man with the machine gun hand, and we can only hope he’s laid to rest in the amber aviator shooting glasses he never, ever, took off. RIP…
“You take a little of the truth from everyone and mix it with a little bit of your blood and it comes out with your music.” —Ron Asheton
LIVE LIKE A SUICIDE, CINCINNATI POP FESTIVAL 1970:
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