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Ron Asheton, R.I.P.
January 6, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Ron Asheton, influential guitarist and bassist for The Stooges and Destroy All Monsters, has passed away at age 60.
posted by Dr-Baa (58 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ron Asheton had a hell of a badass guitar sound that nobody else ever seemed to be able to duplicate convincingly. He was especially great on that first Stooges album. The opening to "1969" is one of my favorite rock moments and that riff to "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is just incredible. My favorite thing about his playing is that he had power, but also restraint and played with the groove rather than trying to step over it. I would have loved to have heard him tackle the Raw Power songs like "Gimme Danger" and "Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell" rather than the more flamboyant James Williamson (although even when bumped down to bass he still managed to kick some serious ass). Way fucking bummed.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:21 AM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn. I totally missed them last year. I thought it would be sad seeing my favorite band all old and decrepit. Now I'm just sad I was such a prick.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2009


He was also in the only "supergroup" that ever rocked, New Race.
Been listening to Real Cool Time over and over today. Love that guitar work by Ron Asheton.
posted by NoMich at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


These are more than enough signs that we better go and see our old bands before everyone
else kicks the bucket. They ain't getting any younger. Strum on Ron.
posted by doctorschlock at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if he died of a broken heart.

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posted by Joe Beese at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2009


Also his sections of the Please Kill Me oral history are some of the funniest and most disturbing.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like walking through the mall while playing TV Eye. It's an interesting soundtrack to beautiful people dressed in their finest.
posted by zzazazz at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2009


oh man, and I just passed up a chance to see them live a couple months ago.

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posted by shmegegge at 11:32 AM on January 6, 2009


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posted by vibrotronica at 11:33 AM on January 6, 2009


I got to see the Stooges in 2007, and I'm glad I did.
How very sad.
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posted by readery at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2009


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posted by anagrama at 11:41 AM on January 6, 2009


Sad.

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posted by Sailormom at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2009


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posted by ardgedee at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2009


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posted by mandal at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2009


Damn!
posted by OmieWise at 11:48 AM on January 6, 2009


Here they are in '70 - it is just a year after Woodstock & the world is just not ready for Punk yet. Iggy tries crowdsurfing a few times, and the folks in the audience are all like, "Shouldn't you be up on stage?"

Narrator: "That's peanut butter!"
posted by squalor at 11:51 AM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by malocchio at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2009


I'm sorry to hear that, he was very influential and one of the greats. I pooh-poohed the idea of the Stooges' reunion but after seeing some of the videos I'm sorry I didn't get my creaky old self to one of the shows.

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I have vague memories of seeing Asheton with Destroy in All Monsters in the early 1980's. I seem to remember my friends and I being in our very obnoxious Iggy phase and yelling "Iggy!" and the lead singer (a girl?) told us we were at "the wrong fucking concert." I may have dreamed this or heard about it from someone else, but I think I did that. That whole period of my life is pretty foggy.
posted by marxchivist at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2009


Another year, another loss. The Stooges have given me a lot of joy.
posted by The Salaryman at 11:59 AM on January 6, 2009


Destroy in All Monsters

shit
posted by marxchivist at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2009


Thank you for getting me through high school.

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posted by Drainage! at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2009


Slack-a-gogo: Apparently the guitar sound on "Stooges" came from them turning big amps up all the way in the studio and the producer eventually being like ah fuck it lets just record the damn album and not try to make it sound like Steppenwolf.

HELLyeeaaaaah!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2009


Thank you for getting me through high school.
posted by Drainage!


Amen.
posted by marxchivist at 12:02 PM on January 6, 2009


Very sad. As a player, Asheton raised hamfistedness and ineptitude to a fucking art form, and I don't mean that in a backhanded way at all. It's just straight praise.
posted by anazgnos at 12:05 PM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


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Anyone who has ever held an electric guitar in their hands and played around with it for a few minutes has at some point played part of a Ron Asheton solo, whether they knew it or not.

*cranks "Little Doll", broods*

It's too bad The Weirdness was such a shitty record. It sure wasn't because of Ron's guitar playing, though.

Is it bad that one of my first thoughts was, "Oh no! How will this affect Mike Watt's earnings?"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:07 PM on January 6, 2009


I really can't see anything that John Cale produced would end up sounding like Steppenwolf.
posted by anagrama at 12:09 PM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aw damn. R.I.P.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 12:10 PM on January 6, 2009


RIP Ron Asheton. Real Cool Time had a great riff.

[ok let's not compare it to the pure energy of Williamson on Search & Destroy...]
posted by dydecker at 12:15 PM on January 6, 2009


Hell
posted by Max Power at 12:28 PM on January 6, 2009


That just sucks...

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posted by alphathefish at 1:21 PM on January 6, 2009


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posted by space2k at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2009


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posted by generalist at 2:55 PM on January 6, 2009


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posted by lumpenprole at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2009


Jack White is right: Fun House is the greatest rock and roll record ever, and if it wasn't for reading Lester Bangs' book Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (too many years ago) I wouldn't have known anything about it. The world's a better place because of both of them.
posted by belvidere at 3:26 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by cazoo at 3:34 PM on January 6, 2009


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posted by Bron at 3:55 PM on January 6, 2009


Speaking of Jack White, when the White Stripes played Charlotte about five years ago they played Fun House on the sound system before the band came out. They were cranking it, too. Very cool.
posted by zzazazz at 4:17 PM on January 6, 2009


The Stooges were such a huge part of my youth. And I recall seeing New Race back in 81. They were fucking brilliant. I don' want to say rest in peace, 'cause where he goes should be loud.
posted by mattoxic at 4:37 PM on January 6, 2009


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posted by lilboo at 6:11 PM on January 6, 2009


He will be missed.
posted by saul wright at 7:45 PM on January 6, 2009


Ron Asheton=Rock Action

QED

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posted by jonp72 at 7:49 PM on January 6, 2009


Fucking Hell.

The Sheer density of the guitar sound, with Iggy yowling over the top of it, couldn't possibly prepare you for the live assault...

...and Ron, just standing there, pushing you back with pure guitar power.
Rock on
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posted by djrock3k at 9:14 PM on January 6, 2009


I have vague memories of seeing Asheton with Destroy in All Monsters in the early 1980's. I seem to remember my friends and I being in our very obnoxious Iggy phase and yelling "Iggy!" and the lead singer (a girl?) told us we were at "the wrong fucking concert."

that was niagara and that sounds precisely in character for her - i saw destroy all monsters several times in the late 70s/early 80s and they were a kick ass band - these were gigs in the battle creek/kalamazoo area in rented lodge halls, which had quite a few local punk bands as well as them - the best part about it was that the bands often played on the same floor i was boogying on and i could actually stand 10 feet away from ron and watch what he was playing - as great as the stuff he played with the stooges was, i think he was pretty much at a personal peak at that time - faster, louder and just as gritty

i said, "kick ass" to niagara before their set and she said, "we'll kick your ass" - she was real friendly - not! - while ron was spitting out leads, the other guitarist, larry miller, would be sliding off to outer space with glissando guitar, ben would be cauterwailing away on sax. and mike davis from the mc5 would be attacking his bass while the drummer thrashed behind them - in front of them were a lot of young punks pogoing, dancing or slamming into each other as well as quite a few hippies, factory rats and bikers - there weren't enough people around for anyone to have an exclusive scene, we all had to share - in the midst of this, niagara, her face caked in enough white make up to choke a goth, would stand, in her torn wedding-like dress, with an utterly disdainful sneer at the band and all of us and screech such cheerful thoughts - "i was looking out the window and a witch flew by, whipping her broom and she said YOU'RE GONNA DIE!! YOU'RE GONNA DIE!! YOU'RE GONNA DIE, YOU'RE GONNA DIE, YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!"- and staring at random members of us as she screamed this at us - ron would spit out leads that plausibly just might be the death of us if we got close enough to the amp

crap they were good - but nowadays, people seem to want to talk about the early incarnation of them as a avant-garde art band

but why listen to me talk about it when you could listen to them? - bored is the other side of that single
posted by pyramid termite at 9:32 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by obloquy at 10:02 PM on January 6, 2009


How very sad.

Potomac Avenue had it right. I live close enough to Seattle to have travelled to see the Stooges at Bumbershoot a few years ago, but I didn't. I worried that I'd be seeing them "past their prime", or "that it would tarnish my image of them [as punk heroes]", etc. That was just stupid. They were, are, and will always be, legends. R.I.P., Ron.
posted by parkerama at 11:59 PM on January 6, 2009


A D A D A D A A "NO FUN..."

Fuck I love that riff.

Bye Ron.
posted by awfurby at 1:12 AM on January 7, 2009


RIP Rock Action. Fun House is still my point of reference for what rocks.

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posted by Rykey at 2:25 AM on January 7, 2009



posted by Smart Dalek at 3:30 AM on January 7, 2009


I think Rock Action is actually the nickname of Ron's brother, Scott. But it's easy to make that mistake.

Saw Ron play with J Mascis and Watt in Manchester back in 2001, dudes nearly blew out my eardrums!
posted by macdara at 4:32 AM on January 7, 2009


I'll never forget the sight of him standing in front of a huge stack of amps, feet wide apart, hunched over like a rugby prop forward blasting out Fun House. What a guy.

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posted by verisimilitude at 5:52 AM on January 7, 2009


What the hell happened to Iggy fucking Pop?

"I'll tell you about punk rock: punk rock is a word used by dillitante's and ah... and ah... heartless manipulators about music that takes up the energies and the bodies and the hearts and the souls and the time and the minds of young men who give what they have to it and give everything they have to it and it's a... it's a term that's based on contempt, it's a term that's based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism and everything that's rotten about rock'n'roll. I don't know Johnny Rotten but I'm sure... I'm sure he puts as much blood and sweat into what he does as Sigmund Freud did. You see, what sounds to you like a big load of trashy old noise is in fact the brilliant music of a genius, myself . And that music is so powerful that it's quite beyond my control and ah... when I'm in the grips of it I don't feel pleasure and I don't feel pain, either physically or emotionally. Do you understand what I'm talking about? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn't feel anything and you didn't want to either. You know? Like that? Do you understand what I'm saying sir?"

John Lydon is advertising butter. Iggy Pop is advertising car insurance. I know Iggy is probably concerned that people are mistaking him for Anthony Kiedis and all but taking the man's shilling? Sometimes I am glad Bill Hicks died young or I'd maybe have had to slump in disgust as I watched him finally bite the bullet and sell "Orange Drink".
posted by longbaugh at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


You don't remember MCI using 1969 for a TV commercial about 15 years ago?
posted by NoMich at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2009


The old get old and the young get stronger...
may take a week or it may take longer.
They got the guns but we got the numbers.
Gonna win, yeah, we're taking over.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:03 PM on January 7, 2009


You don't remember MCI using 1969 for a TV commercial about 15 years ago?

don't recall that one but nike's search and destroy ad for the 96 olympics was pretty good.
posted by generalist at 3:52 PM on January 7, 2009


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posted by 3.2.3 at 2:30 PM on January 8, 2009


Never got to see 'em with the Stooges (there was a power outage when I had tickets). I did get to see him play "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with Sonic Youth a couple years back, and that was phenomenal. They had everyone up there but Iggy. And I got to see him a couple times with Scott Morgan, who still kicks around Ann Arbor.

But yeah, sad.
posted by klangklangston at 10:24 PM on January 8, 2009


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/01/mike-watt-riffs.html
posted by anazgnos at 11:43 AM on January 9, 2009


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posted by ornate insect at 10:35 PM on January 10, 2009


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