"hey, I don't really give a damn what you think of my playing, 'cuz it feels good and it sounds alright to me, baby."


Staten Islander Tom Wright remembers

Ron Asheton of the Stooges

by Ben Johnson/Staten Island AWE

gentilmente tratto da www.SILive.com

Friday January 09, 2009, 12:26 PM

The Advance's Tom Wright mugs with Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton after a show in 2002 by the Detroit supergroup-of-sorts, Powertrane, which features two longtime veterans of the Detroit music scene, Scott Morgan (lead singer with the Rationals and Fred "Sonic" Smith's sidekick in Sonic's Rendezvous Band) and Robert Gillespie (lead guitarist with Rob Tyner's post-MC5 solo group and Mitch Ryder sideman along). This particular show featured special special guests, Deniz Tek, guitarist from Radio Birdman and Ron Asheton at Brooklyn's Warsaw.



Tom Wright, a designer at the Advance and a sometimes music critic, offered up this eulogy for recently deceased Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton

Remembering Ron

To look at -- or better yet, to have met -- Ron Asheton, makes it hard to believe that this teddy-bear of a guy could punch out some of most ferociously wild and influential guitar playing in rock 'n' roll.

Friendly and gentle, and utterly without airs, Ron was patient enough to answer any question, sign autographs and pose for pictures. While many tend to shine the light on Iggy Pop's riveting antics and nihilistic-to-humorous lyrics, the Stooges -- of which Ron was one -- were absolutely the sum of its parts.

Ron's riffs and fuzz-wah-laden leads, were the foundation of the band's first two all-time classic albums ("The Stooges" and "Fun House"). Trying to imagine punk, grunge or almost any sub-genre of indie rock without the template and inspiration Asheton provided is unthinkable.

As the MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer sheepishly confessed, while his bandmates made fun of Ron's more primitive style, they acknowledged his raw spirit; a deep emotional well that overrode his lack of polish.

After the band's bassist, Dave Alexander departed, and the ravages of substance abuse, egos (primarily Iggy's) and poor sales took their toll, Ron was demoted to the band's bass player. New guitarist James Willamson (admittedly, a great player and asset to the band) conspired with Pop to become the Jagger and Richards of their genre.

The band disintegrated in the early '70s, leaving Asheton to soldier on as best he could. He dabbled in low-budget horror flicks and numerous other notable groups, such as New Order (not the more famous UK band) , Destroy All Monsters, Dark Carnival, New Race and the Wylde Ratttz, a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis and Mike Watt.

Though Iggy expressed a desire to reunite with The Stooges sometime in the late '90s, it wasn't until 2003 that Pop made good on his promise and the reunion that few expected would ever happen, did.

The combination of Ron dying alone a few days ago at age 60 and the loss of a truly great original is beyond sad. Just as depressing, his death also likely signals the end of The Stooges.

But rather than wallow, let's celebrate the fact that Asheton was able to rise to prominence once again for a few good fruitful years with his bandmates. I'm sure he would.

And despite some less-than favorable reviews that the 2007 reunion album, "The Weirdness," received, give it another listen in five years. Then come back and tell me that it doesn't stand up better than a lot of our current, whine-soaked indie-rock.


Torna al Centro