R.I.P. Ron Asheton of The Stooges

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City Paper managing editor Chris Haire just mentioned the sad news about rock guitarist Ron Asheton, an original member of the legendary and influential Ann Arbor, Michigan band The Stooges. According to news reports, Asheton was found dead today (Jan. 6) in his home in Ann Arbor. He was 60 years-old. According to a report in New Music Express, a cause of death is yet to be confirmed, although initial reports suggest that Asheton died of a heart attack and that foul play is not suspected. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.

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The bespectacled Asheton was a founding member of The Stooges, along with his brother, drummer Scott Asheton, bassist Dave Alexander, and lead singer Iggy Pop. His fuzzed-out chord progressions and riffs propelled such Stooges classics as “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “No Fun,” “1969,” “TV Eye,” and “Down On The Street.” The three essential Stooges albums include 1969’s The Stooges, 1970’s Fun House, and 1973’s Raw Power.

The Stooges played an official reunion show with Iggy in 2003, and recorded an album of new material in 2007 titled The Weirdness.

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A statement issued by Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, saxophonist Steve Mackay, bassist Mike Watt (who starting filling in on bass in 2000) and The Stooges’ management and crew reads: “We are shocked and shaken by the news of Ron’s death. He was a great friend, brother, musician, trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed. For all that knew him behind the façade of Mr. Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not. As a musician Ron was ‘The Guitar God,’ idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him.”

Iggy Pop added a further personal statement: “I am in shock. He was my best friend.”

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