Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scott Asheton dead at 64

Scott Asheton
August 16,  1949 - March 15, 2014



Scott Asheton, original member and drummer for proto punk band the Stooges, died Saturday from unknown causes. Asheton was 64 years old. 

Asheton was one fourth of the original line-up for the Stooges, a rock band coming out of Michigan. With Asheton was his brother and guitarist Ron, singer Iggy Pop, and bassist Dave Alexander. The band were signed to Elektra Records in 1968 along with fellow Michigan-ers the MC5. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1969. After the 1970 follow-up Funhouse, the band were dropped from Elektra due to their drug and alcohol addictions. The band stayed quiet until 1972 when David Bowie came to the rescue. Although the original plan was to form a new band for Iggy, the Stooges ended up getting back together sans Alexander, who had been fired a few years earlier. The Asheton bothers regrouped with Iggy but Ron Asheton was "demoted" to bassist since Iggy already had new guitarist James Williamson. Bowie would help produce the highly influential Raw Power, which was released in 1973. The band split a year later. 

Asheton was involved in various other projects after the Stooges' split. For a period of time, he was a member of the supergroup Sonic's Rendezvous Band- formed by former MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. The Stooges would reunite in 2003 with Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers intact. The band made a reunion album. That album, 2007's The Weirdness, was met with mixed reviews. Still, the band continued to perform. In January 2009, Ron Asheton suddenly passed away from a heart attack. The band recruited Williamson to replace him in 2010. In June 2011, Asheton suffered from a severe medical injury while on a flight to a Stooges gig. Later that year, Pop told Rolling Stone that Asheton almost died right then and there.  While Asheton did temporarily retire from touring, he did play on last year's Ready to Die.

I'm very sad to hear about Scott's passing. It isn't too surprising, given that both Iggy and James have hinted that Scott's health wasn't the best. Earlier this year, it was announced that James will be taking old Stooges songs and make an album out of them- with a different lead singer on each track. I'm sure Scott's passing will have no impact to the making of this album. As for the Stooges, I think the name should be laid to rest with Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton, and now Scott. With Scott's death, Iggy is now the sole surviving member of the original line-up of the Stooges. I wouldn't be surprised if the Stooges name wasn't used again but then again, I wouldn't be surprised if the name was still used. 

Meanwhile- Rest in peace, Scott. Say hello to Dave and Ron for us. 


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