Sometimes music happens that changes things. Influential music ebbs and
flows, there are peaks and valleys. There are a few that lead while
most follow. The Stooges was one of those leaders. It's hard to argue
the Stooges' place in rock history. And the man behind those
three-chord, punk rock riffs, Ron Asheton, was found dead in his Ann
home last week. A tribute to Asheton will be held on Jan. 17 at the
Music Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Detroit.
Will Iggy show up?
Three high school friends in Ann Arbor — Mr. Asheton; his drummer
brother, Scott; and the singer James Osterberg, who later changed his
name to Iggy Pop
— formed the nucleus of what was first called the Psychedelic Stooges.
Influenced by free jazz, garage rock and Chicago blues, the Stooges’
first two albums — “The Stooges” and “Fun House” — are the best
showcase of Mr. Asheton’s sound: two- or three-chord riffs with an
open, droning, low E string and solos filtered through distortion and
After the high point of “Fun House,” things
became more complicated. The bassist, Dave Alexander, was fired, and
the band was dropped by its label, Elektra. Iggy Pop, individually, was
signed by David Bowie’s
production company, MainMan. A new guitarist and songwriter, James
Williamson, joined the group. On “Raw Power,” the band’s final studio
album, Mr. Asheton was demoted to playing bass.
lasted from 1967 to 1974. Having progressed from a noisy, anarchic joke
to a great, confrontational rock band and back to a joke, the members
were broke and addicted to heroin, except for Mr. Asheton, who
increasingly took responsibility for holding the band together from day
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For more information on the tribute go here