Yesterday morning the body of guitarist, Ron Asheton (age 60), was found dead in his Ann Arbor, Michigan home. The cause of death is thought to be a heart attack (though an autopsy is being conducted).
Asheton was a founding member of The Stooges, a band that always gets name dropped when talking about the foundation of punk rock music. The Stooges broke up in 1974, and a year later thier founding bassist, Dave Alexander, died of pulmunary edema (respiratory failure).
The Stooges reunited in 2003 with Mike Watt (whose band The Minutemen also gets name dropped quite often in punk rock circles) taking over on bass. The band released a brand new album a few years later, The Wierdness.
The Stooges reunion afforded many younger punk rock fans (who weren’t around in the band’s heyday–myself included) the chance to see them live.
Frontman of The Stooges, Iggy Pop, posted the following on the band’s website:
Ronald Frank Asheton July 17, 1948 – January 6, 2009
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, Scott, Steve, Mike and Crew
I am in shock. He was my best friend.