please join me in a moment of noise for ron asheton

Legendary Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead in his Ann Arbor home this morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 60, and, by all accounts, a good man. So here, in honor of the first punk rock guitar player, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of noise.

I am in shock. He was my best friend.– Iggy Pop

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42 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Iggy Pop meanwhile is selling car insurance… not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  2. Dan R.
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Raw power, man.

    His pretty face is going to hell…in a good way.

  3. mark
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I just found a good description of Ron online… This comes from nthposition.

    …Ron Ashton is a fat, ugly man with carefully coiffured hair and tinted glasses. He looks like a Vietnam vet from Ohio who’s worked as bus boy in a scrap-yard for the last three decades. Ron Ashton plays a Telecaster with a whammy bar. He plays it like an M16, from the hip and with little precision…

  4. Posted January 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Asheton sucked. Actually, his whole set of people sucked. If anyone has heard the Dark Carnival records, they can attest to his suck-ness. Iggy was right to fire him.

  5. mark
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, Iggy also re-hired him.

    There was a great quote from Iggy back in the day. I think he said that the Ashton brothers, “couldn’t build a birdhouse” without him.

    Since then, however, I’ve heard him say lots of good stuff about Ron’s playing.

    Regardless, I liked his stuff with the Stooges… Not everyone can play like Eddie Van Halen, and that’s a good thing.

  6. Posted January 7, 2009 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Ron sucked, especially if you are into Toto.

    His lack of need to impress hippies with technical chops freed him up to write riffs that spawn punk, hardcore, metal, glam and noise movements to this day.

    He couldn’t have done it without Iggy, but Iggy couldn’t have done much without Ron (or Bowie).

  7. Posted January 7, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t referring to his guitar playing. He was a great guitar player for a short stint in the early 70’s. Awesome, I would say.

    I was referring to my experiences of him as a person. The dude sucked.

  8. Crenshaw
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Dude, when you first said he sucked, you suggested that we listen to Dark Carnival if we didn’t believe you. Then, after a few folks say they like his playing, you back down and say it wasn’t his playing at all that you disliked, but him as a person. It’s possible that he was a dick [I didn’t know the man], but I KNOW that you are. The guy is dead for chissakes, let him him rest in peace.

  9. Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I never claimed not be a dick and you are correct, it is rude to speak ill of the dead.

    However, after listening to the Dark Carnival records it is very easy to conclude that the leftovers from Michigan’s music heyday completely sucked on any level.

    Coop = awesome
    Iggy = awesome
    Grand Funk = mostly awesome
    Bob Seger = one record awesome
    MC5 = one song awesome

    All that other shit = sucked

  10. Posted January 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    What???

    Dude, I don’t have time at the moment to lay down my argument, but you’re way off in your “suck” assessment. But I’d be interested to hear you elaborate. Like, what do mean “leftovers from Michigan’s music heyday” and “all that other shit”?

    Not angry at you by the way, just enjoy the debate :)

  11. Posted January 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    And how did you know Ron?

  12. Posted January 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine just posted the following on Facebook after I mentioned how rough this has to be on Ron’s sister (especially the alleged douchebaggery):

    “Maybe folks can have a benefit in town to help them out?

    We have benefits all the time here in SF, and it’s awesome how the creative community comes together to help & honor folks, just about near all the time when needed. Love is a much better compliment to sadness, than douchebaggery.”

    So this begs the question: who is paying for the security of the house and any ongoing bills while this is all being sorted out? Can his sister pay for it all? Did Scott and/or Iggy step up and take care of it? I was just thinking if the family needs anything how would any of the rest of us who really care (“Dude excluded) be able to help?

  13. Posted January 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Whoa. They updated the article.

    http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2009/01/ron_ashetons_family_hire_priv.html

  14. Posted January 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Well, if he’s got a “personal assistant”, I can’t imagine he’s going to need any benefit shows any time soon. Keep your cash.

    Mr. Cousin, when I talk about “Michigan Musical Leftovers”, I am more referring to the whole group that centered around Asheton-era Destroy All Monsters. Those people were miserable. Michigan has done some great things musically, but that group of folks was (and still is) lamer than lame.

    I met Asheton a couple of times in the late 80’s when I was hanging out with junkies.

  15. Posted January 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Ah! Cool, dude! Good stuff…

  16. Posted January 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Gonna have to defend the Dude. Asheton probably wouldn’t appreciate a candy-coating of his story. He was nothing but nice to me and my friends when he didn’t have to be, but his bad days are well documented.

    His middling assessment of local “legendary” musicians is subjective. I’d like to hear Niagra stories, but I’d fall asleep.

  17. Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that Asheton improved with age in the same way Johnny Ramone did.

    How can you argue with this? Is this not truth? Far from subjective.

    “Coop = awesome
    Iggy = awesome
    Grand Funk = mostly awesome
    Bob Seger = one record awesome
    MC5 = one song awesome

    All that other shit = sucked”

  18. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bulk of the music that churned our engorged proms and protests, strictly speaking, sucked. Although, at the time, it rocked.

    Thirty year hindsight hardly seems insightful. Dude.

    I’ll go on record: the soundtrack for Pretty in Pink is completely lame and original cotton gin totally sucked!

  19. Brackache
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, I think “Bust a Move” still holds up.

  20. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Holds up like Cotton Jenny.

    Rubs my feet while the sun goes down and wheel of love goes round.

  21. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Cotton Jenny.

  22. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Holds up like Cotton Jenny.

  23. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Oh, it holds.

  24. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    And holds

  25. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    holds and hangs

  26. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Holds, tight, worldwide.

  27. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    round the world, it holds.

  28. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    age to age

  29. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    to age (minute 2:26).

  30. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    And the wheels keep going round and round and round.

  31. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Dude!

  32. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    music is more than sucking.

  33. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Goodnight.

  34. Posted January 8, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Impressive.

    Takes a lot of balls to hold off the tamborine for 2 minutes and 20 seconds into the song.

  35. Sonic Reducer
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    EVERYBODY NOW!

    Theres a house on a hill
    By a worn down weathered old mill
    In the valley below where the river winds
    Theres no such thing as bad times
    And a soft southern flame
    Oh cotton jennys her name
    She wakes me up when the sun goes down
    And the wheels of love go round
    Wheels of love go round
    Love go round, love go round
    A joyful sound
    I aint got a penny for cotton jenny to spend
    But then the wheels go round

    When the new day begins
    I go down to the cotton gin
    And I make my time worth while to them
    Then I climb back up again
    And she waits by the door
    Oh cotton jenny Im sore
    And she rubs my feet while the sun goes down
    And the wheels of love go round

    Wheels of love go round
    Love go round, love go round
    A joyful sound
    I aint got a penny for cotton jenny to spend
    But then the wheels go round

    In the hot, sickly south
    When they say well shut my mouth
    I can never be free from the cotton grind
    But I know I got whats mine
    Shes a soft southern flame
    Oh cotton jennys her name
    She wakes me up when the sun goes down
    And the wheels of love go round

    Wheels of love go round
    Love go round, love go round
    A joyful sound
    I aint got a penny for cotton jenny to spend
    But then the wheels go round

  36. Posted January 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I remember going to the Blind Pig in the late 80’s to see the Screaming Trees. It would be Barry Hensler, Ron, me, and about ten other people. Ron was always very nice guy when I talked to him. I thought it was great that he paid attention to small bands like the Screaming Trees.

    Let me know when “dude” dies so I can go to his funeral and tell everyone what a dick he was.

  37. Posted January 8, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    You won’t be the only one, I hope.

  38. Posted January 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bulk of the music that churned our engorged proms and protests, strictly speaking, sucked. Although, at the time, it rocked.

    Thirty year hindsight hardly seems insightful. Dude. “

    The Stooges weren’t playing at my prom. If they were, I would have gone. Actually, if anything on this list were playing at my prom, I would have gone. I’d kill to go to a prom where Grand Funk Live was playing.

    However, thinking about it, I feel bad for Ron and a lot of other musicians. It sucks when your crowning achievement in life happens when you are 20. You spend the rest of your life having people expect to see you as a 20 year old and having people compare everything you do to something you did when you were a kid.

    Kind of like Greece. It must suck knowing that the apex of your culture was 3000 years ago.

    I realize it’s rude to speak ill of the dead. For that, I’m sorry to Ron. However, I hope that when I die, I don’t become a saint overnight. The good in people should be remembered along with the bad. That’s what makes us individuals and not saints.

  39. mark
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    There are probably lots of folks in the area who still remember Ron dressing up like a Nazi. And, I think I read in an interview with him once that, when he was in his 20’s, he was having sex with a 14 year old – a friend of Iggy’s 13 year old girlfriend, Betsy. (He says he dumped her because he got scared of being arrested. Iggy didn’t stop, and apparently never got in trouble for it.) So, yeah, he wasn’t a saint when he was young. I saw him around town, and playing with Dark Carnival back in the day, but, unlike some of my friends, I never talked to him. Of all the people I know, though, I don’t know one person that says they had a problem with him. From what it sounds, he was a pretty decent guy. I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think I’ve ever even heard that he talked ill of Iggy, even though Iggy said shit about him in the press.

  40. Posted January 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Dude, I still enjoyed your comments. Yours too OEC. That’s what my dad says, you gotta take the good with the bad. And I can agree that Grand Funk fucking rocks. This thread was a nice moment of noise for Ron Asheton. Cheers all around.

  41. Posted January 10, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Condolences to the family left behind.

  42. mark
    Posted January 13, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m listening to Iggy Popp getting interviewed about Ron Asheton on the Detroit Classic Rock station right now. If you click that link, you can hear it too.

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