Ron Asheton, guitarist and founding member of the Stooges, was reportedly found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan this morning. He was 60. Official cause of death has not yet been announced but initial indications suggest Asheton had a heart attack. Police entered Asheton’s home and discovered his body on a couch after his personal assistant was unable to reach the rocker for days. Detective Bill Stanford told Michigan Live it appeared Asheton passed away several days ago.
As the guitarist for the Stooges, Asheton crafted some of rock’s most memorable riffs, including “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “No Fun” and “TV Eye.” Guitarist Asheton, along with his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and original bassist Dave Alexander formed the Stooges in Detroit in 1967. The original lineup released two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, before Ron Asheton shifted over to bass guitar for 1973’s Raw Power. All three LPs made Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ranking at Number 185, 191 and 125 respectively. Asheton was also Number 29 on Rolling Stone‘s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
After the Stooges initially split, Asheton went on to play with the New Order (not the U.K. one), Destroy All Monsters, New Race and the Wylde Ratttz, a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Mike Watt, who would eventually become Asheton’s bandmate when the Stooges reunited in 2003. For the band’s comeback album, 2007’s The Weirdness, Asheton was once again in his rightful place onstage as the Stooges’ guitarist as Watt picked up bass duties. Last year the Stooges played as Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; this year, the band was nominated for their own induction. Check back later in the day for more on Asheton’s death and his immeasurable impact on rock music.
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