My Facebook feed has just informed me that Stooges drummer Scott Asheton has passed away, following his brother Ron, the guitarist (and erstwhile bassist) in the band, who left us five years ago. A sad thing, since in the history of rock and roll, there is no band that has ever rocked harder, or made such beautiful noise together.
The Stooges were never appreciated in the time they were originally together, but there was no band wilder. Their debut, and their sophomore effort Funhouse, are pioneering works. And while I’m a fan of both albums, the real genius of Scott Asheton and his pile-driving drumming style is most readily apparent on the second incarnation of the band, when James Williamson took over the guitar and Ron moved on to bass. The drum attack on the Raw Power album is utterly relentless. He makes opener Search and Destroy sound like the napalm attack hinted at by singer Iggy Pop’s lyrics.
Formed in the late ’60s, the Stooges crashed and burned violently in 1974, but in the meantime, Scott, with his brother Ron, Williamson and the irrepressible Iggy Pop had created punk music. It was a privilege to see “Rock Action” as he was known, back in action in the last decade as the Stooges reformed and, on one famous occasion, played the Big Day Out festival in Auckland. And now so sad to hear he is no longer with us.
Memory eternal, Scott Asheton. May God grant you repose on your Death Trip!