Drummer Scott Asheton, a founding member of the pioneering punk band The Stooges died on Saturday at the age of 64 following an unspecified illness.
Scott Asheton and his brother, guitarist Ron Asheton, were a couple of bad boys roaming around Southeastern Michigan in the late 1960s when they met the ultimate musical partner in crime, Iggy Pop. They began playing with bassist Dave Alexander as The Stooges – experimental sounds that broke down the rules of rock ‘n’ roll nearly a decade before punk bands like the Sex Pistols made punk a threat to good households everywhere.
“Where we were coming from was so out there for the rock world at the time,” Iggy Pop told NPR last year. “Before we were making records, we were making a big avant-garde mess around the Detroit area. We would show up with some oilcans and vacuum cleaners and beaters, and also electric rock instruments, and we would play a kind of trance music. It sounded a lot like the folk music from the desert areas of North Africa.”
The Stooges released three classic albums: The Stooges, Funhouse and Raw Power, between 1969 and 1973, then broke up. Though the band never sold many albums during its initial run, it influenced countless followers. Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers reunited in 2003 and released another album, The Weirdness, in 2005, but Ron Asheton died of a heart attack in 2009. Last year, the group released Ready To Die, an album with songs that Pop described as “about the transition from careless youth to wary older age.”
In a statement he released on his Facebook page, Iggy Pop wrote:
“Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton. He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Ashetons have always been and continue to be a second family to me.
My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.”