Stooges-1970[Photo: Getty Images]
Stooges-1973[Photo: Getty Images]
Stooges-2009[Photo: Getty Images]
Stooges-2010[Photo: Getty Images]
Scott-Asheton-2010[Photo: Getty Images] Scott Asheton, drummer for pioneering proto-punk hard rock band The Stooges, died Saturday, March 15th from a heart attack at the age of 64. “My dear friend Scott Asheton passed away last night” said Stooges singer and solo artist Iggy Pop on a post on Iggy & The Stooges Facebook page late Sunday. “Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton,” he continued, “He was like my brother.” His death follows that of his brother, founding Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, in 2009.
The Asheton brothers grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and formed The Psychedelic Stooges with Iggy Pop and bassist Dave Alexander in 1967. Scott’s hard-hitting drum style and badass demeanor earned him the nickname “Rock Action.” Shortening their name to The Stooges for their first two albums, their unbridled aggression and Pop’s confrontational stage act flew in the face of the prevailing peace and love sentiment of late ’60s hippy era rock. After a short break-up and reconfiguration, Ron Asheton moving to bass to make room for equally assaultive guitarist James Williamson, the band became known as Iggy & The Stooges for 1973’s Raw Power, which was a major influence on the gestational punk rock movement. After The Stooges final break-up due to commercial failure and drug burnout, Asheton returned to Michigan and played in Sonic’s Rendervouz Band, led by former MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith.
The Stooges legend grew through the years while the Asheton brothers lived in relative obscurity in Ann Arbor. Iggy Pop reconvened the original Stooges lineup in 2003 with indie journeyman bassist Mike Watt of Minutemen fame taking Dave Alexander’s place for a series of well-received tours and the 2007 album The Weirdness. Following Ron Asheton’s death in 2009 and the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2010, Williamson made his return and the band continued being a big concert draw and released the album Ready to Die last year. While the band was not a commercial success during it’s lifetime, The Stooges influence can still be heard today in all punk, hardcore and heavy metal that came in its wake, powered at all times by the muscular but concise drumming of Scott Asheton. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his daughter, Leanna Asheton; stepsons, Simon and Aaron Wallis; and his sister, Kathleen Asheton.