asheton stooges

The Stooges founding member and drummer Scott Asheton succumbed to an unspecified illness over the weekend, on March 15, according to a statement made by Iggy Pop on his website.

Arriving in Ann Arbor, Michigan in his teens, Scott had already begun playing and performing with his guitarist brother Ron before the arrival of Iggy Pop, who galvanized their group into the hugely influential musical force it was to become. Scott would provide the powerhouse proto-punk tribal rhythms for the classic albums The Stooges (1969), Fun House (1970) and Raw Power (1973), all of which failed to find a mass audience upon release but, like The Velvet Underground (who certainly immediately saw The Stooges’ worth, with John Cale producing their inaugural album), these Stooges albums were destined to be primal influences on successive generations of musicians such as the late ‘70s punk revolution and the grunge wave about a decade later.

After a long period in hiatus from Pop, Scott and brother Ron rejoined their fearless leader (along with former Minuteman Mike Watt on bass) for shows and new recordings from 2003. Ron Asheton died of a heart attack in 2009. Scott Asheton’s final recordings with Iggy and the Stooges were on the now-prophetic Ready To Die album last year.

At FilmOn we’re fortunate enough to have two VOD concert documents on which to see Scott at work. The first, Iggy and the Stooges: Live In Detroit, is a concert film by Tim Pope about their homecoming concert (after 29 years) in the crucible of their legend. Scott is in top form as he spars with brother Ron on guitar, Watt on bass and long-time sax accompanist Steve Mackay, egging Iggy on to manic heights as they tour and writhe through their essential discography (songs like ‘T.V. Eye’, which was paid homage to that same year by Jack Black in School of Rock).

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The second, Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power: LiveIn the Hands of Fans, captures the band’s performance of their 1973 landmark album at the 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in Monticello, NY. Here James Williamson, who played guitar on the original album, steps in for the deceased Ron while Watt remains on bass. The film is shot somewhat along the lines of The Beastie Boys’ Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! (2006), with various fan cameras in the audience contributing to the footage of the incendiary performance with attendant stage invasions. Not to be missed, though unfortunately Scott Asheton will be.

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