In the words of his Stooges bandmate Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton ‘left a huge legacy to the world’. The 64 year old drummer of the influential early punk band died on Saturday (March 15, 2014) leaving the music world in mourning. As stars line up to pay their respects we remember The Stooges drummer and the music he left behind.
Scott Asheton (in baseball cap), alongside Iggy Pop at The Stooges Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
'Scott Asheton passed away. Stooges albums on full’, the words tweeted by Black Flag’s Henry Rollins after learning of the death of Scott Asheton. Like Rollins, many fans and famous admirers have taken to twitter to express their feelings on not only the drummer but what the music of The Stooges meant to them. The band have taken on legendary status since their formation in 1967 when Asheton, his brother Ron, Dave Alexander and the then James Osterberg, better known as Iggy Pop came together to change rock and roll.
The band played their first concert in their home state of Michigan in Halloween 1967 then as the ‘Psychedelic Stooges’. The band would quickly gain recognition for their high energy, live performances and particularly Pop’s onstage antics which saw him push boundaries of taste and artistic expression, all in the name of rock and roll.
Indeed one of Iggy’s early stage antics included stage diving, of which he is sometimes credited as the inventor. The band released their self titled debut in 1969 and it has since gone on to become one of punk's early blueprint albums. Though it didn’t chart well at the time it became very well remembered, particularly for the single ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. Their second album ‘Fun House’ further widened the band's cult following and was even better received by the critics at the time. Of course retrospectively it would, like the predecessor, go on to be held up as an early punk classic. Still commercial success eluded the band and the failure led to tensions forming due also in part to their excessive rock and roll lifestyle and to Iggy’s attempted move into the solo world. Still they came together for a recording session in London in 1971, which led to their third and perhaps greatest album ‘Raw Power’. The record gave them the most critical acclaim they had received so far in their career but sales were still weak and the band eventually broke up in 1974, leaving a short but vital legacy to punk rock.
Raw Power still: Iggy Pop onstage in July 2013
Post Stooges, Asheton continued playing in bands. He frequently played with Scott Morgan in his projects Sonic's Rendezvous Band and Scott's Pirates. He also joined a later incarnation of fellow Michigan punk pioneers Destroy All Monsters. During the time The Stooges spent apart in the 80s and 90s their reputation only grew as the current crop of musicians starting citing them as influences.
Next page: which Stooges album was Kurt Cobain's favorite record ever?