5 Notable Stooges Songs in Honor of Drummer Scott Asheton

March 15, 2024, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of founding Stooges drummer Scott Asheton, who passed away from a heart attack at age 64. Asheton’s drumming was the primal and primitive heartbeat of the Iggy Pop-fronted Detroit rockers, who were a huge influence on generations of ensuing punk, hard-rock, and alternative rock acts.

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Besides Iggy Pop, Asheton was the only Stooges member to play on all five of the band’s studio albums—The Stooges (1969), Fun House (1970), Raw Power (1973), The Weirdness (2007), and Ready to Die (2013).

[RELATED: Iggy Pop Reveals His Favorite Raw Power Track]

Asheton was credited with co-writing all of the songs on the Stooges’ first two studio albums, as well as on the band’s reunion album, The Weirdness. He also co-wrote four songs that the reunited Stooges contributed to Pop’s 2003 solo album, Skull Ring, as well as “The Departed,” the last track on Ready to Die, The Stooges’ fifth and final studio album.

Here’s a look at five noteworthy Stooges songs featuring the driving beat-keeping of Asheton:

“I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969)

Perhaps The Stooges’ best-known song, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a hypnotic proto-punk classic driven by Asheton’s simple drumming, and highlighted by Pop’s whining, pleading vocals, Ron Asheton’s fuzz-guitar solo, and producer John Cale’s percussive piano.

“I Wanna Be Your Dog” was ranked No. 314 on Rolling Stone’s 2021 list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

“1969” (1969)

“1969 is a paean to being young and bored in America at the end of the 1960s. The tune features Scott Asheton pounding out a Bo Diddley, while Pop works himself into tizzy about having “another year with nothing to do.” Ron Asheton adds a sludgy, wah-wah and distortion-filled solo to the mix.

“T.V. Eye” (1970)

“T.V. Eye” is heavy, ominous-sounding tune apparently written from the perspective of a guy who notices a woman is staring at him with lascivious intentions. Scott Asheton’s straightforward drumming and Ron Asheton’s hypnotic repeating riff drive the tune as a reverb-drenched Pop growls and yells.

After the release of Fun House, The Stooges underwent a number of lineup changes, and most of the band members were struggling with drug addiction issues at this time. The group broke up in 1971.

“Search and Destroy” (1973)

The Stooges re-formed in 1972, with Ron Asheton switching from guitar to bass, and James Williamson, who joined the band as second guitarist in 1970, returning as the group’s sole lead guitarist. The Stooges’ sole studio album featuring this lineup was Raw Power, which was co-produced by Pop and David Bowie.

All the songs on Raw Power were co-written by Pop and Williamson. “Search and Destroy” was the album’s lead track, and is considered one of The Stooges’ all-time great tracks.

Scott Asheton plays with a fervor as he seems to be channeling The Who’s Keith Moon. Williamson’s muscular power chords and piercing riffs seem to offer a direct link from glam rock to heavy metal to punk. Pop sneers and yelps angst-y lyrics filled with aggressive war-themed imagery.

Over the years, “Search and Destroy” has been covered by a variety of bands, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Ministry, and Florence and the Machine.

“Gimme Danger” (1973)

Another highlight from Raw Power, “Gimme Danger” begins with Pop crooning an ominous melody, with a picked acoustic guitar accompaniment from Williamson. Scott Asheton moves the track along with a groovy, shuffling beat.

As the song proceeds, Williamson adds heaving electric guitar riffing.

About The Stooges’ Reunion Years

The Stooges broke up for a second time in 1974. The band reunited in 2003 with original members Pop and the Asheton brothers joined by former Minutemen and Firehose bassist Mike Watt. This lineup recorded The Weirdness.

Ron Asheton died in 2009. Williamson then rejoined The Stooges, just in time to perform with the band when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. With Williamson, The Stooges recorded what would be their final album, Ready to Die.

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