Ann Arbor News reports that Stooges’ guitarist, Ron Asheton was found dead this morning in his Ann Arbor, Michigan home. He was 60 years old.
After not being able to contact Asheton for a few days, his personal assistant, Dara Hytinen, notified police late Monday night. When they visited his residence, police discovered his body on the living-room couch. He seemed to have been dead for a number of days, perhaps since New Years Eve or New Years Day. Though toxicology and autopsy reports are still pending, there are no indications that drugs or foul play were involved.
Asheton was one of the founding members of the Stooges. He and front man Iggy Pop started the band, alongside Asheton’s brother Scott and Dave Alexander, in the spring of 1967. Though they were never much of a commercial success in their day, Stooges’ albums such as Fun House and Raw Power are landmarks of that era. Asheton’s guitar and bass talents were vital to the band’s influence.
When the Stooges broke up in 1974, Asheton went on to perform with groups such as New Race and Destroy All Monsters. He later collaborated with artists ranging from J. Mascis to Mike Watt. The latter was asked to join the reunited Stooges for their 2007 alum, The Weirdness.
MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer told Billboard.com that Asheton was “unique amongst rock guitarists. He had his own take on what the electric guitar was all about. He was one of the guys that understood that you not only play the guitar but you play the amp, too. He was into the sound of the guitar — the sound was almost more important than the notes. He had a real visceral, raw expression.”
Asheton is survived by Scott and his sister, Kathy.