Ron Asheton: 1948-2009

Ron Asheton, Guitarist for The Stooges, has died

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(photo credit: RealLowVibe)

Ron Asheton is a Stooge. To some folks, that means one of the famous movie slapstick comedians. To others, it might just be a word they call an acquaintance they’re not really sure about. Still others might use the term as another way to describe a certain type of criminal. In some ways, I think Ron was a little bit of all of these in his own way, but he was something more, a Stooge of the best kind. Along with his brother Scott, as well as Dave Alexander and James Osterberg, he formed the ultimate form of Stooge, as the founding guitarist (and later bass player) for the best rock band to ever take the stage and provoke an audience: The Stooges.

The Stooges are, and have been for so many years, a piece of me, making me better than I am for just hearing them. That scuzzy, regal and gorgeous guitar riff that opens “I Wanna Be Your Dog”? That’s Ron. That riff, that has shaken countless musicians-in-the-making off their asses and demanded that they pick up their own guitars and try to do as well, with so very few even getting close, is so fiery vital that particles of it fly off to physically enter your bloodstream and become part of you after you’ve heard it even once.

That riff is audible in my mind every single day, but today, it’s louder than anything else in the world. Which, I suppose, is exact how Ron would want it. It shouldn’t be any other way.

So long, sweet dum dum boy — your numbers are growing far too thin.

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