Wednesday, 7 January 2009

RIP: Ron Asheton 1949-2008

Ron Asheton, guitarist and co-songwriter with Iggy Pop in the proto-punk band The Stooges, has died at the age of 60.

The Stooges were a major influence to the punk movement of the late 70s. The original line-up released 3 albums in the late 60s and early 70s, all now considered classics: The Stooges (1969), Fun house (1970) and Raw power (1973). They recently re-formed, releasing The weirdness in 2007 to mostly negative reviews.

I personally own Fun house and Raw power, but the self-titled debut is on my list of CDs to purchase.

Fun house is a fantastic album which didn't do a lot for me on initial listens, but eventually grew on me. It's got an amazing vibe to it which is hard to explain but easy to appreciate. As an album it has a crazy structure -- it starts out fairly traditional hard rock, but by the end it completely dissolves into chaos. A crazy album that is definitely worthy of purchase.

The original version of Raw power was produced by David Bowie, but Iggy Pop personally remastered it in 1997. The Iggy Pop remaster (which I own) is turned up to 11 for the entire running time, and is considered by many to be the loudest album ever, although I have a feeling that Metallica's Death magnetic may have recently overtaken it. The opening two tracks, Search and destroy and Gimme danger, are classic proto-punk songs.

Rest in peace, Ron. Your riffage will live on.

MP3: The Stooges - Gimme danger [Link removed]

Update: Song links removed.

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