Last week I was naming off my favorite guitarists to a friend of mine: Pat Smear, Brendan Morrison, J Mascis, Syd Barrett. There was one really important one I forgot: Ron Asheton. He passed away suddenly a few days ago, only to be discovered yesterday at his home in Ann Arbor.
When you read anything about punk music, there's always one band everyone can agree on, whether in LA, New York, or the UK: The Stooges. And now the Stooges are over. Ron wrote the music to "1969," "1970," "No Fun," and "I Wanna Be Your Dog," among others, and without these tunes, The Stooges wouldn't have been the amazing iconoclastic band they were, and punk music basically never would have happened. Which means most of the other music we listen today would never have happened. The man was a musical giant, largely unrecognized throughout his lifetime but given the due he had deserved all along in his last years - which makes it all the more tragic that his time was cut short. I hope everyone will join me in listening to The Stooges and Fun House back-to-back this evening in salute to one of the few people who actually changed music.