Published Jan 06, 2009Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead today (January 6) at his home in Ann Arbor, MI, according to police reports. The official cause of death has yet to be announced, but initial reports suggest Asheton died of a heart attack. He was 60.
Police were called to Asheton's home early this morning after his personal assistant had been unable to reach him for several days, Billboard reports. Police said it appeared Asheton had likely been dead since New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. No foul play is suspected.
"We are shocked and shaken by the news of Ron's death," a statement released today from the Stooges reads. "He was a great friend, brother, musician, trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed. For all that knew him behind the facade of Mr Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not.
"As a musician, Ron was the Guitar God, an idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had the great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him."
Stooges front-man Iggy Pop added a personal statement, saying: "I am in shock. He was my best friend."
Asheton and his brother Scott formed the Stooges alongside Pop in 1967, with the guitarist (and sometimes bassist) going on to pen the riffs for classic Stooges tracks like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "TV Eye," as well as play on albums such as Fun House and Raw Power.
After taking a break from the Stooges in the wake of Raw Power's commercial failure in 1973, Asheton went on to play in several other rock outfits, such as New Order (not to be confused with the UK band), Destroy All Monsters and New Race. He also played in the fictional glam act Wylde Rattz, which was put together for Todd Haynes's 1998 film Velvet Goldmine and featured band members Mark Arm of Mudhoney, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley, and the Minutemen's Mike Watt (who would later join the Stooges line-up).
In 2003, Asheton reformed Stooges alongside his brother Scott, Pop and the aforementioned Watt, and played the first in a series reunion shows. The band eventually went on to record their most recent album, The Weirdness, in 2007, and the Stooges had just completed a European tour in December.
In September 2008, the Stooges were nominated for introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inductees are to be announced later this month.
The Stooges "TV Eye"