#868: 1969, The Stooges, 1969

by Jackie_South on March 21, 2014

This week saw the sad death of Scott Asheton, The Stooges‘ drummer.

If you had taken a bet back in the day on which of the original Stooges would outlive the rest, you would have got pretty good odds on Iggy Pop. Yet he is the last man standing: bassist Dave Alexander’s drinking killed him at the fateful age of 27, Scott’s brother guitarist Ron Asheton died five years ago. Like Keith Richards and Shane McGowan, Iggy seems indestructible.

It seems timely to remind ourselves of Scott “Rock Action” Asheton’s genius, so let’s wind the clock back to arguably music’s greatest year (and the year both Ray and I were foisted upon the world), 1969. And the opening track on The Stooges’ first album marks that.

Albeit in not overly optimistic tones. By 1969, Detroit (the fourth largest US city at the outbreak of World War II, now eighteenth) was already on its long, ceaseless downward slide and the decay was enough for even these stoner white college kids from nearby Ann Arbor to notice.

It’s another year for me and you
Another year with nothing to do

Asheton’s furious yet tight drums lay down the song’s great rhythm for his brother’s guitar, with its soaring distortion, and Iggy’s disdainful lyrics. Without this, punk may have been very different.

Scott Asheton RIP.

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