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Dave Alexander (musician)

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Dave Alexander
Alexander in 1969
Alexander in 1969
Background information
Birth nameDavid Michael Alexander
Born(1947-06-03)June 3, 1947
Whitmore Lake, Michigan, U.S.
DiedFebruary 10, 1975(1975-02-10) (aged 27)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active1967–1970
LabelsElektra Records
Formerly ofThe Stooges

David Michael Alexander (June 3, 1947 – February 10, 1975) was an American musician, best known as the original bassist for influential protopunk band The Stooges. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of The Stooges.[1]



After his family relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan, from Whitmore Lake, Michigan, Alexander attended Pioneer High School[2] in Ann Arbor, where he met brothers Ron and Scott Asheton. "Zander" (as Alexander was known) dropped out after 45 minutes on the first day of his senior year in 1965 to win a bet. Later in 1965, Ron sold his motorcycle[3] and then went to England to see The Who and to "try and find The Beatles".

Alexander and the Asheton brothers soon met Iggy Pop and formed The Stooges in 1967. Although Alexander was a total novice on his instrument, he was a quick learner and subsequently had a hand in arranging, composing and performing all of the songs that appeared on the band's first two albums, The Stooges and Fun House. He is often credited by Pop and was credited by the late Ron Asheton in interviews with being the primary composer of the music for the Stooges songs "We Will Fall",[4] "Little Doll" (both on The Stooges), "Dirt" and "1970" (both on Fun House).

Alexander was fired from the band in August 1970 after showing up at the Goose Lake International Music Festival too drunk to play.[4] After his dismissal, Alexander was replaced by bassists Zeke Zettner and Jimmy Recca, though Ron Asheton played bass on the first studio album post-Alexander, Raw Power. Alexander remained close friends with both Asheton brothers, as well as with Bill Cheatham, who was a roadie and high school friend of both Alexander and the Asheton brothers. Alexander did not join another band after his dismissal from The Stooges, instead mainly relying on money made from investments made in the stock market to make ends meet.

Death and tribute


Alexander died of pulmonary edema in 1975,[5] at the age of 27 in Ann Arbor, after being admitted to a hospital for pancreatitis, which was linked to his alcoholism.[6] During The Stooges' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, Iggy Pop paid tribute to Alexander during his speech.[7]

References in songs


Mike Watt mentions Alexander by name in his song "The Angel's Gate," on his 2004 album The Secondman's Middle Stand,[8] by which time Watt had replaced Alexander in the reformed Stooges. At Watt's first performance with the Stooges at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in May 2003, he wore a Dave Alexander t-shirt as a tribute.[9]

Iggy Pop references Alexander in the spoken intro to "Dum Dum Boys" on his 1977 album The Idiot:

How about Dave?
OD'd on alcohol



With The Stooges


See also



  1. ^ "The Stooges, ABBA Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". Pitchfork. December 15, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  2. ^ Calwood, Brett (2011). The Stooges: Head On. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 9780814337103.
  3. ^ McNeil, Legs; McCain, Gillian (1997). Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. London, England: Penguin Books. p. 34. ISBN 0-14-026690-9.
  4. ^ a b Cameron, Keith (April 2007). "Return to the Fun House". Mojo (161).
  5. ^ Gries, Scott. "Stooges bassist Dave Alexander died of pulmonary edema in 1975 at the age of 27". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Open Up and Bleed, Paul Trynka (Little Brown 2007)
  7. ^ Marshall, Jada Yuan, Cooper (March 16, 2010). "Surprisingly Entertaining Moments From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony". Vulture. Retrieved December 21, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Gregory, Jason (May 26, 2011). "Music Stars Who Died Aged 27". Gigwise. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Sutherland, Sam (March 24, 2007). "Mike Watt on What's Watt". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 15, 2019.