Ron Asheton

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Ron Asheton
Birth name Ronald Franklin Asheton
Born (1948-07-17)July 17, 1948
Washington D.C.,[1] US
Died January 6, 2009(2009-01-06) (aged 60)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Punk rock, hard rock, garage rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, actor
Instruments Guitar, bass, accordion
Years active 1963–2008
Labels Elektra, Columbia, Virgin
Associated acts The Stooges, The New Order, Destroy All Monsters, New Race, Dark Carnival
Notable instruments
Reverend Ron Asheton Signature Guitar (Custom Volcano 390)

Ronald Franklin Asheton (July 17, 1948 – January 6, 2009)[2] was an American guitarist, bassist, actor and co-songwriter with Iggy Pop for the rock band the Stooges. He formed the Stooges along with Pop and his brother, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander. Asheton, once ranked as number 29 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time[3] is currently (as of November 2014) ranked at number 60.[4]

The Stooges[edit]

Asheton was born in Washington D.C.[1] He already had five years of practice on the accordion behind him when he began playing bass guitar at age 10. Asheton was the lead guitarist on the Stooges' first two albums, and later appeared as bassist for their third, Raw Power, when he was replaced in both instrument and songwriting prominence by The Stooges' new guitar player, James Williamson. When the Stooges reformed, however, he once again appeared as the band's guitarist.

Other work[edit]

Apart from The Stooges, Asheton also played in the bands The New Order (not the UK band New Order), Destroy All Monsters, Dark Carnival, New Race and The Empty Set.

More recently he played with The Wylde Ratttz, a band composed of some of punk and alt-rock's most renowned and respected musicians. The band included Mike Watt of the Minutemen, J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney. It contributed a cover version of the Stooges song "T.V. Eye" to the soundtrack for the Todd Haynes film Velvet Goldmine, which starred Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.[5] Asheton's final song "3 Stooges" appeared during the credits of the 2012 comedy film The Three Stooges.

Asheton also acted, appearing with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre star Gunnar Hansen in Mosquito, which was released 1995. He also appeared in two other films: Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo and Legion of the Night.


Asheton was found dead in his bed by police at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the early hours of January 6, 2009, apparently having died of a heart attack a couple of days earlier. Police were summoned to Asheton's house by his personal assistant, who had been unable to reach him for several days.[6] Sonic Youth's album The Eternal is dedicated to him.

His brother Scott died on March 15, 2014.

Musical equipment[edit]

Asheton, Niagara and unidentified drummer, Destroy All Monsters, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Spring of 1982

Asheton mainly relied on simple setups with very few effect pedals.[7]



With the Stooges
With The New Order
  • New Order (1977)
  • Victim of Circumstance (1989)
  • Declaration of War (1990)
With Destroy All Monsters
  • November 22, 1963 (1989)
  • Bored (1999) – recorded in 1978
With New Race
With Dark Carnival
With The Empty Set
  • Thin Slim & None/Flunkie (1996)
With Powertrane
Other contributions

Asheton played the triple tracked guitar solo (referred to as a "guitar duet" in the liner notes) on Ragnar Kvaran's 1981 recording, Wrecked on Love.[8]
He is credited for helping to write the song "Hit Them Again" on the album Radios Appear (1977) by Radio Birdman, as well as one track that can be heard at the end of the movie Mosquito. Some other tracks Asheton wrote had been recorded by the group "Wylde Rattz", for the original score of the movie Velvet Goldmine, but only one song was featured on the soundtrack (1998), as well as another on Beyond Cyberpunk a Wayne Kramer (MC5) assembled CD compilation (2001).


External links[edit]