Scott Asheton (pictured right)
Scott Asheton, founding member and longtime drummer of The Stooges, has died. He was 64 years old.
News of Asheton’s death was revealed by Stooges frontman Iggy Pop. He wrote on Facebook:
My dear friend Scott Asheton passed away last night.
Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton. He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Asheton’s have always been and continue to be a second family to me.
My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.
It’s unclear what caused Asheton’s passing, though in 2011 he suffered a health scare, which caused him to temporarily retire from touring.
Born August 16th, 1949, Asheton lived with his family in Washington, D.C. until moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan at the age of 14. It was there, in 1967, that Asheton, his brother Ron, and childhood friend Dave Alexander joined forces with Iggy Pop to form The Stooges. The band released two albums (1969’s The Stooges and 1970’s Funhouse) before Alexander and Pop’s respective substance abuse problems left the band’s future uncertain. Alexander was eventually fired from the band, and with the addition of James Williamson in late 1970, The Stooges rebounded to write and record 1973’s Raw Power, heralded as one of the defining albums of the then-burgeoning punk scene. When Pop and The Stooges broke up the following year, Scott Asheton spent time pursuing other projects, most notably drumming for the likes of Sonny Vincent, Scott Morgan, and an incarnation of Destroy All Monsters, among others. He also participated in Pop’s various solo projects.
Asheton reunited with Pop and the remaining Stooges in mid-2003, touring consistently for years and releasing another two records in 2007’s The Weirdness and last year’s Ready to Die. Asheton also served as one of only two original band members (alongside Pop) after his brother Ron died in 2009. Though he remained an official band member to this day, Asheton hasn’t toured with The Stooges since 2011 following a severe stroke and illness.
Watch select highlights from Asheton and The Stooges’ career below.