Tag Archives: The Stooges

Iggy Pop Talks About Stooges Drummer Scott Asheton

Scott Asheton, third from left. Photo by Mick Rock via New York Times.

The Stooges drummer Scott Asheton died of a heart attack this past Saturday. Now Iggy Pop has called Rolling Stone and spoken about Asheton. Pop also said “I definitely have no plans to be a touring musician for the next couple of years.”

Iggy Pop on Scott Asheton:

I first met Scott Asheton when I was working at Discount Records in Ann Arbor to augment my drumming. He used to stand with [future Stooges bassist] Dave Alexander at the corner of State Street and Liberty, which is grand central for the University of Michigan campus. Scott impressed me immediately by his obvious physical gift. He remembered this better than I do, but he would bug me to teach him how to play drums.

Things didn’t get very far until I realized it would better for me to work with a good drummer rather than continuing as a drummer myself in blues bands. Also, you could just look at this guy and tell that he had it. He was just a likable and attractive person, and he picked the drums right up. I gave him my kit and showed him a couple of things. I’d be like, “Here’s how you do a Stax Volt beat. Here’s a Bo Diddley beat. This is a Middle Eastern one.” He got it very quickly. I didn’t have to show him much.

Scott played drums with a boxer’s authority. When he wanted to, he had a heavy hand on the drums. He hit the drum very hard, but there were never a lot of elbows flying. He wasn’t showy. He didn’t have to make a physical demonstration to get the job done. When he played with you, it was always swinging. He brought a swinging truth to the music he played and extreme musical honesty.

The thing that Flea and Chad Smith always understood is that Scott always played a little behind the beat, always a little back. He would hold the band back, just very slightly, from where it might have gone if it was going to rush ahead. It gave authority and a kind of trance to the music. He always, always, always played the song. He never got up there and started playing the kit to show everyone what he could play.

When we reformed for Coachella in 2003, we hadn’t played together in years. He used to ride [bassist] Mike Watt and say, “Watt, that note isn’t on the song.” He wouldn’t say, “It’s not on the record.” He’d say, “It’s not on the song.” He just always understood that he was playing a part in a song. We were a group that worked with a real simple vocabulary, and you need a lot of help if you haven’t got a Burt Bacharach or Paul Simon. How do you bring in songcraft and hold it together? He helped with that a lot.

For the rest of Iggy’s comments, head to Rolling Stone.

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

R.I.P. Dept.: The Stooges Drummer Scott Asheton Dead at 64

Scott Asheton, far right.Photo via Slicing Up Eyeballs.

Scott Asheton, founding drummer for the proto-punk band The Stooges died today. He was 64.

Asheton played on The Stooges’ classic albums: The Stooges, Funhouse and Raw Power.

Asheton had been ill recently, but the ’cause of death has not yet been made public.

On The Stooges Facebook page, Iggy Pop posted:

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.

Iggy Pop

Rolling Stone wrote:

Asheton was born in Washington, D.C., but moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan when he was 14. He began playing music with his older brother Ron and their friend Dave Alexander soon after. “We didn’t get very far,” Scott told writer Brett Callwood in his book The Stooges: Head On. “We liked the idea of being in a band, we looked like we were in a band and we’d all hang out together. It wasn’t until…Iggy, got involved that it actually became a real band.”

Under the leadership of Iggy Pop, The Stooges, along with the MC5, became one of the most popular acts around Ann Arbor and Detroit, eventually signing a deal with Elektra and releasing their groundbreaking self-titled LP in 1969. “We didn’t have songs,” Scott Asheton told Callwood. “A lot of that first album was written at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City over two days immediately before we went in the studio.”

For the rest of the Rolling Stone obit, head here.

Listen to The Stooges amazing first album:

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

Tensions Revealed Between Iggy Pop & James Williamson

Photos via Iggy’s Facebook page.

So what exactly is going on between chief Stooge Iggy Pop, and Stooges’ guitarist James Williamson?

First we learned that Williamson and the current version of the Stooges (bassist Mike Watt and drummer Toby Dammit and sax man Steve MacKay) are recording an album, Un-Licked, of officially unreleased Stooges’ songs with guest vocalists including Jello Biafra and Mark Lanegan.

OK, that sounded cool, and the partial version of “Open Up and Bleed” we heard sounds good.

And then, today, Rolling Stone runs an article in which Williamson says that for Iggy, “it’s a hard pill to swallow when someone is doing all your songs with your band and you’re not on it.”

And Iggy counters: “This statement about the ‘hard pill’ sounds kind of passive aggressive to me.:

Rolling Stone also reports: “Last week, a spokesperson for Iggy Pop told Rolling Stone that Iggy wasn’t given an opportunity to participate on the album and he only learned of it in December of 2013, after a Chicago label turned it down.”

Here’s Williamson’s full quote:” He [Iggy] gave me his blessing and wished me success. But it’s a hard pill to swallow when someone is doing all your songs with your band and you’re not on it. I think he’s cool with it so far. We’ll see how things progress…I hope he maintains his positive attitude.”

Here’s Iggy’s full quote: “I don’t have a problem with anything, I don’t oppose anything,” Iggy tells Rolling Stone in a written statement. “This statement about the ‘hard pill’ sounds kind of passive aggressive to me. The guys in the touring group have been phoning and emailing me and my rep before during and after the recordings, wondering how I felt about this. These guys are my friends and we’ve all worked together many years. I am glad someone is paying them; they are working musicians and they need to play. I want to thank all the wonderful singers on this record for covering my songs.”

Come on guys, no hard feelings, OK?

Iggy and The Stooges including James Williamson:

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

Watch: New Teaser Video from Stooges’ James Williamson – ‘Open Up and Bleed’

The Stooges’ James Williamson has a single due out on Record Store Day featuring remakes of two Stooges’ songs, “Open Up and Bleed” and “Gimmie Some Skin.”

There will be an album, Re-Licked, but there’s no release date yet. The album will feature a number of vocalists covering “obscure” Stooges’ songs. Playing on the album are the current touring version of The Stooges: Mike Watt, Steve Mackay and Toby Dammit.

For “Open Up and Bleed” Williamson has enlisted Texas blues singer Carolyn Wonderland.

It’s good.

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

Listen: Iggy Pop Destroys “White Christmas”

When we last heard from Iggy Pop, he was working to save the wolves in Michigan. Now he delivers a “Guitar Stooge Version” of “White Christmas” off the new various artists album, Psych-Out Christmas.

Enjoy… or not.

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

Mike Watt To Record 2nd Il Sogno Del Marinaio LP

Il Sogno Del Marinaio: Andrea Belfi (left), Mike Watt and Stefano Pilia.

Mike Watt is a busy man. When he’s not playing bass for Iggy Pop in The Stooges he plays in a variety of combos including Hellride, Mike Watt and his Secondmen, dos and others. On December 31 he’ll perform with Thurston Moore and the artist Raymond Pettibon at The Stone in New York.

Before that Watt heads to England to play at All Tomorrow’s Parties on December 1 with his trio, Il Sogno Del Marinaio, and then the group heads to Bologna, Italy to record their second album, the followup to La Busta Gialla, which was released at the beginning of 2013.

In addition to Watt on bass, the group includes drummer Andrea Belfi and guitarist Stefano Pilia.

Il Sogno Del Marinaio first toured Italy in 2009, and recorded La Busta Gialla during that tour.

Watt wrote about it on his Hoot page:

this album was part of the whole experience that brought all three of us (stefano, andrea and myself) together. I was invited to join them in playing six gigs in italy during the late fall of 2009. it was an invite out of the blue and truly exciting. of course we needed material to do for these shows and I thought if we were going to come together to do that then why not also record the stuff for an album? made sense to me and I’m so glad stefano and andrea were also into it. each of us brought tunes and we worked them out first w/prac in a real old pad in a little town near bologna called palesio and then at the gigs themselves before going into a studio called la sauna in the northern italian town of varano borghi where the cats there were absolutely righteous. it was one of my favorite times recording ever, such a good time.

the album for me represents us coming from different places and joining together to make a sound singular to the dynamic between us. we had no prior experience playing w/each other at all before the prac and the gigs so it’s an accurate document of us three interacting for the first time through music and I think we did it in such a way that all three of our individual personas come through and at the same time make for ourselves an identity of a band. this was our goal we agreed at the end even though we never discussed it beforehand in words cuz I think we wanted the process to develop naturally and not foul it w/too much premeditation and expectations on where it “should” go… we in a sense “played the hand that was dealt” and gave it our best shot. the process was most interesting, the musical minds of stefano and andrea as well as their spirits as brothers very much inspired me! I am most big time grateful to them.

Here’s a taste of the trio off La Busta Gialla:

Inside The Stooges, Guitarist Ron Asheton’s Story: “Iggy was kind of a clown”

There’s an amazing story about The Stooges on the vice.com website. The late Stooges’ guitarist Ron Asheton spoke to Legs McNeil at length and now we get to read Asheton’s version of The Stooges’ story.

Talking about the group getting signed and recording the now classic first album, The Stooges, Asheton said:

I think we had three songs, and one of them was, “I’m sick.”

Jac [Holzman, Elecktra Records president] asked, “Well, you guys got enough material to do an album right?” We said yes when we didn’t, so we just busted our asses and I came up with the riff to “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

When we went to New York to record the first Stooges album, Elecktra asked us again, “You’ve got more stuff, don’t you?”

We said, “Oh sure!”

So I went back to the hotel and in one hour came up with “Little Doll,” “Not Right,” and “Real Cool Time.” Once I had the music, Iggy came down and listened to it, and then he went up and came up with the lyrics. The next night we rehearsed one time and then we went and recorded each song in one take.

We’d never been in the studio before, and we set up our Marshall Stacks and put the volume on ten. So we started out, and John Cale, our producer, said, “Oh no, this is not the way!” But we couldn’t play unless it was high volume, we didn’t have enough expertise on our instruments. It was all power chords, and the only way we could get it done was to play big and loud.

There’s plenty more good stuff here.

And you can listen to The Stooges:

Listen: Loop’s “Forever” Is The End Of The End


I’m reading Simon Reynolds excellent “Blissed Out” and I just got to an essay in which he talks about the British band Loop. I’d never heard them so I put on their debut album, 1987’s Heaven’s End and wow, what a mindblower. Definitely an early The Stooges vibe.

Here’s one of the tracks off it:

And here’s “Black Sun” from their 1988 album Fade Out.