Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote of the day

"He was a great friend, brother, musician, trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed ... For all that knew him behind the facade of Mr Cool and Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not. As a musician Ron was The Guitar God, idol to follow and inspire others."

Amen to that, the thoughts of the remaining Stooges on guitarist Ron Asheton, who left the big stage on Tuesday.

Sod showy virtuosity and frilly technique - Big Ron was all about hitting on something as simple as possible and playing it very loud and for a long time. And when the results were as good as the dirty, slouching, lustful riff of 'No Fun' - without a shadow of a doubt the riff which bullies its way into my head most often, with no prior warning - then "Guitar God" he could be rightly acclaimed.

Just as much as (if not more so) Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton is the reason I rank The Stooges above every other punk band. OK, so The Sex Pistols had a bigger cultural impact - but they weren't very good, really, though, were they? And the Clash may have had more diverse sources and brought greater subtlety and political nous to the table, but they've just never gripped me with the same primal claw that the likes of The Ramones have. (I'm no fan of the jingoistic bias that tends to canonise British punk bands and ignore the Americans - I'm looking at you, Mr Savage...) And The Stooges were there before the lot of them, blazing the trail.

My Stooges-loving friend Martin has just found out the news in the last hour (it's gone midnight) and decided to pay his own tribute: "Right. I don't care what time it is...I'm going down to my shed to twat drums to 'I Wanna Be Your Dog'".

RIP Ron.


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