(h/t Howie for letting us know)
From The Detroit Free Press:
Ron Asheton, the influential guitarist for legendary punk band the Stooges, was found dead early this morning at his home in Ann Arbor, police said.
I feel like I was punched in the stomach, so I'm going to have to lean on the late Lester Bangs, from his epic, two-part (here and here) Of Pop and Pies and Fun (a 1970 critique of The Stooges LP Funhouse) do the heavy lifting:
Well, a lot of changes have gone down since Hip first hit the heartland. There's a new culture shaping up, and while it's certainly an improvement on the repressive society now nervously aging, there is a strong element of sickness in our new, amorphous institutions. The cure bears viruses of its own. The Stooges also carry a strong element of sickness in their music, a crazed quaking uncertainty and errant foolishness that effectively mirrors the absurdity and desperation of the times, but I believe that they also carry a strong element of cure, of post-derangement sanity. And I also believe that their music is as important as the product of any rock group working today, although you better never call it art or you may wind up with a deluxe pie in the face. What it is, instead, is what rock and roll at heart is and always has been, beneath the stylistic distortions the last few years have wrought. The Stooges are not for the ages—nothing created now is—but they are most implicitly for today and tomorrow and the traditions of two decades of beautifully bopping, manic, simplistic jive...
...[T]he Stooges' music is like that. It comes out of a primal illiterate chaos gradually taking shape as a uniquely personal style, emerges from a tradition of American music that runs from the primordial wooly rags of backwoods bands up to the magic promise eternally made and occasionally fulfilled by rock: that a band can start out bone-primitive, untutored and uncertain, and evolve into a powerful and eloquent ensemble...
And a word of advice: If you're in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, and you feel the urge to light a candle, please do so outside of Ypsi's famed Stooges Wax Museum. The last time a Stooge died (Dave Alexander, in 1975), candles lit inside the museum did permanent damage to the original 15 feet-high wax-replica wah-wah pedal. The current 25 footer wasn't created until 1988. So please, be careful.