Jesus, I just found out that Ron Ashton died last week. I can't even begin to describe how important to me the music of the Stooges has been over the years. I was lucky enough to see Ron Ashton play many years ago at Emo's. I was going on a date with a guy I'd met recently, and he suggested we go see if we could get into a J Mascis and Mike Watt show at Emo's for South by Southwest. This was back in the days when there were barely any badges, and you could get into some pretty major shows without wristbands. We showed up, and it was more packed than I would have expected for a J Mascis/Mike Watt show (remember, this was In The Day), but somehow we managed to get in without wristbands. Turns out that it was so crowded because it was J Mascis, Mike Watt, and Ron Ashton. I was about to pee my pants with excitement. The guy I was with didn't really seem to get why this mattered so much to me, or care that it did, really. So the date part was a failure. But the seeing Ron Ashton part will stick with me for a long time.
Fans know that Ashton was as integral to the sound of the Stooges' sound as Iggy Pop's vocals. Shortly after I saw this show, the Stooges reunited for real (with Mike Watt on bass for a lot of it) and have been touring as the Stooges, and seem to kick some major ass despite aging. Here's them from a few years back:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/XDi8ETZWMB0&hl=en&fs=1 expand=1]
Here's them in 1970:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/BD_XCECbAEU&hl=en&fs=1 expand=1]
If you've been subjected to The Shins or something like it for too long, then listening 1970's Funhouse will set you on the right path.