Drummer and founding member of Iggy And The Stooges, Scott Asheton, 64, died earlier this week from a heart attack. For the first time since the announcement of the death, Stooges frontman Iggy Pop has spoken out, reflecting on his relationship with his former bandmate, and shedding light on the future of the band.
In the long reflection piece for Rolling Stone, Pop recalls first meeting Asheton while working in a discount record store. Upon recognising Scott’s percussive gift, the pair formed the Stooges in 1967 alongside Asheton’s brother Ron (guitar) and Dave Alexander (bass).
“Scott played drums with a boxer’s authority,” said Pop. “When he played with you, it was always swinging. He brought a swinging truth to the music he played and extreme musical honesty.” He also reflected on Asheton’s character. “Scott just had a certain dignity about him and everyone was always glad to have him in the room,” he describes affectionately. “He looked like he could be a tough customer, but I never even heard of him flicking a fly.”
Iggy Pop also spoke briefly about some of the addiction issues Scott dealt with throughout his career and their effect on the band. “It never affected his playing anywhere near as much as it affected the ability of the group as a whole to communicate with each other and write clearly,” wrote Pop. “That’s down to everybody in the group, including myself.”
He said the band reconnected after they got back together in 2003 to perform at Coachella. “I hadn’t lost 50% of my hearing at that point, so I was doing things I’d do when I first started playing with Ron,” said Pop. “I’d get excited and bum rush his amps and stick my ear right in his amp to get that illicit vibe. I can’t do that now. I have to avoid loud people.”
The Stooges have previously said they will be releasing an album soon, but Iggy Pop won’t be taking part in its recording. “I don’t want to say that I’m done with the band,” explained Pop. “I would just say that I feel like the group has always included the Asheton brothers.”
Asheton’s brother Ron died of a heart attack in 2009. “When Ron passed away, Scott represented him,” Pop said. “Nearly everything we play, Ron played on originally. I don’t feel right now like there’s any reason for me to go jumping out onstage in tight Levi’s. What am I going to scream about?”
“[Scott] started playing with Ron in their basement with a little equipment and some dreams,” said Pop in his reflection. “Now they’re back together again in some sense.”