Ron Asheton, the beyond-influential guitarist for The Stooges, has died, the Detroit Free Press is reporting. Asheton, 60, was found at his Ann Arbor home. From the Free Press:
Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Brad Hill said the department received a call around midnight with a request to check on Asheton, 60, because the unidentified caller said he had not heard from the guitarist in a few days. Police went to his home and found him deceased. The death is still under investigation, but foul play is not suspected, Hill said.
Alongside his drummer brother Scott, Asheton played guitar on The Stooges' first two albums, 1969's The Stooges and the following year's Fun House, creating a mud-thick, riff-heavy sound that would prove deeply influential to the punk movement later in the decade. The band earned notoriety for its unpredictable live shows, signed to a major label, and won a loyal following but never found great commercial success, a situation that led to its post-Fun House dissolution. (Well, that and all the heroin.) Asheton played bass on Raw Power, a project born of the band's reformation under the stewardship of David Bowie but was back on lead guitar duties when the Stooges reformed in 2003. Here's a famous clip of The Stooges in Cincinnati from 1970.