In the late '60s, the Stooges (Ron Asheton, left, Iggy Pop and Scott Asheton) paved the way for the punk rock movement. Ron Asheton died of a heart attack in 2009. / CHAPMAN BAEHLER
Henry Rollins didn't have to think very long when he was asked to be part of the upcoming Iggy and the Stooges performance in honor of the band's founding guitarist, the late Ron Asheton.
"I said 'yes' about as fast as humanly possible," says Rollins, the former front man of famed hardcore band Black Flag who has gone on to success leading his own band and as an author, publisher, actor and spoken-word performer. "You don't have to twist my arm too hard to see the Stooges."
The ticket buyers who sold the show out in five minutes apparently didn't need their arms twisted, either. On what promises to be an electrifying and emotional night at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater on Tuesday, Iggy and the Stooges will perform in the town where the band was founded. It's all in remembrance of Asheton, who died of a heart attack in 2009 at his Ann Arbor home at the age of 60.
Punk rock before punk rock even had a name, the Stooges were formed in the late '60s by vocalist Iggy Pop (James Osterberg), guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton (Ron's brother) and bassist Dave Alexander. Entrenched in the Detroit scene that also spawned the MC5, the band had an uncompromising, assaultive approach that didn't win over large audiences at the time, and things imploded in a fireball of drugs and personal issues. But the group's first three albums paved the way for the punk rock movement and went on to influence countless other musicians.
Some 30 years after first dissolving, Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers reunited as the Stooges in 2003 and finally found the widespread recognition that eluded them the first time around -- a turn of events that Ron Asheton much enjoyed before his passing.
At Tuesday's show, the lineup will include Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, James Williamson (who played guitar on "Raw Power"), Steve Mackay (who played sax on "Funhouse") and bassist Mike Watt (who has been with the group since the 2003 reformation), along with several other special guests.
MARTIN BANDYKE: martinbandyke.com