Showing posts with label SCOTT ASHETON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SCOTT ASHETON. Show all posts

10.11.2015

STOOGES SAX MAN STEVE MACKAY HAS DIED


Steve Mackay, saxophonist for The Stooges, has died due to complications from sepsis. Steve was 66.

Steve was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the 1960s, he went to Ann Arbor to attend  the University of Michigan's art school. This is when he met Iggy (Jim Osterberg) at a Carnal Kitchen gig.

Iggy invited Steve to jam with the Stooges. Steve played on: "Fun House" and "1970".

Following the recording of classic LP Fun House, Steve toured with the Stooges. when Iggy and the Ashetons reunited, he was invited back to perform on the band's 2007 album The Weirdness and 2013's Ready to Die.

 Stooges Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame..Steve second from left

Steve toured with the band in recent years. We got to see him in 2011 play with the Stooges at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor...he was fantastic!

Steve also made solo records and worked with so many other groups such as, Violent Femmes, Sonny Vincent, Mike Watt, and R. Stevie Moore

Iggy shared his thoughts on Steve's passing:

"Steve was a classic '60s American guy, full of generosity and love for anyone he met. Every time he put his sax to his lips and honked, he lightened my road and brightened the whole world. He was a credit to his group and his generation. To know him was to love him. - Iggy."


Rest in peace Steve...our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and legions of fans..

Enjoy this full Stooges show from Detroit



4.03.2014

SCOTT ASHETON TIGER STADIUM AND DENIZ TEK



Tiger Stadium
 
I went to my first baseball game at Tiger Stadium when I was about 8 years old. It was at the north west corner of Trumbull and Michigan Ave, in a leafy, old neighborhood. For a long time, the stadium was called "The Corner". The Stadium was a gathering place of the people. You could feel part of a community there. It held the spirits of ages past, and it seemed that the Stadium was a connection to where the unique local culture had come from. Not the slightest bit dangerous or threatening, in those days, the area had the timeless feel of the outskirts of a very old big city.

That feeling was a lot different from where I lived, in the little university town of Ann Arbor only an hour's drive west on I-94. I liked it down there. It seemed to be the sort of place where the Little Rascals would play outside and cause trouble. I heard echoes of the post civil war days, when horses and wagons were the street traffic. The influx of southerners, to work at Henry Ford's factories...wave after wave, during the boom days of the '20's.

Poor black folks looking for a better and freer life came by the tens of thousands, and changed the culture. Polish migrants started up neighborhoods like Hamtramck down by the Dodge Main plant. German tradesmen, who built little engineering companies and machine shops to feed into the growing car industry, found the surrounding rural areas of Michigan to be very much like the old country. All of these and more added to the mix of culture. It was an old, and graceful place.

 

Fast forward 30 years, and in the same neighborhood my friend Scott Asheton is driving through west Detroit with friends. They are headed back to Ann Arbor late one night having been at a party in Windsor on the Canadian side. After crossing the Ambassador Bridge, the streets seem deserted at 2am. Guys are smoking cigarettes, and the car is stopped at a light with the window down. Out of nowhere, another car roars up, screeches to a stop. Guys jump out, doors slam.

A guy with a nylon stocking over his head walks right up to the drivers side window, pulls out a 9mm automatic pistol, points it at Scotty, screaming at him to “Get out of the fucking car!!!” Scotty, reacting instantly, slams his foot down on the gas pedal and smoked the tires getting out of there.

Just as he hits the accelerator the guy pulls the trigger, shoots Scotty in the head. Blood is everywhere, spattering the inside of the old Dodge, but Scotty keeps going, hauling ass up to the 94 on ramp. Only a little later do they check the wound, and find out the bullet seriously grazed his scalp, cracked his skull but didn't take out any gray matter. Scotty’s amazing luck was a matter of a split second and less than an inch. One of the greatest rock drummers of all time, Rock Action of the Stooges, was that close to getting killed that night.

They go directly to the hospital. Scotty tells me that later he found out it was an undercover cop and a case of mistaken identity.

The last time I saw Tiger Stadium was around Christmas few years ago. I was back in Detroit on tour with the Last of The Bad Men, and we played at the Lager House, a small bar on Michigan Ave a couple of blocks east of Trumbull. Scott Morgan's hard rock outfit Powertrane, from Ann Arbor was the headliner.

 
Tiger Stadium was a sad, ominous and deserted hulking monolith, looming darkly above the snow covered street. Luckily it was too cold out for the local crackheads and dealers to plague us. The Lager House was mostly deserted until a couple of busloads of Santa Clauses piled in. At least a hundred Santas appeared ... had the buses come down from the North Pole??

There were Santas of every shape and description. There were even fetching Santa's Helper chicks in short sexy Santa skirts and fishnet stockings. They all made a noisy racket, drank hard for about half an hour and then suddenly disappeared out into the snow. This left the band with the impression that we had been hallucinating, but it was true. A drinking bus tour of Detroit bars made up of people in Santa suits, bizarre as that may seem, had made a stop there.

The next time I went to The Corner, about a year later, Tiger Stadium was gone ..... gone forever, as were the times that it lived in. I wrote it into the song “Pine Box”, one of the laments I recorded on the recent “Detroit” album.

★Deniz Tek, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a prolific guitarist, singer and songwriter currently based in Sydney, Australia. His career in music, grounded in late-60's Detroit, extends through several decades and across continents. He is best known as a founding member of the influential Australian independent rock band Radio Birdman.

In 2007, Deniz was inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was voted number 7 in the top 100 Australian guitarists of all time.★



3.30.2014

THE ASHETON HOUSE WRITTEN BY NIAGARA DETROIT

Scotty and Niagara in Dark Carnival at the Blind Pig 1990 (photo courtesy of Niagara)

THE ASHETON HOUSE

If you ever had the nerve to be within Scott Asheton's force field, you'd have been stunned by his pale, BLUE eyes. He had a deceptively calm demeanor. Dangerous? Yes. You'd find yourself behaving very carefully. This was mid-70's, Ann Arbor.



Scott played drums with Sonic Rendezvous (Fred Smith-MC5, Scott Morgan-Rationals), at Second Chance, a ballroom/bar. Seeing him only made me (and FEW others at that time) miss The Stooges, since their disintegration years before. The last time I saw them: When Metallic K.O was recorded in Detroit.


Scott was a rock solid drummer. His friends called him "Rock.” His tattoo said "Rock Action". 
People even now are intimidated by the memory of him, though he passed away in March 2014. Some wrote me: "He scared the BEJESUS out of me." But his friends adored him. He was a liked guy. No one could stay mad at him.


We met in that club's dressing room. The Ramones also played that night. I wrote for a Parisian mag- “A Letter from Detroit" sort of thing. 

That summer of 1977, Ron Asheton returned from L.A. Finished with his interim, now defunct band, New Order (with Dennis Thompson-MC5). In the next few weeks, he became lead guitar for my band, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. DAM had been, up till then, a basement Art/Noise unit. DAM with Ron Asheton promised to be eccentric & somewhat dazzling to an expectant local music landscape.


Scott's painting  From the Funhouse show CPop 2004 (photo courtesy of Niagara)

Ron brought me to live at the Asheton House. Mrs. Asheton's house. Ann Asheton. "Ann My Ann's" house. Scott lived there too. The brothers were older than I was...one of Ron's relations took to calling him, "Humbert Humbert". 

At this point Scotty was not consistently looking for fights. He'd just put a friendly stranglehold around various necks.

Once, at a bar, he flattened a patron for getting a little sloppy with me. It may have been his sense of loyalty. It may have been his sense of recreation.

 Ron had a saying: "The bigger the front, the bigger the back", meaning whatever persona you're selling on the outside, it will be the opposite of what's on the inside.

Your regular barroom guy (and also persons with any sense) would keep at a safe distance from Scotty.

At all events, whenever children were in Scott's vicinity, they were drawn to him like a magnet. It was axiomatic. They recognized his child's heart. 

Ann Asheton was the head of meal planning for the entire Ann Arbor school system.

Our schedules barely overlapped. Then she'd return in the evening and plan dinner- though none of us ever ate together. She was capable of running a strict household...except that she had given birth to two Stooges so she had seen it all.

 One time there was no bread on the table. Scott questioned, " NO Buns? No Buns, my babe, No Buns."

When I first started living at the House, Scott would call out, ''Niagara! Look out the window! What's that? It's a witch! What's she saying? You're gonna die!"
("Looking out the window and a witch flew by
 Whipping her broomstick, she said, “You're Gonna Die, You're Gonna die You’re Gonna Die, You're Gonna Die"- my lyrics to DAM's first single: Bored b/w You're Gonna Die)

Very funny.

The Routine: 
We'd sleep till late afternoon, and then went to our respective band practices. After practice, if there was a party, we'd inevitably meet up.

 During daylight hours, Scotty was often non-communicative, grouchy. But we were so busy, and life moved forward. But at night, refueled with necessary libations, he was charming. He was himself. If you found him at a party, you ALWAYS knew where to find him. He was static. He was anti-mingle.



Other times, we'd head for some club. Every current and upcoming Punk band traveled through Joe's Star Bar. When they became more famous, they'd play at the aforementioned, The Chance. We played the same circuit locally. The bands would want to meet us.

They would especially like to tell Ron that his guitar playing was their Holy Grail. It was said by EVERY band's guitarist. The braver ones were also excited to meet Scott.

 If we didn't go on to an after hours party, Ron & I would come home and continue cocktails. Scott would arrive a bit later. 

Ron would rock in the den (he was a rocking chair addict) which was open to the kitchen. Scott would begin gathering his one real meal...after hours of torturing the drums.

For kicks, Ron quietly would pursue the hobby of writing down everything Scott consumed. The lists cracked Ronny up, being so vast and varied, Scotty's appetite being creatively inspired by marihuana. He'd sometime stand in the kitchen, push out his stomach, pat it and muse: "...Yeah...I think I'm going to get me that jumpsuit."!

Ron and Scott were masters at turning nothing into a good time. Deep down they had the wounds of being kicked around. Ron really knew how to tell a story. Scott was more the one-liner type.

Though they remembered the good times in The Stooges, they could never forget the painful ones. Ron could transform anything depressing into an irony or a funny joke. They both had practice at that.

Scott was even younger than Ron when they lost their father. He was an aviator in WWII who gave young Ron piloting lessons. The young Scott became a loner type, a rebel.

They seemed so different, almost opposite.

   Scotty's Busted Drum Head (trashed after only 3 practices) (photo courtesy of Niagara)

But their humor was interwoven. There was shorthand there, key words and verbal signals that were unexpected and unique only to them...and hilarious. 

If we weren't practicing, recording or touring...the nights were ours. Ron and I would hang out in the den. The TV was on the one late night channel: "Cinema Sixty-Two".

The station had a rotation of three movies. The announcer had a lisp, so it was: "THINEMA THIXTY-TWO". Scott was up in his room watching the same thing. He'd come down at every commercial to convey some one-liner spoofing the film, or whatever. We'd never know what to expect.



Sometimes Scott would bring down a "priceless gem" - like show and tell - to entertain me. (His room was always locked, as soon as he went in or out). He had nothing really. But he'd make something of nothing. Once it was their high school year book (photos of Ron, none of Scott) with scrawling to Scott from lovesick girls. When I lived there, one woman wrote Scotty a letter or poem everyday. He'd leave these on the kitchen table, opened...and then, unopened.

Eventually Scott would tell me of a special movie that was going to be on. Something he liked, that he thought I would like. Tennessee Williams, Brando, a quirky, bittersweet love story. Really unexpected. 
Ron liked war movies and could answer every question on those egghead game shows. (Of course, both loved The 3 Stooges. Ron had EVERY one of them memorized by heart. Though you already knew that he was the one who christened "The Stooges").



Once there was a siege at the Asheton House. I don't know how it started. Scotty got his nudie mags and cut out ONLY ASSES and taped them up wherever Ron and I would unexpectedly stumble across them…on our bedroom door...the lampshades! Anywhere where it would be in our faces! It went on for a week-at least. Whenever we thought it was over, we'd open the fridge and... ASS!

Meanwhile, just the rumor of a band called DESTROY ALL MONSTERS with Ron Asheton playing guitar had everyone buzzing. Our first show sealed the deal. We became press darlings.
We traveled, played wild gigs, toured England. Ron and I soon moved out of the Asheton House.

In the mid-80's to mid-90's, I moved from Ann Arbor to front Detroit's DARK CARNIVAL. Ron joined soon after. Scott became the drummer. We practiced from where this is being written. On the wall hangs a Remo hard core drumhead...which Scott had busted through in no time. It's signed: "Tell 'em how I feel, Scott Asheton".



I can never go back to those days. But sometimes, they come back to me.
 Last night I dreamed that I was standing in front of the Asheton House. 
And light was shining from its windows

3.16.2014

LEGENDARY DRUMMER SCOTT ASHETON DIED

photo courtesy of Natalie Schlossman

Our first thought tonight when the sad news came in about Scott Asheton passing was how is Big Rich handling this? Poor Big, lost his hero Gary Grimshaw recently and Rock Asheton too....Hugs to Big...we are thinking of you tonight....


I was pal'in' around with Scott Asheton, drinkin' lots of STROHS and runnin' around... all over town. We had a HELL of a lot of fun. ROCK ACTION! Big Rich Dorris


Scott was a really down to earth guy, great with kids, loved fishing and being in the nature of Michigan.
 

Stanley T. Madhatter carried this worn Rock Asheton business card around in his wallet forever...I pried it away from him so I could scan it....Had to give it right back!

 
Dennis "Machinegun" Thompson was a very close friend of Scott's and he had this to say...

 "He was a close brother of mine..we always hung out together at the fun house and he showed thousands of young drummers how rock n roll drumming should be played..hard, strong and simple..to me he is a high caliber classic drummer and I mean that. I'm gonna miss you Scottie...Our thoughts and prayers go out to Liz, Leanna, Kathy and the fans...

Scott Asheton (Photo courtesy of Natalie Schlossman)

 Scott "Rock Action" Asheton (August 16, 1949 – March 15, 2014) was an American musician, best known as the drummer for the rock band the Stooges. Other than Iggy Pop, Asheton was the only consistent member of the Stooges after the death of his brother, guitarist Ron Asheton, in 2009.


He was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan with his family at the age of 14.

Scott Asheton (Photo courtesy of Natalie Schlossman)

Asheton co-formed the Stooges in 1967 along with his older brother Ron, Pop, and Dave Alexander. The original incarnation released two LPs on Elektra Records before moving through several lineup changes, releasing a third LP on Columbia Records in 1973 and disbanding the following year.


During the Stooges' separation he was among the few ex-members to play again with Pop, occurring during a 1978 European tour Asheton also played drums with Scott Morgan in different bands, among which were the Scott Morgan Band, Scots Pirates, and most notably Sonic's Rendezvous Band. He then went on to play drums touring in a late incarnation of Destroy All Monsters, under the name Dark Carnival.


He also recorded extensively with Sonny Vincent, playing drums on four full studio albums along with Captain Sensible on bass, as well as making special guest appearances on other Vincent releases. In addition to recording with Sonny, Asheton has toured the U.S. and Europe with Sonny and Steve Baise (on bass) of the Devil Dogs.


The Stooges reformed in 2003, and have remained active ever since, releasing a fourth album in 2007. Following the death of Ron Asheton, the group worked with later guitarist James Williamson.

After the Hellfest Festival show of June 17, 2011, in France, he suffered a severe stroke that caused his temporary retirement from live duty and was replaced by Larry Mullins (aka Toby Dammit) who had already played in Iggy Pop's band in the 90s


My dear friend Scott Asheton passed away last night.

Scott was a great artist, I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning than Scott Asheton. He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Asheton’s have always been and continue to be a second family to me.

My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life. IGGY POP

READ MORE

Dennis Machinegun Thompson Story on His time with Ron and Scott Asheton 
Deniz Tek meet the Asheton Brothers and Sonic's Rendezvous Band

2.23.2014

DENIZ TEK: SONICS RENDEZVOUS BAND, 1976 PART ONE

copyright photography Robert Matheu - robertmatheu.com
SONICS RENDEZVOUS BAND, 1976
AUTHOR: DENIZ TEK
PHOTOS: ROBERT MATHEU
            JOE RUFFNER

I was visiting home in Ann Arbor, taking a break from working with my own group, Radio Birdman, in Sydney. My brother Kurt and I were having drinks in an awful student bar on Maynard, and we were talking about the pathetic state of music now compared to the "good old days". We walked out into the bitterly cold street where I noticed a handbill sized gig poster. It was advertising a gig by a band called "Sonics Rendezvous Band", and there was a photo of these guys...

copyright photography Robert Matheu - robertmatheu.com

Rock Action,from the Stooges; Fred Smith, from the MC5; Scott Morgan, from the Rationals; Gary Rasmussen, from the Up. I knew all about them from the old days...what Michigan had been to rock and roll music six or seven years earlier, which I had thought was totally lost now. This would be worth checking out. Some of the old fire might still be alive.

The gig was at the "Roadhouse", a blue collar Michigan bar and restaurant about 10 miles north of town off US23 (Whitmore Lake). It was on for that night and the gig had already started. I knew these guys had all been great in the past, and could be great now. We got in my brother's green '72 Olds Cutlass "S", and he gunned the big block V8.

Deniz Tek with Fred's former Epiphone Crestwood Deluxe guitar

We headed up snowy North Main St, over the river bridge leaving town, on to 23 and north a couple of exits, across North Territorial, off at the top of the hill, across old Whitmore Lake Rd. and pulled up in the parking lot. We went in. The place held about 40 or fifty people, mostly sitting around at tables. There was a small empty dance floor and dim lighting.


The band was playing. Immediately, it held a great fascination for me. They were better than I had hoped. As players, they were technically solid. As a unit, they had fused into something magical. There was Fred, playing his 12 string Rick (strung with six), through an old Fender Twin through a Marshall 4x12 cab. Set against and within the bedrock rhythm background of the band, his solos were the most fluid and original I had heard since Hendrix.


His playing had progressed beyond his time in the MC5. In those days he had already started work on transcribing legendary jazz sax solos to guitar, and adapting them to rock music. He had come much closer now to perfecting this idea...starting with Coltrane, Shepp and Lester Bowie but ending up with something entirely of his own. Scott Morgan with his old Telecaster, was the perfect sixties rhythm and blues foil to Freds' experimentalist approach.

copyright photography Robert Matheu - robertmatheu.com

Morgan had the great white R&B shout, as good but more subtle than Mitch Ryder. He could hit all the notes, with incredible timing and sense of cool. For my money, the three greatest white R&B singers were all from the Detroit area: Rob Tyner, Mitch, and Scott Morgan.


Fred had an element of Bob Dylan in his voice as well. Scotty "Rock Action" Asheton had his simple Ludwig kit, beating it and the locality to submission, shaking the building with sheer brute force, but with split-atom accuracy. Every member was totally focused and were simultaneously deep in the moment while lost in nothingness.

They had achieved "loose tightness"...a term Ron Asheton used to describe the impossibly elusive balance of freedom and spontaneity yet being in the pocket. I could feel it instinctively....I abandoned myself to the sound and the look of it. I danced. I laughed. I absorbed every beat of it.


During a break between sets I talked to them a little. Fred was very polite and reserved, preferring to just sit there, bourbon and cigarette in hand, observing, thinking, but saying only an occasional word or two here and there.

 Scott,Gary, Fred and Rock  
copyright photography Robert Matheu - robertmatheu.com

Scott Asheton was Rock Action. The world famous tattoo was there. His persona initially seems intimidating. I found out later this fearsome initial impression shields a rather shy spirit with a quiet, intelligent sense of humor. Gary Rasmussen sat casually smoking, was friendly and seemed to find everything amusing. Morgan was the most approachable and happy to hold a conversation.

I left them to their break after a few minutes and went to the bar to get a drink. Coming back to find my brother, I recognized Ron Asheton at a table by himself, a Seagrams Seven and soda in front of him, smoking a Lucky through an aquafilter cigarette holder. Like something in a movie rather than real. He had on those trademark aviator glasses, and sported a full length black leather SS officers greatcoat.

 
I had seen him in the band in 1969 and on the album covers ... he was a little bit heavier now, but instantly recognizable. I went right over to him and said hi, and became an autograph hound, asking him to sign one of the Roadhouse drink menus for me. I was going to give it to Rob Younger as a gift when I got back to Sydney.  STAY TUNED FOR PART 2

Deniz Tek photo: Anne Laurent

★Deniz Tek, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a prolific guitarist, singer and songwriter currently based in Sydney, Australia. His career in music, grounded in late-60's Detroit, extends through several decades and across continents. He is best known as a founding member of the influential Australian independent rock band Radio Birdman.

In 2007, Deniz was inducted into the Australian Music Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was voted number 7 in the top 100 Australian guitarists of all time.★



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...