The Stooges’ Mike Watt pays tribute to Ron Asheton

Bassist says his time with the guitir legend was 'incredible'

The Stooges‘ bass player Mike Watt has paid tribute to the band’s guitarist Ron Asheton, whose death was announced on Tuesday (January 6).

Although a post-mortem is yet to be carried out, Asheton is thought to have died of a heart attack. He was 60.

Watt joined The Stooges in 2003, playing on their reunion tours and subsequent album, 2007’s ‘The Weirdness’.

Speaking to the LA Times, the bassist called his bandmate a “pioneer”, praising his guitar technique.

“As a musician, he was a pioneer – very singular, very unique. To get to be onstage with him was incredible for me. We all looked up to Ronnie with that guitar sound,” he said. “Man, it was a sound, but especially in those days in the early ’70s. Most people at my high school, they didn’t like that sound. They were like, ‘You like them?’ We took a lot of [flak] for liking them in a way.”

Watt added that he was hopeful to create more music in honour of Asheton.

“I’m going to get more intense with my work, my music,” he said. “That’s what I was thinking when I paddled out today. I went in the kayak after somebody told me they found him. I’m in San Pedro Harbor and I’m always running or kayaking.

“This is going to push me with music ever more. It’s a shame it takes something like this to do that, but I know all the playing with him has rubbed off on me big time. I loved being his bass player.”

We’ve picked out Asheton‘s five greatest riffs on the NME Office Blog.