Paul Trynka’s epic description of Stooges Ron and Scott Asheton ranks right up there with the other great rock ‘n’ roll tracts (if there are any), so eloquent is its delivery, at the prompting of Mr. Wilcox hisself in the Iggy Pop discussion that was reheated this week.
The phrase “sheer dumb magnificence” jumps out of the speakers like evidence of the atom’s splitting, and I’m glad Nate wasn’t in the same room as Trynka lest some of his garments were irradiated by the phrase’s brilliance as it came out if the author’s mouth. (That circuits were not blown from hither to ton is one more Stooges-related miracle).
The Ashetons represent that rarest of occurrences, a pair of brothers in the same band whose combustibility does not cancel each other out or water everything down. The catalyst in this case was one Jim Osterberg, who channeled the chain reaction he beheld betwixt those two Bros (Ron on guitar, Scott on drums) and helped to create, along with Dave Alexander on bass, a true rock ‘n’ roll archetype: Iggy and the Stooges.
From the instant they came into being, life for many a bonehead in the decades to follow would never be the same.
If you’ve ever played in a rock band, you will immediately recognize the chain reaction as described by Trynka.
If you’re like me — once a drummer with an outfit along this line but surely not near as great — you will smile and perhaps nod with the familiar bell the Asheton’s antics ring; you may even have a flashback to that moment when you knew it was time for Plan B (finish college, find a job, etc.) because you knew you could not go on like this.
And, also like me, you may even shudder with the recurring realization that you are one lucky fucker indeed.
Ed Legge (@freebirdyeller) is a life-long musician, long-time journalist and sometime corporate dweeb who’s writing a book about originating rock ‘n’ roll’s most absurd tradition.