- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2009

The rock world lost an unsung hero this week with the death at age 60 of Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton. Born in the District, Mr. Asheton had a brutalist style of riffing that created a template for punk rock, as connoisseurs of the genre universally acknowledge. Here are five of the man’s musical legatees.

Johnny Ramone - The Ramones formed out of mutual love for the same music; they were the only four guys in Queens who liked the Stooges and the New York Dolls, the late Dee Dee Ramone said. Guitarist Johnny Ramone, in particular, studiously replicated Mr. Asheton’s fierce rhythm-guitar attack.

Steve Jones - The Stooges, never big record sellers, had secret admirers on the other side of the Atlantic, too, including the riffmeister of the Sex Pistols. At a 1978 concert that would be their last for decades, the U.K. punks concluded with a cover of the Stooges’ “No Fun.”

Thurston Moore- For the Sonic Youth noise-punk pioneer, the Stooges “were the perfect embodiment of what music should be.” Mr. Moore collaborated with Mr. Asheton on the soundtrack of the 1998 movie “Velvet Goldmine.” During the project, he said he appreciated anew “that Asheton swing … the way he rocked the chord grooves.”

Kurt Cobain - The late Nirvana founder once called Stooges frontman Iggy Pop “my total idol.” The outsize persona may have belonged to Iggy Pop, but the grinding power chords were Mr. Asheton’s.

Jack White - Steeped in blues and classic British rockers such as Led Zeppelin, Detroit’s Mr. White was equally inspired by the tonal primitivism and theatricality of hometown heroes the Stooges. Mr. White has cited the band’s second LP, 1970’s “Fun House,” as the greatest rock album ever.

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