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On 15 March Stooges drummer Scott Asheton passed away aged 64.
Asheton co-founded The Stooges back in 1967 and was a pivotal part in the band’s rise which saw them become the ultimate US punk rock pioneers.
In honour of Asheton we have re-published his last interview with Rhythm (from July 2010) here in full.
What inspired you to first pick up sticks?
“It was at school, for the school band. The teachers would look over the class and decide what everyone would play. The overweight guys would play the big horns, and the athletic guys would get the drums. At some stage, I wanted to switch to guitar but my mom wouldn’t let me. She said, ‘You chose, you picked the drums, now stick with it.’”
What were you listening to as a youth?
“The first record I ever bought was an Elvis record, ‘Teddy Bear’. Once I got a radio, I started to figure out that there was another world out there besides my backyard, riding bikes and going to school. I found a lot of interest in the radio. I continued to listen to the radio, and I still do.”
Were you in any bands before The Stooges?
“Me, my brother and Dave [Alexander] had a band before The Stooges started, and we called it The Dirty Shames. We didn’t get very far. We liked the idea of being in a band, we looked like we were in a band, and we’d all hang out together. It wasn’t until Iggy got involved that it actually became a real band.”
What were your first impressions on meeting Jim ‘Iggy Pop’ Osterberg?
“I was impressed by how many girls would just follow him. He only had to walk across campus, and there’d be five girls walking behind him, all giggling. Talk about a magnet.”
Early Stooges shows would feature the band playing ‘instruments’ made out of vacuum cleaners and the like. What were you hitting back then?
“My toms were timbales. I had 50-gallon oil drums for my bass drums, a regular snare and cymbals. It was the oil drums that set everything apart.”