Tag Archives: Ron Asheton

Blast From The Past: Velvet Goldmine

In a response to one of the posts about bubblegum music, a reader states that glam is like “bubble gum with pubes”. Vile, yes. Disgusting? Absolutely. But not a bad analogy.

Glam is bubblegum’s older brother/sister, more streetwise, more decadent, more overtly sexual, but at its core it’s still pop music with gigantic hooks. Aural glitter, if you will. These songs don’t hope to catch your attention with a wink of an eye; that would be far too subtle. Glam is zippers and bulges and leering innuendo – wham bam thank you ma’am.

Many films tried to accurately portray the scene; few succeeded. Velvet Goldmine not only had a great storyline – think Eddie and the Cruisers but starring Bowie and Iggy – but a killer soundtrack that still holds up today. I heard the soundtrack prior to seeing the film, and it only accelerated my desire to do so. Faith rewarded in both media.

Todd Haynes co-wrote and directed the film, which featured a stellar cast including Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor and Eddie Izzard, among others. But the music…ahh, the music.

My thoughts from 1998, first printed in TransAction Magazine


I confess up front that I havent seen the movie, although that has not been a deterrent to appreciating soundtrack records – they usually have little to do with the plot anyway. But I know good glam punk when I hear it. Shudder To Think does Bowie incarnate with “Hot One”; Placebo gives Bolan a workout with their version of “20th Century Boy”.

Also included are some great turns by Teenage Fanclub (“Personality Crisis”), Thom Yorke and star Ewan McGregor (a ripping version of “TV Eye” backed by Ron Asheton, Mike Watt and Thurston Moore, among others!). Plus how can you go wrong with Eno, Lou Reed, Roxy Music and Pulp?

And for those who forgot Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in Mott’s wake, heres a reason to dig out your vinyl. God, the energy, the passion, the feeling!  So tell me again how the pulse of the music world had its balls shrink into raisins over the past few years?

Velvet Goldmine soundtrack

Velvet Goldmine film

Clip: Placebo rocking “20th Century Boy”

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Filed under Film/TV, Music, Reviews

No Fun

Ron Asheton, guitarist/bassist for seminal punkers The Stooges was found dead in his home today, apparently of a heart attack, with the cause and actual date of his death still pending. Sad news as another trailblazer leaves this mortal coil.

My Three Stooges

My Three Stooges

Besides being an original riffmonster for one of the greatest rock bands to ever storm the planet, Asheton was also famous for having some…um…”quirks”. Whether you thought his flagrant display of Nazi memorabilia reflected an idiot savant approach to world history or a complete disregard for the horrific events of Hitler’s insanity, it certainly made Iggy seem tame by comparison. Not that being in The Stooges during their heyday didn’t take piedras grandes in the first place. Hard to believe he was 60, but that’s probably because Iggy is so ripped and animated you forget that he is as well.

Your prescription: Take four Stooges albums, play loud, and do not call me in the morning.

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