Iggy Pop has opened up about the death of his long-time friend and bandmate Ron Asheton in his first interview since Asheton's body was discovered in his home last Tuesday.
Iggy talked with Detroit classic rock radio station 94.7 WCSX morning show hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle after the end of their show Friday, and they broadcast the conversation in full during Monday morning's show.
Iggy's comments are candid and personal; he reminisces for several minutes about the beginning of The Stooges and what was happening in the music scene at the time. He also talks a lot about Asheton's specific style and how he influenced scores of rock guitarists who came after him.
"I don't think everybody got it at first, but over the years other generations really caught on to it. ...I think a lot of good musicians were influenced by what Ron pioneered," he said.
Asheton and Iggy didn't hook up musically until several years after high school, but he says their paths crossed a few times. "I knew Ron vaguely in high school because we were two of the first guys to let our hair grow over our ears, and we used to get hassled for it from time to time," he said.
He told Deminski and Doyle that Stooges tour manager Henry McGroggan had called him Tuesday morning to give him the news. McGroggan had asked then if there was anything Iggy wanted to say in lieu of issuing a statement to the press. Rather than make some flowery speech later on, Iggy said he told McGroggan the first thing he felt.
"I said, 'I'm shocked. He was my best friend.' We never really sat around and held hands when he was alive, but that was my immediate reaction in the moment."
Though he gets audibly choked up several times during the interview, he seems to enjoy talking about Asheton, and said that he "was on a high when he passed away, in his career and in his music."
Iggy Pop Talks to Detroit's 94.7 WCSX