Anyone who’s ever had the opportunity to listen to the 1970 album “Fun House” by The Stooges will never forget it. It’s a raucous album that encapsulates what Rock & Roll should sound like; it’s wild, unwieldy and generally a primal record. What makes it even more astounding is the fact that an album this ballsy and raw was made in 1970 when The Beatles released “Let It Be” and Punk rock was still nothing more than a dream of despondent generation. Iggy Pop does his best Howlin’ Wolf impersonation, Ron Asheton riffs endlessly on his guitars, Dave Alexander plays infectious riffs on the bass keeping the groove going and Scott Asheton pounds the absolute shit out of the drums in the most beautiful way possible. It’s the band’s best album and one that would still baffle most listeners with it’s sheer insanity.
A lot of the memories of when I discovered this album came flooding back to me today when I read the unfortunate news that Scott Asheton had passed away at the criminally young age of 64. He is, in my opinion at least, one of the more underrated Rock drummers of all time. His performance never outshone Iggy or his brother Scott’s more focal parts of a song, but anyone who ever listened a little further into a Stooges song found there to be a super tight rhythm section at the core of the band. His drumming always sounded incredible and pulsating adding a distinct blues feel to the heavily distorted songs the Stooges released. A song like 1969 from their self titled debut album is a great example of this.
But, for what it’s worth, I believe the album where the Asheton/Alexander rhythm section really shone is Fun House. And with the news of his passing today, I think it’s only right to revisit this album and share it with others who maybe have never delved into it’s insanity. Any album that ends with Iggy Pop growling whilst the distortion and tenor sax swell a psychedelic frenzy is good with me. Throw in some maniacal drumming and awe-inspiring guitar riffs and you’ve got a winner.