He once had Scott Asheton in his band between Scott’s stints in the Stooges when no one wanted to know.
At the time Scott was touting for work with the flyer to the right … Sonny has written great piece about working with Scott on his Facebook page which we’ve reproduced below with his kind permission.
Go and say hello to him on Facebook here.
I would like to share something in here somewhat personal, sad, mysterious and somehow very important to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely crazy about drummers, I swear I have spent entire days if not weeks solely thinking about Charlie Watts and what a perfect creation he is. Sometimes I listen to Charlie so intensely the world disappears. Same goes for Jerry Nolan, Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, Rat Scabies, tons of Motown dudes, many, many drummers all the the way to Luis from Bell Gardens California.
Sure, I do listen to all the parts in music but there is something about the drums that can not be bullshitted. Lots of dudes can play a bunch of rehashed riffs on a guitar and polish ’em up but there is no polish that can create a groove and the kind of passion a drummer must provide. Maybe for some music, but not my kind of Rock ‘n’ roll.
Sometimes listening to music I blot out everything else in my cognisance and only listen to what’s going on in the drums.
Don’t get the wrong idea, I can get by without food or human companionship simply by listening to the guitar on ‘I Want You Back’ by the Jackson 5 or better yet something by the MC5! But there is always this extra attraction for me that the drums provide. The drums transport a lot of the passion in my world.
This brings me to my pal Scott Asheton, the drummer of ‘The Stooges’. I first met him in Detroit back in the day and then later in the 80s when him and Rob Tyner were at a show of mine in Detroit. I hit it off with Scott right away and in no time we were laughing and goofing off like bad delinquents.
Later I invited Scott to play drums on a song for one of my albums (Roller Coaster). Again at those sessions in NYC we got along great and had tons of laughs. Later that year I asked Scott if he wanted to do a tour with me. The Stooges had long before broken up, as well as the Sonic Rendezvous Band. He occasionally did some shows with Scott Morgan and filled in with his brother and Niagara’s band ‘Dark Carnival’ sometimes, but generally Scott was picking up manual labor whenever and where ever he could.
I remember one time he told me he was digging fence pole holes at a farm in Michigan and this was in the winter. A fuckin crime that a drummer so great and killer had to be regulated to shit work to feed his kids. Between him and his dedicated wife (she worked part time as a nurse) they struggled through very tough times.
Anyway sometime during the 80s I had asked Scott to do a U.S. tour with me but he couldn’t … for reasons I don’t wanna say ‘why’ here because it’s his biz. We talked a lot on the phone though (I was living in Mpls back then and he was in the Detroit suburbs.) During one of the phone calls he said he sent me something in the mail. A few days later I received a large pack of flyers that he had run off at a copy shop. He called again and said “Yeah, Hey Sonny! I figured that since you were hitting nearly every town in the USA and Canada you could post these flyers around the clubs and the hip areas where you go and maybe I could get some work that’s not in the ice cold” I swear that’s exactly what he said. Folks, can you fuckinbelieve it? I put the flyers around and he didn’t even get any calls! But that’s not the saddest part. For me it is simply a crime through and through. That the drummer of the fuckin Stooges, one of the monolithic ‘greats’ is sitting at his kitchen table hand drawing a motherfucking flyer, to get work. After writing his name he lists the albums he played on. Then he draws a lightning bolt on the middle of the page and his wife or kids color it in???? This is beyond fuckin belief .. But it’s true, cold fact.. Could you imagine Ringo Starr having to do this?? Ummm.. yeah… ummm lets see… Name –Ringo Starr ummm…. Experience .. ummm yeah lets put it at the bottom… umm Abby Road, Meet The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper. ABSURD, no? Often this whole thing made me dizzy and a bit tearful at times.
Later Scott was in my band, we recorded albums together, and did tours. I always told him if Iggy ever called he could just ditch me in Kansas or wherever we were. And I have never parted from this flyer. Normally it is not more that 50 feet away from me. When I travel it’s in my bag. It’s part of me, like my skin, where I go that flyer goes. I reminded Scott of it years later when we were on tour in Europe. I showed it to him and he laughed.
We had many good times together and considering my fixation on great fucking drumming you can imagine it was heaven for me to work with him.
A lot changed since Scott sent me that flyer. The Stooges reunited and both Scott and Ron were able to enjoy the glory they deserved after some long living in a sort of limbo / shadow. And also the money came to Scott when he played huge festivals around the world with the reunited Stooges. No more digging fence post holes in the ground in the winter in Michigan. It all made me very happy for him. My brother.