Original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton (above, right, flanked by Niagra) was found dead in his Ann Arbor residence earlier today. Asheton, 60, would be a pivotal enough figure in rock history were his only contribution his playing on the first two Stooges albums, but subsequent stints in New Order, Destroy All Monsters and perhaps most of all, the short lived New Race (alongside Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek and Rob Younger, along with the MC5’s Dennis Thompson) only enhanced his stature.

It would be an understatement to say we’ve lost a guy whose playing provided a template for huge chunks of any decent record collection. Through the past 6 years, Asheton’s performances with the reunited Stooges became a staple at otherwise dreadful outdoor rock festivals around the world (ATP excepted), and writing as someone who witnessed about a half dozen of ’em, I consider myself ridiculously fortunate to have seen and heard him play.