He co-founded the band in 1967 alongside Iggy Pop, bassist Dave Alexander (who passed away in 1975) and his guitarist brother Ron Asheton (who died in 2009).
No cause of death has been given, but he had been unwell since suffering a stroke after the band played at Hellfest in France in 2011. He’d been replaced by Toby Dammit on the road since then. His last studio appearance was on last year’s album Ready To Die.
Confirming that Asheton had passed away on Saturday, Pop said in a statement: “Scott was a great artist. I have never heard anyone play the drums with more meaning.
“He was like my brother. He and Ron have left a huge legacy to the world. The Ashetons have always been, and continue to be, a second family to me. My thoughts are with his sister Kathy, his wife Liz and his daughter Leanna, who was the light of his life.”
The Stooges, who split in 1974 then regrouped in 2003, recently completed an album without Pop. Re-Licked is a collection of unrecorded tracks written in 1973 and 1974, and featuring guest appearances by Mark Lanegan, Jello Biafra and others. It’s expected later this year.
The frontman is uncomfortable with the idea of continuing without Asheton and his guitarist brother Ron, who died in 2009.
Iggy tells Rolling Stone: “I don’t want to say I’m done with the band, I would just say that I feel like the group has always included the Asheton brothers. When Ron passed away Scott represented him. Nearly everything we play, Ron played on originally. I just can’t see the band playing in the near future. It would just be wrong.”
But he adds: “If something comes up you should be open to it. It depends on the feeling of the family and the surviving members.”
In fact the 66-year old isn’t sure whether he’ll take the stage with any band in the foreseeable future. He reflects: “I don’t feel right now like there’s any reason for me to go jumping out in tight Levi’s.
“I definitely have no plans to be a touring musician for the next couple of years. I’ll probably tour again at some point, but I don’t know where and I don’t know how.”
Iggy recently thanked the BBC for rekindling his love for music by inviting him to present a radio show.