of the Stooges
Nobody ever accused Ron Asheton of being a nice guy. "Any guitar player worth his salt is basically a thug," his lead singer, Iggy Pop, once said. "They test you with that thug mentality. They ride you to the edge." Asheton was the Detroit punk who made the Stooges' music reek like a puddle of week-old biker sweat. He favored black leather and German iron crosses onstage, and he never let not really knowing how to play get in the way of a big, ugly feedback solo. This spring, Asheton joined Iggy and the other Stooges for their first gigs in nearly thirty years. He still sounds like a thug.
Essential Recording: "No Fun," The Stooges (1969)
30 Buddy Guy
A key influence on Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy put the Louisiana hurricane in 1960s electric Chicago blues as a member of Muddy Waters' band and as a house guitarist at Chess Records. A native of the Baton Rouge area, he combined a blazing modernism with a fierce grip on his roots, playing frantic leads heavy with swampy funk on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" and Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle" as well as on his own Chess sides and the fine series of records he made with harp man Junior Wells. One of the last active connections to the golden age of Chess, Guy still plays with his original fire.
Essential Recording: "Stone Crazy," 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection (2000)