Stop The Presses!

Jan. 5-12: No Fun

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

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The first full week of 2009 started off most miserably, whennews of the death of pioneering punk guitarist Ron Ashetonwas announced. The man whose distinctive sledgehammer riffs provided theperfect foil for Iggy Pop'ssneering vocals on the Stooges' landmark recordings was found dead of anapparent heart attack in his Ann Arbor home Tuesday morning; he was only 60years old and had recently enjoyed newfound success with the reunited Stooges,who'd been touring off and on since2003 and had released their comeback album The Weirdnessin 2007.

A statement issued by Iggy Pop, drummer ScottAsheton (Ron's brother),saxophonist Steve Mackay, bassist Mike Watt, and the band'smanagement read: "We are shocked and shaken by the news of Ron's death. He was a great friend, brother, musician,trooper. Irreplaceable. He will be missed. For all that knew him behind thefacade of Mr. Cool & Quirky, he was a kind-hearted, genuine, warm personwho always believed that people meant well even if they did not.

As a musicianRon was 'The Guitar God,' idol to follow and inspire others. That is how hewill be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learnfrom him and share good and bad times with him."

Iggy Pop personally, sadly, added: "I am in shock. Hewas my best friend."

We at That'sReally Week echo the statements above; we too shall miss Ron. And wehave a feeling in a couple weeks we'llbe reporting on the Stooges'long-awaited induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; the band hasbeen on the nominees' shortlist many times but unjustly passed over for years, but there's nothing like atragic death to garner a band some much-overdue recognition.

In other fatality-related news, Dr. JanAdams, the plastic surgeon who operated on Kanye West's mother Donda shortlybefore her own tragic death, has been sentenced to a year in jail. However, hislockup has nothing to do with alleged medical malpractice or with Donda at all;instead he's being imprisoned after pleadingguilty to drunk driving charges. Yet it should be noted that at the timeof Donda's surgery last year, theMedical Board Of California was seeking to remove Dr. Adams' medical license because of his multiplealcohol-related arrests. Now we can only wonder if Kanye, whose newest album 808s & Heartbreak was inspired by his mother's passing, thinks this is sweet justice.

In other serious, sad news, this week Amy Winehouseand her superstar producer Mark Ronson, bothof whom are Jewish, were allegedly targeted by Islamic extremists. U.K. newspaper The Sun reported that a post in a forum on Ummah.com calledfor users to compile "a list of top Jews we can target," and the listincluded both Amy and Mark's names. Britishanti-terror expert Glen Jenveytold The Sun that these threats should not betaken lightly: "The Ummah website has been used by extremists. Thoselisted should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidationby 20 or 30 thugs." As if Amy Winehouse didn'thave enough troubles...

Another woman who is no stranger to trouble, tragedy, or terrorism is Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, the 18-year-old daughter of late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.And now Bakhtawar is letting her own voice be heard, writing and producing arap called "I Would Take Away The Pain" about her mother, who was assasinatedin December 2007. Bakhtawar'stribute was uploaded to YouTube this week and gives a chilling account of hermother's slaying and also praisesher mom for her courage as an activist. This young woman'sown courage for creating such an honest song should be praised as well.

And finally, on the subject of death, an unusual piece ofrock 'n'roll memorabilia is going up for auction on eBay soon. The son of 1950s rocker theBig Bopper--the "ChantillyLace" singer who died in an infamous small-plane crash alongside Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly--hasannounced plans to sell the steel casket in which his late father was buriedfor 48 years. The Bopper's son, J.P. Richardson, plans to use the money from the auction tofund a musical show about his late dad, who died before he was born.

But it wasn't allabout death and death threats this week, of course. Many pop-music It-Girlsmade headlines on the lighter side of the news, too. Britney Spears ' Twitter account was hacked by a prankster with avery colorful vocabulary; Katy Perrybecame a single lady again after splitting from her boyfriend, Gym Class Heroes MC Travis McCoy;

andLindsay Lohan and her gal pal Samantha Ronson (Mark'ssister) denied that they were splitting up at all. Surely stories like these balance outthe more serious ones detailed in the paragraphs above.

And on that lighthearted note, thus concludes another weekin music news. Come back next week for more headspinning headlines, and untilthen--goodnight, and good music.

 

THIS WEEK'STOP 10 STORIES:

1) No Fun - The Stooges'guitarist, Ron Asheton, died at age 60.

2) You Know That They're No Good - Extremists make threats against Amy Winehouse and MarkRonson.

3) South Asian Sensation - Pakistan'sBakhtawar Bhutto Zardari raps about her slain Prime Minister mother.

4) Kanye Gets Justice- The plastic surgeon who operated on Donda West is sentenced to jail.

5) Britters GetsTwittered - Britney Spears'Twitter account is hacked.

6) These Gals AreStill Pals - Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson deny they've broken up.

7) Eminem Unbottled- His upcoming single "Crack A Bottle" leaks online.

8) Katy Perry Free ToKiss Girls Again - She splits with her boyfriend, Travis McCoy.

9) Bon Jovi To HilaryClinton: "I'll Be There ForYou" - Jon will perform at a fundraiser to clear Hilary's campaign debt.

10) Shop Till YouBopper - Now the Big Bopper'scoffin is available for sale on eBay.

 

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