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Baker's Dozen

No Definitive Version: Nate Young's Most Influential Records
Jennifer Lucy Allan , March 27th, 2019 08:51

Nate Young talks to Jennifer Lucy Allan about what made his music, from teenage revelations, learning when to press record, and roofing with Scott Asheton.


The Stooges – Raw Power
I grew up with Scott Asheton, he was my uncle, more or less, a family friend. We're in Michigan, and I went to school in Ann Arbor for a bit. My first day of middle school, in Chelsea, Michigan, I wore a Ramones jacket – a jean jacket my brother had drawn Ramones by the Ramones in pencil on white paint on the back of. I was an outsider vegetarian hippie kid in this redneck town, and I just assumed nobody was going to know who The Ramones were, not that I cared anyway because I was a little punk. Then Scott Asheton's son-in-law came up to me first thing on the first day of school, and was like 'I love the Ramones and my dad's the drummer of The Stooges'. I was like 'what?!' He took us to go see The Ramones a couple of weeks later, and I grew up in that Stooges Michigan family. The Stooges were wildly overlooked and just they made nothing for the better part of the 80s and 90s. They had a lot of influence into everything we do, and me personally too, as he taught me a lot about rock & roll.

For years Scott was working with me and my father doing roofs, and he said, 'you might make it one day, then you might not make it the next day, but it's not about that'. He told me stories I read, which have been published, those first Stooges stories, first Stooges gigs, which sounded exactly like – and I pretty much mean it except for the cleats – like what we were doing in Wolf Eyes – Iggy wearing cleats stepping on contact mic'd sheet metal while Scott's playing a reverb box and an amp. It was just what they were doing, and in the same way, it was just what we started doing.

We were really lucky, we had people like Scott, other rockers that had moved out into the countryside you know, to kind of live on lakes for cheap. It made me feel not only that I could also do it, but that I didn't need to be successful. Here's Scott, hanging out with me tearing shingles off of roof in 90 degree heat, and it was like oh, ok, you do this because you want to do it, and you're probably not going to make a living out of this, and that's ok.