Building Asheton’s Signature Model

For the Stooges’ first reunion gig at Coachella in April 2003, Ron Asheton used a black, Mexican-made Strat. But once the band was officially back together, he reached out to eastern Michigan builder Joe Naylor, of Reverend Guitars, to discuss a 6-string.

“I met Ron in the late ’90s,” Naylor says. “He played Naylor amps, which was the company I had before Reverend. He wanted something with three single-coil pickups. The classic setup for him with Iggy had been a Stratocaster, but he was looking for something a little fatter sounding. He also wanted the option to be able to thin the sound out for the traditional Strat sound if he had to do that.”

Naylor’s solution was a passive bass-roll-off control. “I built him a 3-pickup guitar, which back then was called the Avenger model, and I installed a knob on it that would cut bass out of it,” Naylor says. “It was a variable knob. He had full control over how much he wanted to thin out the sound. If he turned the knob all the way off, it sounded like a traditional Strat. That later became the Reverend bass contour control, which we use on almost every guitar now.”

Asheton’s signature V, which Naylor designed a few years later, was made with a stop tailpiece, a set neck, and three P-90s. “It sounds kind of like a giant Strat,” Naylor says. “He wanted that attack that you get from a single-coil pickup. Of course, a P-90 is a single coil pickup … it’s just a large one, but it does retain some of that string attack, which is essential to that Stooges ferocity.”

Proceeds from the sale of Asheton’s signature V go to support the Ron Asheton Foundation, which works to help abused, abandoned, and orphaned animals, and partners with various humane societies.