Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rest In Peace, Alex Chilton

Oh man, this is another bad one. Alex Chilton dies at age 59.

There's almost no music in the world that I love more than the first 2 Big Star albums. You almost couldn't dream of a better fusion of the Beatles and the Stones. And even though Alex Chilton hadn't written a particularly great song in about 30 years, it still feels like he died way too young.

I saw Chilton on stage once. He was opening for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Roseland back when I was in high school. (Talk about a headliner unworthy of its opening act.) The audience was largely ignorant of Chilton's music and talked through much of it. And as a solo performer, he wasn't particularly compelling on stage. But it was still pretty cool to be in the presence of a giant. (At least by my estimation, he was one.)

To quote Paul Westerberg: "I never travel very far/ Without a little Big Star."


pblfsda said...

Hey, I'm a fellow blogger who decided to use the 'next' feature at the top of the page, and after (no exaggeration) about 20 consecutive Christian-themed blogs I'm so happy to find a blog I can relate to that I had to leave a comment. I came to Chilton through the 'Mats and the Cramps (he produced early sessions for them). I've seen a few notes about him passing, both from news services and personal pages like this one and it's been a huge relief to see that the focus has been on the fact that he influenced fellow musicians more than he did the public directly. I was afraid it would all be anecdotes about his drinking capped with a tossed-in mention of the "That 70's Show" theme. What is odd is that no one so far has mentioned last year's Big Star box. I passed only because I have the albums, but I'm curious to know if the unreleased material was worth it. Thanks for the first-hand account.

drischord said...

Thanks, pblfsda!

I personally don't own the Big Star box and don't know anyone who does. I love the records of theirs that I do have (plus the Chris Bell solo stuff), and am pretty content with that. But if you hear any more about the box, please pass it along!

Thank you for commenting. Sorry it took so long to reply.