Saturday, March 20, 2010

dim star



william alexander chilton: december 28th, 1950 - March 17th, 2010.

I am frequently the last to know.

Sometimes it might be better never to find out at all.


Allegedly suffering from complications of the heart, Alex checked into a hospital in New Orleans on Wednesday. He didn't make the return trip.

I have nothing more to add.

A Keith Reid and Gary Brooker composition.
Recorded at American Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
Produced by Dan Penn.

big star captured by john fry.

THE BOX TOPS: A WHITER SHADE OF PALE from "The Letter / Neon Rainbow" LP (Bell) 1967 (US)

15 comments:

Brushback said...

Yeah, this was pretty stunning to find out.

ib said...

Very sad. Oddly, I just got the news about an hour ago via a telephone conversation.

I have not even yet opened the weekend paper, but I checked in first on One Base on an Overview.

ib said...

Okay. This may appear flippant. But my thoughts are with Alex Chilton's wife, Laura. And his son.

Brushback said...

Yes, I honestly didn't know/remember that he had a son.

ib said...

Well. I finally unfurled the paper - The (London) Times - and located the obituaries. A very old fart thing thing to do, I know.

There was a full page devoted to Alex Chilton. With a colour photograph from a 1996 gig. Allegedly, a reformed Big Star - with members of the Posies sitting in on vacated instruments - were set to play at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas this weekend.

I wonder how they might have sounded without Chris Bell ?

Anyway. I didn't know that he had a son either. It was mentioned in the piece.

RossK said...

Very nice recent piece on Big Star from a recent 'Sound Opinions' here....

Bonus track is Jim DeRogatis' tribute to AC's September Gurls

ib said...

Yeah. Thanks, Ross.

I am tempted to wade through the more familiar stuff of the podcast just to hear the Jim DeRogatis cover, but that seems too much like hard work right now.

So far as I can gather, Chilton excepting, the only original member in the reformed Big Star line-up would be drummer Jody Stephens; the guest on this show.

I have not even listened to "In Space", the album from 2005. In fact, I did not know it even existed.

I intend to remedy that. Some time soon.

RossK said...

The deRogatis thing is about 2/3 through...The Stephens interview is interesting, or at least it was to me, because he does spend quite a bit of time talking about the original dynamic within Big Star.

ib said...

Cheers. That's the thing with those damn podcasts; the demand you work at them.

The dynamic within Big Star was kind of fucked up from the start, I think. It is entirely understandable, too, that Chris Bell nursed his grievances and doubts.

Have you heard "I Am the Cosmos", Ross ? A work in progress at the time of his death,and only released posthumously.

The curse of Big Star.

Brushback said...

"In Space" is crap, prepare to be disappointed.

The so-called Big Star lineup with Jody Stephens and the two guys from the Posies has actually existed since the 90's. The live album, "Columbia", is that lineup, and it isn't bad. Has a Todd Rundgren cover, too.

ib said...

Well, fuck. I suspected as much.

I will take that from you, Brushback, without second guessing.

I saw some of the live stuff up on the web. Alex is Alex. Hot and cold.

Todd Rundgren, eh ? I keep wanting to get dwn with that shit, but I keep on missing something. Laziness, I suppose.

RossK said...

Yup - I have.

The curse is an interesting way to think about it.


(I listen to the podcasts in the car, with the kids, so they seem much less onerous - and obvious)

ib said...

I confess I was amazed the first time I heard Bell's solo 'LP'; as to its reinforcement of just how much the Big Star sound revolved around his songwriting, with or without Alex.

Interesting, too, that "Sounds Opinion" choose to kick off their thing with "Feel" credited there solely to Chris Bell as writer and performer; credited as a joint Chilton and Bell composition elsewhere.

That cursed Big Star dynamic again.

Oh well. This makes comment #13.

Surely there's a song in there somewhere.

Nazz Nomad said...

i am the cosmos - chris bell gives me shivers.
as does much of the big star boxed set
as does much of #1, radio city and third
what a waste.

ib said...

Well. Whatever their shared ill fortunes or shortcomings, they got their shit out there. Whichever way you choose to cut it.

More of a waste had they never done so.