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never mind the replacements


Alex Chilton did what he felt served him best at any given time, regardless of familal advice or power of attorney. Whatever impulse or gravitational pull guided him, the reluctant Memphis son was possessed of a mercurial tendency to dismiss every standing ovation; wandering out from the wings into foul smelling cul de sacs often blacklisted by the ticket buying public. Box Top or Westerberg referred Big Star obsessive alike.

If the sometimes damning reviews ever bothered him at all, he repented at leisure. Behind closed doors. That he was felled by a heart attack while mowing his lawn is blackly appropriate. Alex Chilton thumbed his nose at every civic instruction from \’Keep Off The Grass\’ to \’Stay True To Your School\’. So. I was half listening to \”Take It Off\” from 1987\’s \”High Priest\” when I stumbled on the following on the ever informative Probe Is Turning On The People!, a nod to the less familiar EP released in the same year as Chilton\’s Fun Records sponsored Thai holiday. Produced by Connecticut born Jon Tiven, neither \”All Of The Time\” or this revisiting of Eddie Cochran\’s \”Summertime Blues\” – taking its cue from \”Live At Leeds\” as much as any hayseed Oklahoma prom hop – made the cut on the New Rose issued \”Alex Chilton\’s Lost Decade\” for some inexplicable reason.

Just remember. When the beautiful heartache of those Chris Bell collaborations collapsed in acrimony and recrimination, Chilton limped off to deconstruct before he partied. A refugee, almost, from the set of Peter Bogdanovich\’s \”The Last Picture Show\”; bruised and nursing misdirected hostility.

First out the blocks here is a Chilton and Aldridge number. Recorded in NYC.

Postscript: As Jonderneathica rightly observes, the Ork Records EP release was itself culled from those NYC sessions produced by Tiven between 1975-6; recorded immediately in the aftermath of Big Star\’s demise. Those same sessions were compiled in full for the LP release of \”Bach\’s Bottom\” in 1981, subsequently reissued on CD with both sides of his 1979 (Memphis recorded) 45, \”Bangkock\” featured as bonus tracks.

Additionally, the \’Obscurity\’ website notes that Memphis band Prix recorded \”Everytime I Close My Eyes\” and \”Take Me Home and Make Me Like It\” in sessions which bore a single and EP in 77/8. Both Chilton and Bell are credited as playing on the sessions, with the latter sitting in on production duties.

The band \”centered around singer Tommy Hoehn, guitarist Jon Tiven and bassist Rick Clark\”, Hoehn himself providing back up vocals for Big Star\’s \”Third\”.  Tiven went on to form both The Yankees and The Jon Tiven Group – releasing two albums worth of material in 1996 – while Tommy Hoehn flirted with succeess as a solo artist. The Prix recordings were retrospectively issued as \”Historix\” for those of you with an unswerving devotion to Big Star, The Scruffs and all things Power Pop.

ALEX CHILTON: ALL OF THE TIME from \”Singer Not The Song\” EP (Ork Records) 1978 (US) ALEX CHILTON: SUMMERTIME BLUES from \”Singer Not The Song\” EP (Ork Records) 1978 (US)

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