One Year On: Alex Chilton Remembered
Rock stars die all the time, but with Chilton, it felt different. Throughout his time with Big Star, with whom he issued three undeniable records, and all through his topsy turvy solo career, Chilton exuded a dogged humility and piss-in-the-wind exuberance. He played what songs he wanted- spending recent years covering soul and blues standards- and reacted to the deification of Big Star with an aw-shucks chill.
It won't happen, now. I'm not going to waste any more time explaining why Chilton's music means so much to me. If you share the feeling, you already know. Besides, Stereogum has a great article up, with artists like Kurt Vile, The Dum Dum Girls, Matthew Sweet, R.E.M. and Jody Stephens of Big Star sharing their thoughts, and the Big Star Blog has been issuing comments from people about the band for months now, and both are worth reading more than what I have to say. The following is simply five Alex Chilton songs that I love, free of needless commentary. I'll be at Flogging Molly tonight, sure, but for the rest of the day, I'm not going too far without a little Big Star.
"The Oogum Boogum Song" from Alex Chilton's Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy (1999)
"O My Soul," from Big Star, Radio City (1974)
"I'm Your Puppet," from The Box Tops, The Letter/Neon Rainbow (1967)
"Like Flies on Sherbert," from Alex Chilton's Like Flies on Sherbert (1979)
"Thank You Friends," from Big Star, Third/Sister Lovers (1978)