Saturday, March 20, 2010
RIP Alex Chilton
One of the true unsung greats of American music. Writer, singer, producer and guitarist he was often so far ahead of his time it was as if he was from the future. I am always struck by how his work, especially with Big Star, sounds as if it were recorded last week when in fact, it was made while I was an infant. His work as the producer for The Cramps first few albums created the genre of Psychobilly and was the first step towards an underground roots revival.
I saw him perform once many years ago. He played mostly new stuff. My friends and I heckled him a bit and harassed his girlfriend Peggy O'Neill, the drummer for The Gories. Of course there was some alcohol involved. But he took it all in a very amused and good natured fashion. He was a true pro.
He died on my 40th birthday, not that it means anything. But ironically that day I had a discussion with one of my younger friends about the merits of Big Star and Alex Chilton in general. "Check it out, I know you will dig it", I said. I think that is really the best tribute anyone could ever pay to a musician. RIP AC.
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