Showing posts with label Big Star. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Star. Show all posts

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bad couple of days

It's been a rough couple of days.

Alex Chilton is dead. Now, so is Fess Parker -- TV's Davy Crockett to the first half of my generation and Daniel Boone to mine.


It doesn't help that I caught whatever crud that knocked Mrs. Favog flat last week. Only orneriness is keeping me at the computer.

So I can chronicle the week's suckage thus far.


HERE'S WHAT the Los Angeles Times has to say about the former leader of the Box Tops and Big Star:
Alex Chilton, the mercurial leader of the Box Tops and Big Star who burst from the Memphis music scene in 1967 singing "The Letter" in the smoke-gravel voice of a grizzled soul man even though he was just 16 at the time, has died. He was 59.

Chilton was pronounced dead in the emergency room of a New Orleans hospital Wednesday after complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains, longtime friend Pat Rainer said Thursday. The cause of death has not been determined, but Rainer said Chilton's wife, Laura Kerstin, said he appeared to have suffered a heart attack.

Chilton died just as many of his musical disciples in the alternative-rock world that Big Star's relentlessly tuneful and uncompromising guitar rock helped inspire were gathering in Austin, Texas, for the annual South By Southwest Music Conference.

Big Star was scheduled to play a reunion performance Saturday. John Fry, owner of the Ardent Studio in Memphis where Chilton recorded with the Box Tops and Big Star, said Thursday that the other band members had decided to proceed with the show as a tribute to Chilton.

"You can't throw a rock at South By Southwest," Fry said, "without hitting someone who was influenced by Big Star."

The conference's creative director, Brent Grulke, said in a statement, "Alex Chilton always messed with your head, charming and amazing you while doing so. His gift for melody was second to none, yet he frequently seemed in disdain of that gift. He seemed as troubled by neglect as he did by fame. . . .

"It was impossible to know what he was thinking," Grulke's statement continued. "But it was always worth pondering, because that's what a truly great artist makes us do. And make no mistake: Alex Chilton was an artist of the very highest caliber."
HERE'S HOW I remember Fess Parker: