Alex Chilton RIP 2010

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i'm feeling incoherent right now.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

I remember kinda making fun of "Set" when it first came out, because it seemed so tossed off, but it quickly became a straight-up favorite. Such a good vibe, definitely a perfect record to play during a party.

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

xpost me too ;_;

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

wish i had a joint so bad, haha

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

whenever I get pretty drunk (fairly often, no surprise there), my first instinct these days is honestly not to reach for a Big Star record, but for this thing:

I just love it so much.

"Happy Song", "Something Deep Inside", "Just To See You" .. DAMN

hits the spot EVERY time

Stormy Davis, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

this sounds a bit like goodbye
in a way it is i guess

Religious Embolism (WmC), Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

i just think that's why reading things like "he squandered his talent" kind of rankles

Well, just to address this point... His last 30 years of recording was almost all covers. That's fine, but in my mind, he was more than a great performer; he was a great songwriter. That, to me (in a selfish kind of way), was kind of a waste. Heck, even the liner notes to the reissued #1 Record/Radio City album basically says the same thing. But yet, I understand that we each have to live our own lives, and to his credit, he did follow his own path, so kudos to him for that.

Melvin van Osterlow, Jr. (res), Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i see where you're coming from -- and I've probably thought the same thing at one time or another. I guess that if he didn't feel the songwriting muse, I feel like that's OK -- he had already written some of the best songs of the last 50 or so years. He just did it in a short burst, rather than spreading it out over a career. In the end, all that matters is that he did it, you know?

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

15 months ago, Dec'09

Hmm.

― I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor)

whoops -- fat-finger on my part. yep, it was actually '08. sorry about that, "ilxor", whoever the hell you are

Stormy Davis, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

I got into Big Star via Teenage Fanclub in the early '90s. Information and actual plays of Big Star were extremely hard to come by back then, and Teenage Fanclub either mentioned them in every interview or were relentlessly compared to them in reviews. I liked Teenage Fanclub, ergo I picked up a Big Star album without actually hearing it first at some record fair. I can't begin to fathom how many plays that copy of #1 record has had now, and naturally I hoovered up everything else whenever I could afterwards. I saw Big Star at the Reading Festival in '92 (I think it was?) and it left me pretty cold. Don't really want to think about that now. I can't go near Third yet. That's just way too much.

Position Position, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

He just did it in a short burst, rather than spreading it out over a career. In the end, all that matters is that he did it, you know?

I guess now that you mention it, most great artists who keep writing for decades get worse and worse over time... in a way, he was able to preserve his legacy by not writing bad songs later in his career.

Melvin van Osterlow, Jr. (res), Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, in a lot of ways, it seemed like he barely considered himself a songwriter -- I know he rarely had good things to say about his Big Star songs, saying that it was just him flailing around.

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:46 (4 years ago) Permalink

(obviously he was wrong!)

tylerw, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:46 (4 years ago) Permalink

was about to post this ^^^^^

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

i mean for me the most depressing thing is the relaxing endgame that Alex has lost. Weird ass entertainment contracts notwithstanding, I have to believe he should have garnered enough money for a modest lifestyle to ride out with ... You know, the Bangles cover, sure, but also the 'That 70s Show' thing. Heck, some nice new royalties from that brand new box set!

Alex should have had many more years to waltz down to Coop's on Decatur, have a few Abitas and red beans and rice, walk back to his place in the Quarter, and enjoy himself spinning those R&B and Soul records that he loved so much. that is what is so depressing. he was owed that. he deserved to get that denouement and it's been taken away.

Stormy Davis, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:51 (4 years ago) Permalink

otm

Religious Embolism (WmC), Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:54 (4 years ago) Permalink

i hope he got mohtherfuckin PAID from that 70s show

Religious Embolism (WmC), Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

So sad. He did most of his loungey songs the one time I saw him way back when, but it was still him--the guy who did so much cool Memphis stuff.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 March 2010 03:59 (4 years ago) Permalink

"i hope he got mohtherfuckin PAID from that 70s show"

i don't think he did... he mentioned it in an interview once, and it wasn't that much (relatively, and at least at that time).

zingzing, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

made plans this afternoon to go and see the william eggleston exhibit at the art institute of chicago gallery tomorrow - hopefully gonna get to see the original c-print used for the cover of radio city

Saw this exhibit when it was in DC. Yes you will...

curmudgeon, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

he was only 59, geez

lukevalentine, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

i don't think he did... he mentioned it in an interview once, and it wasn't that much (relatively, and at least at that time).

I think it was $70 every time the show came on. Or that's what he quipped in an interview i think.

Melvin van Osterlow, Jr. (res), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

not much to add to this thread at this point except that third/sister lovers felt like a discovered secret when i half-accidentally bought it in high school. and still does, really.

r.i.p.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

RIP.

Everybody I've ever met who liked good music loved Big Star. They were undeniable.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:12 (4 years ago) Permalink

he was only 59, geez

His "oldies station" status was from when he was 16. It kind of skews everyone's perception of his age.

kenan, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:12 (4 years ago) Permalink

RIP. A giant, and the fact that this thread is already near to 150 posts attests to that.

Freedom, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

the william eggleston exhibit at the art institute of chicago gallery tomorrow

saw this in new york, definitely go!

I saw Big Star at the Reading Festival in '92 (I think it was?)

couldn't be, the U of Missouri show in '93 was their first show in forever. Still can't believe I didn't go to that. I was in high school, some friends roadtripped, I didn't really know who Big Star was. Later I ended up working at the college station that put that show on (what up Mr. Que). The guy who called up Chilton and was like "hey you should do this show" and for who knows whatever reason he said yes is a friend of mine now. I don't want to be like braggin but the story is too weird not to share, the Big Star reunion happened because some college kid called him out of the blue and he said why not. I got to Mizzou right after that and everyone was so massively into Big Star, I got hooked on it hard. They were the best.

dmr, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

takin this real hard

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

that'd be 350/week from every station that ran it in the afternoons or latenite once it hit syndication right? that'd pay my rent

i can see him being happy like "this won't make me rich but it'll pay the fucking RENT"

Religious Embolism (WmC), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:15 (4 years ago) Permalink

so drunk

if bimble felt his feelings this hard all the time i can see why it wnet where it went, this is fucking rough

Religious Embolism (WmC), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

billstevejim, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:21 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure how much of a hand The Posies had in Big Star's last album (the 2005 one) but I thought this song was pretty ace...

billstevejim, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

"the william eggleston exhibit at the art institute of chicago gallery tomorrow--saw this in new york, definitely go!"

me too! i spent the whole time looking around for big star/chilton-related stuff, and found plenty. was the cadillac/dolls photo from "like flies" there? i don't recall... it's just another thing i have big star to thank for.. eggleston is one of my favorite photographers because of them.

zingzing, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

akon/family (Curt1s Stephens), Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:26 (4 years ago) Permalink

On that "Alex Chilton 1970" record I kinda love the cover of "Sugar Sugar."

billstevejim, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

was the cadillac/dolls photo from "like flies" there?

yep

dmr, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:44 (4 years ago) Permalink

thought so... if i remember correctly, it was on a wall all it's own (even if it was a little corner wall beside a door frame). but i could just be making something up. i went with a buddy who was familiar with big star, but had never heard any solo chilton stuff. i hooked him up and his life has gone to hell since.

zingzing, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:50 (4 years ago) Permalink

chilton's on yahoo's front page national news section. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obit_alex_chilton

zingzing, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:51 (4 years ago) Permalink

RIP.

Thanks to whoever pointed me to "Pray For Rain" upthread. What a lovely song.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:52 (4 years ago) Permalink

there was also a crazy video piece that was all doped up footage of Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson and everyone else who figured into "It Came From Memphis" (amazing book btw) xpost re eggleston exhibit

dmr, Thursday, 18 March 2010 04:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah that film is called Stranded In Canton... it's on YouTube:

Hatch, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

this is real sad. only 59? that means he was.. 20 years old when the first big star album came out? 21? wtf.

by another name (amateurist), Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

i have to say, if someone had asked to come up with a list of ten musicians whose death would sadden me most, i probably would've forgotten to include him. but damned if this doesn't hurt so bad. makes those ten names seem kind of insignificant at the moment.

johnnyo, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:11 (4 years ago) Permalink

Oh fuck you have to be shitting me. Take care Alex :(

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Farting in Space (NickB), Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:12 (4 years ago) Permalink

You never know whose death will hit you the hardest. I haven't been this heartbroken over a music-related death since John Peel in 2004 (who, before then, would've been an unlikely candidate as well).

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

Have officially broken out the single malt. Anyone who wants a glass is welcome to come over.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Too bad. Such a drag. OW! So much pain. Down the drain. A lot of us haven't got many friends."

johnnyo, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

You know that whole "at least the albums remain" phrase always kinda grated on me. Always seemed kinda dismissive but then I couldn't really separate the work from the person. Sure much of his later work was ephemeral, but those albums got me through a lot of good times and shitty times. I suspect they'll keep doing that.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

listening to "Ballad Of El Goodo", drinking rum

sleeve, Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

Guys, allow me to be frank with this half-bottle-of-wine post, a little spontaneous, impromptu reaction to this recent shocking bit of news we all got tonight.

I have been on ilx for like 8 or 9 years or some sad amount of time and I have seen my share of RIP threads and whole/half-hearted tributes to obscure ephemeral somebodies that meant something to someone at some time.

But this time is different. Alex Chilton was one of my all-time favorites, I held this man to a completely different level of opinion, judgement and respect than I reserve for any artist I come across.

Aside from undoutedly hearing "The Letter" in a Piggly Wiggly hand-in-hand with my Mother as a snot-nosed kid, I had my first heavy Chilton (well, Big Star) phase from ages 18-21. I had an Italian boot of "Sister Lovers" (pre-rykodisc era) with an alternate sequence that I have reprogrammed my itunes to play in because THAT was the version that I fell in love with. It certainly isn't strange that I ended up cherishing Chilton's music much more than REM or The Replacements or Teenage Fanclub or Posies who gave the man/band much lip service and raised them from cult local favorites/one hit wonders into an international cult niche.

Where I'm from, there ain't much to be proud of... well there's quite a few post-modern literary icons, but an ugly, ugly history of bitterness and unfairness. But musically, there was ALWAYS an unending rich vein that ran throughout the hills between the delta and Memphis. I'd like to think that Alex's legacy although dwarfed by Elvis, Sun, Stax/Volt in the popular opinion, was always supported by the critical wisdom of losers, misfits and weirdos whom my taste in music always seemed to intersecet with.

My first time I ever performed music live was in my lol freshman year at a shitty San Diego bar, I closed with the three song suite from Sister Lovers: Nighttime-Blue Moon-Take Care. I'd never played in the dark with a single spotlight on me in a woodchair with a simple table next to it, a lukewarm double whiskey-coke as my self-confidence crutch. As I sang those songs to a half-full room full of mostly strangers, I heard the words new, differently than I did in my room playing along to the stereo on the carpeted floor. Heard like Kurtz's crystal bullet, for the first time.

Most people go as far as Big Star and maybe LIke Flies On Sherbert, but I was always drawn to the "lost era" of Chilton, his downward spiral in the Lower East Side fueling his genius... some glowing posts of mine form 7 years ago:

Alex Chilton S&D

and even a dumb RFI question posed:

RFI: Lyrics to Alex Chilton's "Tennis Bum"

And yeah I'll admit that's about as far as I go, but what I do have I have spent many, many hours digging deeper into the grooves of.

Okay I've gone on way too long. I'll admit I haven't even read a single post on this thread yet, I will say that I'm listening to Big Black Car right now and it's just about the heaviest thing in the world to me.

✌.✰|ʘ‿ʘ|✰.✌ (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 18 March 2010 05:39 (4 years ago) Permalink


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