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Sunday, March 30, 2008

He wore a Paper Hat

"... In the spring of 1978, inspired more by Big Star's records than by those of Elvis or Otis or Al, I took a trip to Memphis with two singer- songwriter-guitarists, Peter Holsapple and Mitch Easter. They had just been in a band (without me) named the H-Bombs in Chapel Hill, and had recently done some recording that Alex Chilton was desultorily involved in. We were thinking of starting a new band and relocating. This was almost certainly the first of many musicians' pilgrimages in search of the Big Star essence. ...
On a little portable cassette machine Alex played us "I Am the Cosmos" for the first time. And told us some things about Chris Bell, Big Star, Ardent, and the whole scene that we probably didn't need to know: that John Fry, the owner of the studio and label, was gay, and so was Chris, and that Chris got jealous that John got interested in Alex (and that this was the reason that Chris erased the master tapes of #1 Record); or that Alex was better at tennis than Chris, who could never beat him no matter how hard he tried.
I know Alex to be an enthusiastic embellisher of the truth, but when "You Can't Have Me" appeared on the belated release of the third Big Star album later that year I recognized what/who it must be about, and I still can't hear it without thinking about all this. ..."

Will Rigby reminisces over events in 1978, his meetings with Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. The Big Star influence and a trip to Memphis, and later on the recording of a song about his meeting with Chris Bell.

A wonderful story over at Boogie Woogie Flu: Paper Hat. And of course a couple of great tracks!