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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Perfect Sound Forever: Alex Chilton tribute

Alex Chilton tribute by Jason Gross for Perfect Sound Forever: "Sitting at a bar with one of my editors a few years ago, we were discussing who our musical heroes were. His choice was Mike Watt (which is a good choice) and mine was Alex Chilton.

It wasn't just that the confused (post) adolescent fantasies he concocted on Big Star's Radio City spoke to me in a really personal way when I first heard it in high school, making me feel a little less afraid of that strange transitional period in my life.

It was also LX's whole attitude towards music and the biz. He'd been a Box Top with hits, a cult hero in Big Star and spent most of the rest of his life as a solo act, again in cult mode. He was immersed in the biz but never really concered with anything than playing and writing, even if it wasn't for a large audience. He just had to do it and if he put out weird, esoteric records that made sense only to a cult following, so be it. That was his statement and his life. I loved him for it.

I heard the news of his death a few days before I was hoping to see him perform with Big Star at SXSW. A lot of people there were crushed by the unexpected news. The fact that the rest of the band went on with the show with special guests filling in as a tribute was a lovely way to pay some respect to him.

PSF had ran a few articles about LX and Big Star that we wanted to highlight again, along with some further thoughts on about him from a blog posting I did soon after I heard the bad news.

Thank you Alex- no matter how many records you didn't manage to sell, you really were a big star."