[Photo via godlis.com]
Paying tribute today to the sad passing of one the most influential musicians of a generation, the one and only Alex Chilton succumbed to a heart attack today in his home of New Orleans at the much too young age of 59. From his teen years in the Boxtops to co-founding the seminal band Big Star in Memphis in the early ’70s to his later solo work, he’s influenced everyone from REM to The Replacements to Wilco and is still influencing young bands today. His legendary status was bolstered by the recent resurgence in popularity of Big Star, who were even scheduled to play at the renowned SXSW music festival in Austin, TX this coming Saturday. He was equally adept at writing a glorious jangly pop gem like Thirteen or September Gurls as he was at mining the tortured underside of his psyche in songs like Holocaust, quite possibly the darkest saddest song ever written.
I only had the privilege of seeing him play live one time back in the late ’80′s but did get lucky enough to sit and chat with him at the bar for quite a while and it still remains one of my favorite musical memories. An immense void was left in the music world today.
R.I.P. Alex Chilton 1950-2010