Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alex Chilton Dies at 59

I had been planning to update the site this upcoming weekend, even though there wasn't any real Paul news, just to kinda say "hey". But unfortunately I now have a real reason to post, a very sad one. Alex Chilton died yesterday in New Orleans. He was 59 years old. The cause of death is believed to be a heart attack. Big Star was scheduled to play SXSW on Saturday, and take part in a scheduled panel discussion about the band called (what else?) "I Never Travel Far Without a Little Big Star". The timing is surreal. From what I understand, both the panel discussion and the show will still take place, with the show becoming a tribute show. My source: Twitter, so take it with a grain of salt.

Paul made a statement to the Associated Press:
In my opinion, Alex was the most talented triple threat musician out of Memphis — and that's saying a ton," Paul Westerberg, the former Replacements frontman, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "His versatility at soulful singing, pop rock songwriting, master of the folk idiom, and his delving into the avant garde, goes without equal. He was also a hell of a guitar player and a great guy."

Honestly, what more is there to say? If you've made your way to this site, you already know what a huge loss this is, how amazing his music was and how much influence the music of Alex Chilton and Big Star had on the music we all love so much. There's not a lot I can add, so I've put together some links below.

Memphis music loses ‘Big Star’ — singer, songwriter Alex Chilton dies at 59 - TheMemphis Commercial Appeal
Underrated Iconoclast: Alex Chilton's Lasting Influence - The Atlantic Wire
Alex Chilton dies on the eve of South by Southwest tribute - The Chicago Sun-Times
Alex Chilton dies at 59; mercurial leader of the Box Tops, Big Star - • The LA Times
A Couple Alex Chilton Songs - Amazing tribute from Alex Pareene at Gawker

Congressman Steve Cohen commemorates the life of Alex Chilton in the House of Representatives, watch this clip below, you can tell it's from the heart.

I found this picture of Paul and Alex Chilton on this blog , it was taken during a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken in 1987. I love it.

paul westerberg & alex chilton

And finally, here's PW doing "Alex Chilton" at the Guthrie in 2002. Sing along, won't you?

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