Wednesday, March 24, 2010

R.I.P: Alex Chilton (1950-2010)

Just as I was reveling in being away from civilization for a week, I get on the interwebs and find this out.

Like a lot of people my age, Alex Chilton came on my radar through The Replacements. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only Mats lover who was a little confused when they finally heard his stuff and it was more Eddie Hinton than Johnny Thunders. I came to really fall for Big Star and was well bummed that I was unable to see them in their original incarnation. I saw a bunch of the Auer/Stringfellow reunion shows and it was pretty obvious that the BS shows were more of a pension plan than anything he held especially dear.

The solo shows were something different. Alex played a lot at Fez last century. Though a one-time bizarre miscommunication the doorman though I worked for the Voice and for years I always got in free there, so I saw a ton of them. They were pretty hit or miss, but were notable for having the hugest set list I had ever seen. Alex would unfold it like a roadmap, throw it on the floor and call off obscure tune after tune that irritated the shit out of people that were under the misconception they'd be hearing Thirteen. The backing band rarely missed a step, and if they did, it did not bode well for that band member post-set. If they made it that far.

The Memphis boy had called New Orleans home in recent years. Katrina had displaced him for a bit and I believe he had been in Houston for a while, but was in New Orleans when he went to the hospital on 3/17 and passed later on that day. He will be missed.


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