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alex chilton :: Blog

Thank you Alex

Friday, March 19: 4:53 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris

We lost an American icon yesterday with the passing of Alex Chilton. 

He followed his own path, emerging in the 1960s as a vocalist with the Box Tops—that’s his growl on The Letter—and moved in a different direction in the 1970s with seminal Memphis band Big Star. September Gurls still gives me the chills.  He then dropped in and out of view during what some have called his “lost decade.”

I came of age in the early 1980s in dusty record stores and Salvation Army thrift shops and among our crowd Chilton was an enigma that we embraced.  He was rumored to be washing dishes in New Orleans, playing gigs overseas, recording with The Cramps, or simply in voluntary seclusion. The Replacements stoked the flames and we tracked down Chilton’s vinyl—especially his messier late 1970s stuff— and passed around the rare live cassette.  His EPs from this era are fantastic. You feel a river of American music flowing from them. They would stay parked on your turntable for weeks after you purchased them. The songs were pure, damp, and loose with an acidic edge at times that felt just right.   Thank You John, Lost My ...

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