Regarding Alex Chilton and an Apology For Never Checking out Big Star

My inbox was flooded this morning from emails from the The Daily Swarm list serve, regarding Alex Chilton’s death.  I am embarrassed to admit that I have actually never listened to Big Star.  After reading several tributes including one by Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone, I realize  I have missed out on someone who I would probably admire along with Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed.  

Many of my favorite bands (most notably R.E.M.) cite Big Star and Alex Chilton as a major influence.  It’s odd that I would never make the connection and check out Big Star.  Usually the way I discover new music (for me anyway) is to figure out my favorite bands influences.  Peter Buck is actually one of the reasons I decided to check out The Rolling Stone’s Exile on Main St.  About 13 years ago, I remember reading an interview with The Edge from U2 and he cited The Clash’s London Calling as a major influence.  When I had enough money, I went to the record store and bought a copy of London Calling.  I felt like I belonged in the cool club because I had an album that inspired my idols.  

I really wanted to go to South by Southwest this year, and I even though I’ve never listened to them, I’m willing to be I would have checked out the Big Star show if I had gone.  I feel bad for those going this year who went specifically to see them.  To many Alex Chilton is like like Elvis Costello is to me.  I just wish I had known him sooner.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Regarding Alex Chilton and an Apology For Never Checking out Big Star

  1. The Other Matt

    Matt I swore I let you borrow my #1 Record/Radio City CD in 2001.

  2. Matt Satterfield

    You probably did come to think of it. Not sure if I ever listened to it though.

  3. gleebs

    if you ever watched ‘that 70s show’ you probably know a few of their songs, since they often used them on the show’s soundtrack (‘in the street,’ ‘thirteen,’ ‘i’m in love with a girl’). last year sound opinions (awesome podcast) did a dissection of #1 record/radio city that is worth checking out, also.

    i don’t know what your thoughts are on the replacements, but their song ‘alex chilton’ is a great tribute to the guy.

    big star is amazing, hope you take the weekend to dig into #1 record/radio city!

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