Friday, March 19, 2010

Amy's Music :: RIP Alex Chilton

Big StarThis week I was sad to hear of the death of singer and guitarist Alex Chilton. He was 59. Alex Chilton deserves to be remembered for his influential 1970s band Big Star. I love Big Star's pop songs especially "September Gurls" (not a typo, it's truly "gurls") and "Back of a Car" with their ringing guitars. You might have heard Big Star's song "In the Street" as the theme for the TV show "That '70s Show".

Big Star were sadly never commercially successful when they released their albums and in early 1970s. Record company distribution problems and band disagreements hurt their chances. But their innovative, power-pop music went on to inspire many other musicians. R.E.M., The Replacements, Game Theory, and The Bangles are a few of the artists who have acknowledged Big Star as an influence.

Here are some of the lyrics, or a best guess, from "September Gurls":
September gurls do so much
I was your butch and you were touched
I loved you well never mind
I've been crying all the time

December boys got it bad
December boys got it bad

September gurls I don't know why
How can I deny what's inside
Even though I'll keep away
They will love all our days

Also, before Big Star, Alex Chilton was the teenage singer of The Box Tops 1967 hit song "The Letter", which begins with the lines:
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain't got time to take a fast train

RIP Alex Chilton.

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