Mar 18, 2010

RIP Alex Chilton

"Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane -- ain't got time for no fast train"

I'l bet most of you loyal readers recognize that opening line from the hit oldie tuneThe Letter by 60s popsters Box Tops. We've all been there when lead singer Alex Chilton sings: "cus my baby, she wrote me a letter."

As a little kid, that band was one of my early favorites, along with the Young Rascals and Paul Revere & the Raiders. A couple hits more out of the group was all they had left in the tank as their brand of Top 40 gave way to the more bluesy FM staples of the early 70s.

Chilton, being a Tennessee lad, went on to dig into his twangy-twang roots and formed Big Star, which could be called a cross between the Gram Parsons-era Byrds and the Beatles. Now,99% of you never heard of Big Star, but for that remaining 1%, Big Star was the proverbial gem. Some have referred to them as the ultimate US cult band. I'm not sure of that, but they were certanly a listenable act that deserved more recognition than some of their lesser talented cosmic country brothers of that same timeframe. Yeas, I'm talking about you, Eagles, Pure Prarie League and Poco!

Here's a sample.

Mr Chilton left this earth yesterday. But let it be noted that he was right there 'til then end; coming up just three days short of a scheduled gig at South x SouthWest.

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