Alex Chilton died last night. I'm pretty bummed out about it. I sort of don't even really feel like writing this, but it seems like a nice thing to do for the dude that got me back into music again.
So Big Star were my Beatles or Stones. The only other band I've ever liked that much is Bright Eyes, and to be honest, I really don't think I'd care that much if I heard that Conor Oberst died last night. I'd be a little sad, but I'd forget about it within the hour. Definitely not the case here. I'm actually sort of surprised as to how upset about this I am. My whole day has been mopey bum-fuckery since I found out.
For the past couple of years, I've been steadily amassing a collection of records with which Chilton was involved to sort of pay homage to Big Star, and you can bet that's pretty much over. Their records were pricey when Chilton was alive, and the bids are already starting to creep up on eBay. And unlike Michael Jackson's stuff, I'm assuming that these prices will remain firmly parked at the "sky high" level. I'm usually a fan of sniffing out hard-to-find gems for cheap, but with this band, I just wanted as many little pieces as I could get my hands on of the history of what was, in my opinion, the most important pop group of all time.
Tuesday, as I drove home, I was thinking about how great it was that I could see a Big Star show pretty much whenever if I felt like driving far enough. That's over now too. And right now I'm trying to listen to Radio City, and it's just making me sad. Hopefully that goes away soon. God, I feel like I'm a kid and someone just told me there's no such thing as Santa. This is the most affected I've ever been by the death of a (semi) celebrity.
Anyway, enough with the oh-well-Pooh-ing. Here's a video of a senator for whom I now have much more respect, and some downloads in case you don't know Big Star well enough to be sad about this. I WILL NOT MOPE ALONE, MOTHERFUCKERS.
First, the video:
(sorry, can't embed)
Now, the music (click the album cover to download a record):
Number One Record: Big Star's first record. A little more mainstream. A probable thumbs-up for lovers of classic rock in general.
Radio City: Big Star's second record, recorded without the help of guitarist Chris Bell, who was institutionalized at the time. First signs of the awesomeness that was to come are shown in this record.
Third (or) Sister Lovers: Same record released under two different titles. This is easily the most beautiful record I've ever heard. I know it's a stupid cliché, but this record was WAY ahead of its time. Kangaroo is one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard.
I really wanted to post their latest album (entitled "In Space", which I think is a reference to a record put out by another one of my favorite bands - The Ventures), but I couldn't find it during a fairly extensive Google search. It's too bad, because nobody ever talks about that record, and it is GREAT. Three times I've listened to features about this band on NPR, and not once did they mention the fact that the band reunited and released a record of entirely new material in 2005. Maybe I'll set up a computer with a sound card and rip my vinyl copy to post on here this weekend.
Alex Chilton, I'm very sad that you died. I'm gonna go get drunk in your honor.