Alex Chilton, Dead at 59

Dan Penn (in glasses) and Alex Chilton lounging at the Sam Phillips Recording Service, mid-1970s. Photo by William Eggleston.

Dan Penn (in glasses) and Alex Chilton lounging at the Sam Phillips Recording Service, mid-1970s. Photo by William Eggleston.

“September Gurls” on a mixtape. That started it all. I’ve got nothing to say that hasn’t been said already. I’m thankful we have his recordings. Fucking mortality. But records don’t die. So put some music on and make sure the people you care about know you love them.

I mean, jeez, I haven’t even been able to get my head around Mark Linkous dying (just two days after we randomly posted his cover of “Dark As a Dungeon”). And now another one of my musical heroes…gone.

There’s a William Eggleston exhibition going on at the Art Institute of Chicago through May 23. He shot the photos used on the covers of Radio City and Like Flies on Sherbet. I’m going to have to go see that.

Oh, and the Box Tops are underrated. Soul Deep is a really good collection.

Video: Big Star – “Thank You Friends”

Alex Chilton: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Big Star: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Box Tops: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

4 thoughts on “Alex Chilton, Dead at 59”

  1. life is fleeting. though, sometimes there are some pretty amazing things to hear and see. chilton has brought a fair share of joy to my life and for that i’m eternally thankful.

  2. I’ve just been punched in the stomach. Really hard.

    Alex is one of my musical hereoes. This is the worst news to come down the transom in a long time. I’m in shock, and sadder than hell.


  3. In the summer of 2000, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow came to NYC during an acoustic Posies tour. After the show, I chatted with Auer who informed me they’d be opening for Big Star in NOLA on New Year’s Eve. I figured if by Halloween I didn’t have concrete plans for NYE, I’d fly down and make the show. I did.

    The show was stellar. And despite Alex Chilton’s mercurial reputation, he warmed up to the adoring audience early, going as far as performing “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of midnight and later stopping the show to tell some jokes while graciously acknowledging the fervent applause throughout the set.

    As the house lights went up, The Replacements’ “Alex Chilton” came over the PA and filled the room with its reminder to “never travel far / without a little Big Star.

    For those of us that a guiding Star brought from as far as Nashville, Athens and even New York, it was a lesson already well learned in advance.

    RIP, Alex Chilton.

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