This is a really great article from the Times-Picayune: Alex Chilton’s life in New Orleans was a mystery, and that’s how the Big Star singer wanted it. Totally worth reading because it really makes the case that at the time of his death Chilton was truly living the life he wanted to live.
However, this paragraph near the end really bummed me out.
At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass. But he did not seek medical attention, [his wife Laura] Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.
He had no qualms about going to a doctor. Again, I know more than you ever will know on this subject but don’t feel like sharing details that I consider private. But to imply that he was a poor, rundown man without the mental or financial wherewithal to go to a doctor is scurrilous.
So who knows? If he had health insurance, maybe he would’ve visited the doctor sooner. Maybe not. Chilton did things his way. If you haven’t read his wife Laura’s statement from the South by Southwest tribute, you should really read it. It gives a fascinating perspective of just what an interesting, complex guy Chilton was.