Numero Group: By The Numbers

Alex Chilton RIP
March 17, 2010, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Obituaries | Tags: , ,

If you haven’t read Bob Mehr’s liners for “Keep An Eye On The Sky,” the 2009 Big Star Collection, try to get hold of a copy. They absolutely nail what it was like to be a Big Star fan in the early days. Here’s a note I sent to Bob upon its release:

“I got my (promo) copy of #1 Record in late ’72 at the college station in Columbia, Mo, where I spun occasionally on Saturdays while playing nights in an R&B band there. In ’74, still in Columbia, but now working at my first record store, I nailed a copy of Radio City (another promo) mostly because no one else working there wanted it. My #1 Record went missing years ago, but I still have that Radio City LP, with “Hit! Please Listen” stamped on the front in red ink. Heard both albums the weeks they came out and, as Peter Holsapple affirms in your notes, never saw a retail copy for sale anywhere.

As if this wasn’t lucky enough, I was one of the early recipients of the “Sister Lover” cassette from fellow St Louisan and fan Steve Scariano’s acetate. A third Big Star album was the last thing any of us expected. And btw, no one’s ever gotten the sequence on that record right. The original is perfect and crucial.

I spent the ensuing years exposing everyone I could manage to imprison in front of my stereo long enough to become infected by “my favorite band that no one’s ever heard.” Every one of those people are my closest friends today.

There were damn few who got this much Big Star so soon and fell in love with them so hard. It’s a small and exclusive club of which I’m proud to be a member. You got it so right in your essay and this member of the Memphis Inner Party, St Louis Division, thanks you for the memory.”

-Tom Lunt

In memory of Alex Chilton, 1950 – 2010

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I became a Big Star fan in 1978, when the first LP reissue of “#1 Record” and “Radio City” hit the racks, followed by the PVC edition of “Third.” Alex’s musical integrity and personal character have guided me since then. His death hit me hard, as it did a lot of people. Perhaps you’d be interested to read this piece I wrote this week for Village Voice on Alex–tracking him down in Memphis 29 years ago is something I’m glad I did:

Comment by Edd Hurt

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