The New York Times‘ ArtsBeat blog has confirmed the death of Big Star singer and guitarist Alex Chilton:
Alex Chilton, the mercurial if influential rock musician, whose work spanned an eclectic gamut from the soul songs of the Box Tops to the multiple incarnations of his pop band Big Star, has died, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported. He was 59. The cause of death is believed to have been a heart attack.
Chilton may not be an immediately-recognizable name, but his presence in rock music can be heard in every power-pop hook out there.
A sad day, for sure.
I went through a power-pop phase a few years ago, spurred on by my love of Fountains of Wayne and Matthew Sweet. Reading, collecting, listening… I went backwards through The Replacements, Cheap Trick, ELO, The Knack, Nick Lowe, The Raspberries, The Records, The Flamin’ Groovies and eventually landed on Big Star. #1 Record is one of my prized possessions — it’s a sad day, indeed.