Alex Chilton at the I-Beam, 1985, photo by J Neo Marvin
The Box Tops. Big Star. The Cramps (producing most of their best records). Panther Burns. A minefield of stubbornly haphazard solo releases (caveat emptor). A very weird, interesting and hard to find collaboration with Alan Vega from the 90s that I'm still trying to find again. Alex Chilton cut a crazy, individualistic zigzag swathe through music and did exactly what he wanted to do. We had already planned to end our new playlist with Big Star's "Thank You Friends" (a wonderfully ambiguous song: is he sincerely thanking his friends or spewing the most subtle acid sarcasm at some false friends who let him down? It works equally well both ways); now it sounds extra poignant. 59 is way too young to go.