Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday morning.  Had a nice note from David Bell (Chris Bell's brother) about the book in which he expressed appreciation for presenting a sensitive topic in a balanced way.  If I'd been writing a Big Star bio rather than a book about a single record (that Chris didn't play on) I would have definitely included a more in-depth balanced picture of Chris than the rather skewed (and somewhat erroneous and / superficial) portrait that's been painted over the years.  It's really a shame that the sensationalist stuff gets amplified and the human side gets lost when it comes to rock and roll (one reason I think that being Bob Dylan is probably one of the most difficult jobs in the world if you're Robert Zimmerman).  As I've always maintained: genius usually comes with a price tag that few can comfortably pay.  

Here's a few unpublished excerpts from my interview with David for the book

At times Chris could be reserved  but if he knew you and was comfortable with you he could make you pee with laughter.  His sense of humor was so sharp and very subtle and dry.  His lines would come out of nowhere and he’d have you on the floor...He and I shared a common spirituality.  There was some pretty decent songs out of the group America and he preferred things  that weren’t just beating you over the head.  More between the lines.  It’s really hard to say where he would have been [had he lived]....Something that stood out for me was working with Geoff Emerick in London at AIR [mixing tracks that appeared on I Am The Cosmos].  I was just amazed that Chris didn’t have more deference. That he was as sure of himself as he was.  To kind of have a little back and forth with Emerick.  "No, that’s not what I want."  Hands on controls and faders and knobs.  And I’m thinking, "Come on boy this is the Beatles engineer.  Someone who knows what he does."  Except Chris wasn’t phased by that...We’re creatures of our environment.  When he felt appreciated.  When he felt, "Okay, I can do what I know how to do"..the lightbulb came on.  He started shining. 



1 comment:

Golightly said...

Bruce...I just finished the Radio City book and being a life-long Memphian and Big Star fan, I have to say it was a fantastic read.
This is a must have for all Big Star fans.
Thanks again
Jeff Golightly