The official world-wide headquarters for
Big Star's Radio City by Bruce Eaton,
No. 65 in Continuum's acclaimed 33 1/3 series.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
March 18. 8 a.m. I'm sure by now that most of you have heard that Alex Chilton passed away yesterday in New Orleans from a suspected heart attack. I'll be posting some thoughts later today. In the meantime, please keep his wife and family in your prayers.
I'm a writer, consultant, and jazz concert producer (most recently, for the Art of Jazz Series at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) living outside Buffalo, New York. I started out in college in the early 1970s producing concerts while attending Hobart College in Geneva, NY. Those were the days when you could book Springsteen for a couple of thousand dollars. After college I reconnected with a high school friend, the wildly talented Pete LaBonne (more on him in future blogposts) and we formed the Blue Reimondos, the first new wave / punk / alternative / call it whatever band in the Buffalo area. We weren't together that long but we spent a lot of time listening to Big Star.
One fateful night in Austin TX in 1979 Peter crossed paths with Alex Chilton and thus the seeds for the book were sown. Using my concert producing experience and Peter's brief contact, we called up Alex in Memphis and offered him $300 and the proverbial ticket for an aeroplane to fly up from Memphis and play a gig with us (the picture above is from that show - I'm on the right) to play a gig with us backing him up at the legendary McVan's Rock Castle in Buffalo. That was just the beginning...