Posted in music on March 18, 2010

Big Star @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple in November (more by Lori Baily)
Big Star

Alex Chilton, the pop hitmaker, cult icon and Memphis rock iconoclast best known as a member of 1960s pop-soul act the Box Tops and the 1970s power-pop act Big Star, died Wednesday at a hospital in New Orleans.

The singer, songwriter and guitarist was 59.

"I'm crushed. We're all just crushed," said John Fry, owner of Memphis' Ardent Studios and a longtime friend of Chilton's. "This sudden death experience is never something that you're prepared for. And yet it occurs."

Chilton had been complaining about his health earlier Wednesday, Fry said. He was taken by paramedics from his home to the emergency room but could not be revived.

Chilton and Big Star had been scheduled to play Saturday as part of the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. [Commercial Appeal]

Such sad news that rippled through Austin last night. The Saturday night show may instead turn into a tribute, but nothing announced yet. Big Star played Brooklyn in November. RIP Alex.



Comments (35)

Great musician and performer who will be missed

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 10:08 AM

In the shadow of the WTC, circa 1999 or 2000, a Boxtops reunion show on a hot summer night, & a grand Soul Deep.
2007 or 8, Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show, Alex surprise guesting on Til The End of The Day.
Summer 2009, the movie Adventureland opens, and Greg Mottola plants I'm In Love With a Girl flat in the middle of a meet cute scene, to initiate the next gen to the winsome charms of Mr Chilton.
Pure Pop Perfection.

Posted by zeke | March 18, 2010 10:13 AM

Alex and The Box Tops at WTC were 2 wonderful shows. And recently at the Hoboken Arts/Music Festival. Ageless performer, timeless music.

Posted by donn | March 18, 2010 10:28 AM

I've been a huge Alex Chilton fan for 15 years. Saw Big Star 3-4 times including the Masonic Hall show. Got to shake Jody's hand which was a big thrill for me. Saw Alex solo once in 2001 in the Village somewhere. Amazing voice, songs, guitarist. Tell him what we said about Paint It Black. So sad.

And God bless Westerberg for turning on so many people like me. I'm in love with that song...

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 10:31 AM


Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 10:38 AM

i slept on the big star brooklyn show. the only time i saw him was with yo la tengo at maxwells.

i remember those world trade shows...just wasnt a fan back then.

real shame as we continue to mourn amazing artists. he is quite high on that list.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 10:39 AM

I couldnt believe it when I read this, we really lost someone today

Posted by Ryan | March 18, 2010 10:39 AM

horrible, horrible news. his music will live forever

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 11:12 AM

this news just cast a shadow on a otherwise great week :( R.I.P. Alex.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 11:15 AM

Really sad. That Masonic Hall show was the greatest, really glad I got to be there.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 11:18 AM

rest in peace brother.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 11:29 AM

he has a sxsw showcase to play on saturday. he better rise from the dead or he will never play sxsw again.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 12:13 PM


Once you get out of high school, you'll realize the limits of your wit and charm.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 1:55 PM

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton.... RIP....hear ya on the other side

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 2:30 PM

Was the Masonic Temple show the last Chilton performance?

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 2:43 PM


Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 3:32 PM

When I heard the news, I cried like a baby.
RIP Alex.
You will always be a big star to me.

Posted by Jeff | March 18, 2010 3:38 PM

Wow ... this is awful. Big Star was one of the most influential bands of all time. RIP.

Posted by Evan | March 18, 2010 4:13 PM

Big Star shines bright tonight.

Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 5:39 PM

I love you Alex.


Posted by Anonymous | March 18, 2010 6:24 PM


Posted by صور | March 18, 2010 9:41 PM

WTC show- August 2001? Wasn't a fan of the Box Tops, but loved the Replacements song. Glad I got to see it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2010 12:39 AM

RIP :(

Posted by Aphrica | March 19, 2010 9:29 AM

years ago my heart was set to live
but i've been trying hard against unbelievable odds
gets so hard at times like now to hold on
my guns are waiting to be stuck by
at my side is god
ain't no one gonna turn me around

Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2010 11:20 AM

I had to pull over and stop the car when I heard this news. He will never have an equal.

Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2010 4:10 PM

i'm a lifelong fan.. Big Star's recordings have been indispensable to me throughout the years. and i've found few things that quite equal their delicate blend of sorrow and beauty. As many of his fans have done before me.. I started a band, well.. a series of bands, the first one being called September Boys. Anyway, I heard the news yesterday, had a little tequila toast to Alex and sat down to record something.. here's what came out..

Posted by J. Allen | March 20, 2010 12:56 AM

A Box Top, Panther Burn, Gorie producer, and the man who brought us Songs The Lord Taught Us - you'll always be a Big Star in our hearts.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2010 4:35 AM

asobi seksu's singer looks hot.

Posted by دليل | March 26, 2010 1:12 PM

He had been scheduled to play a concert with Big Star at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas on March 20; the show instead took place as a tribute to Chilton, with guests Curt Kirkwood, Chris Stamey, M. Ward, Mike Mills, John Doe, Sondre Lerche, Chuck Prophet, Evan Dando and original member Andy Hummel joining the other members of Big Star.

Posted by No Prescription Pharmacy | May 23, 2010 2:56 PM

Sadly, Andy Hummel, the original bassist in Big Star, passed away on Monday, July 19.

Posted by jax | July 21, 2010 11:18 AM


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Posted by دردشه | October 3, 2010 8:27 PM

Guggenheim billed it as a performance piece and it was just an installation. Resultingly, the crowd simply waited for the "show" to start, limiting anyone's ability to freely explore the space (the ground floor was packed with indian-style seaters, and the balconies were lined with people holding onto their spots like grim death.

Posted by منتديات | January 9, 2011 1:18 PM

it makes no sense for them to deconstruct the entire TD North venue to play a show the next night ~50 miles south at an amphitheater (which probably would require a different stage setup anyway). They'd play Providence or Mohegan Sun before that (and I think those are both highly unlikely).

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