RIP Alex Chilton

Alex_ChiltonAlex Chilton – guitarist, singer, songwrite and producer for a number of alternative rock

bands died in New Orleans of a heart attack. Chilton grew up in a musical background. His father was a jazz musician. Chilton rose to fame early in his career when the Box Tops single “The Letter” became an international hit when he was only 16.

After a period in New York City, during which Chilton worked on his guitar technique and singing style (some of which was believed to have been influenced by a chance meeting with Roger McGuinn at a friend’s apartment in New York, when Chilton was impressed with McGuinn’s singing and playing), Chilton returned to Memphis in 1971 and joined the power-pop group Big Star, with Chris Bell, recording at engineer John Fry’s Ardent Studios. Chilton and Bell co-wrote “In The Street” for Big Star’s first album #1 Record, a track later known as the theme song of That ’70s Show.

Chilton moved to New Orleans in the early 1980s, while also touring regularly with Panther Burns and occasionally as a solo artist, as documented in his poorly received 1982 solo release Live in London.

His compositions have been performed by a number of artists, including This Mortal Coil, The Bangles, Wilco, Graham Coxon, Garbage, Son Volt, Counting Crows, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, Cheap Trick, Superdrag, Evan Dando, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, You Am I, Placebo, Xiu Xiu, and His Name Is Alive.