Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me Documentary

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my musical entry and final pick.

Such a great band but such a frustrating story. Robyn Hitchcock remarked, “Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1972 but didn’t arrive until 1985.” That is a great way to explain them. They made three of the best albums of the decade that were not heard until much later. When they were finally discovered they influenced many artists such as The Replacements, REM, Cheap Trick, Matthew Sweet, and more. The last time I checked it was on Netflix…watch this documentary.

When these musicians and critics talk about Big Star…they talk about them like people talk about The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks. In this documentary you have Cheap Trick, REM, Mitch Easter, Robyn Hitchcock, and others talking about the band.

The first album got great reviews…you couldn’t ask for better. When the label called radio stations trying to get them to play it…the stations would say it’s not selling. When someone actually heard the songs on the radio, they couldn’t find the record to buy it. This was basically the same story with all of the albums.

Distribution problems and just bad timing. Stax didn’t do a good job of distribution…they made a deal with Columbia before the second album to distribute the album…problem solved right? Nope, Clive Davis who made the deal was then fired at Columbia. The deal fell through and then Stax disintegrated.

Chris Bell who was key in creating the sound the band had quit after the first album. He came back but then quit again. Chris had depression problems and wanted badly to do something on his own. Alex Chilton continued and finished the second and third album with a new bass player on the third album.

After that, it follows Chris and Alex’s career to the end of both. It also covers Jim Dickinson’s role on the third experimental album. Family members, fans, and rock writers also share their love of Big Star and memories of the band members.

In May of 1973 Ardent Studios where Big Star recorded invited 100 rock writers down to Memphis to hear Big Star live. They all loved Big Star and it went over great…but that wasn’t the band’s problem…it was the business side. What would have happened if they would have signed with a label more suited to them?

Before watching this documentary, a couple of years back I didn’t realize Chris Bell was so instrumental in developing their sound. I knew it wasn’t the Alex Chilton band, but Chris was invaluable and started the ball rolling. All 4 members did contribute writing and singing but Chilton and Bell were the Lennon and McCartney of the group.

It’s a great documentary about a great band that had the talent, but fate wasn’t on their side.

There is the often-used Peter Buck quote that everyone who bought the first Velvet Underground album went out and started a band…the same is true with this band.

My recommendation? Watch it…NOW

Cast

Billy Altman … Self – Writer
Jon Auer … Self
Lester Bangs … Self (archive footage)
Chris Bell … Self (archive footage)
David Bell … Self – Chris Bell’s Brother
Norman Blake … Self
The Box Tops … Themselves (archive footage)
Panther Burns … Themselves (archive footage)
Cheap Trick … Themselves
Stephanie Chernikowski … Self – Photographer
Alex Chilton … Self (archive footage)
Rick Clark … Self – Writer and Musician
Stephen Ira Cohen … Self – U.S. Congressman (archive footage) (as Steve Cohen)
The Cramps … Themselves (archive footage)
John Dando … Self – Band Manager, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Luther Dickinson … Self
Mary Lindsay Dickinson … Self
Steven Drozd … Self
Van Duren … Self – Musician
Mitch Easter … Self – Musician and Producer
Bruce Eaton … Self (voice) (archive footage)
William Eggleston … Self
Tav Falco … Self
John Fry … Self – Founder, Ardent Studios
John Hampton … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios
Douglas Hart … Self – Bass, The Jesus and Mary Chain
Robyn Hitchcock … Self
Andy Hummel … Self (archive footage)
Ross Johnson … Self – Writer and Musician
Ira Kaplan … Self
Lenny Kaye … Self – Writer and Musician
John King … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Curt Kirkwood … Self
John Lightman … Self
Carole Manning … Self – Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Mike Mills … Self
The Replacements The Replacements … Themselves (archive footage)
Steve Rhea … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Will Rigby … Self – musician
Richard Rosebrough … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Kliph Scurlock … Self
Tom Sheehan … Self – Photographer
Chris Stamey … Self – Musician and Producer
Big Star … Themselves
Jody Stephens … Self
Sara Stewart … Self – Chris Bell’s Sister
Michael Stipe … Self
Ken Stringfellow … Self
Matthew Sweet … Self
Alexis Taylor … Self
Marge Thrasher … Self – Hostess of Straight Talk (archive footage)
Jon Tiven … Self
Pete Tomlinson … Self – Writer
Jaan Uhelszki … Self – Writer (as Jaan Uhelzski)
Terry Edwards … Conductor, London (uncredited)

dB’s – Black and White ….Power Pop Friday

The Db’s were a great unknown power pop band…who would influence many bands but not sale many records. The band members were Peter Holsapple, Chris Stamey, Will Rigby, and Gene Holder.

All of the members are all from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but the band was formed in New York City in 1978. They never broke through to the masses but they were heard on college radio in the 80s. 

“Black and White,” is the leadoff track to The dB’s debut album Stands for Decibels, and it is pure power pop. The dB’s were signed to the U.K. label Albion, which had trouble licensing the record for American distribution…. and subsequently went un-promoted in radio and only received sporadic play from college radio stations.

The Stands for Decibels album was ranked at number 76 on Pitchforks list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s. The dB’s would released 6 albums in all. The last album was released in 2012 when the members reunited. 

The dB’s broke up in 1988 and Peter Holsapple would go on to be an auxiliary guitarist and keyboardist for REM on the Green tour. He then helped in writing and recording their Out Of Time album. Holsapple subsequently worked with Hootie & the Blowfish as an auxiliary musician.

The dB’s worth checking out. 

Good story on two of the members meeting two Big Star members:

In May of 1978 two members of the dB’s Will Rigby, Peter Holsapple, and future R.E.M producer Mitch Easter made a pilgrimage to Memphis. They were about the only people in America who, while attending high school in the early ’70s, were under the impression that Big Star was a major band.

Their first stop was Danver’s…a restaurant that former Big Star’s Chris Bell worked at and his father owned. They passed a note to the server to talk to Chris and out he came. He was shocked that fans would track him down. It had been 6 years since the Big Star debut album was released.  They were impressed by how nice he was to them.

Bell invited them to join him after work at a ferny bar-café called the Bombay Bicycle Club. Here, while Bell played backgammon with a buddy, the three guys peppered him with questions: What kind of guitar did he play? How did he get those great sounds? 

Bell wondered if the boys were up for maybe checking out a Horslips (local rock band) concert. They instead decided to go over to Sam Phillips Recording Service to visit Alex Chilton, Bell’s former Big Star bandmate, then making his experimental album Like Flies on Sherbert. Bell and Chilton exchanged quiet hellos before Bell went home. 

A few days later Alex Chilton drove Easter and Rigby (Holsapple had already left) around Memphis, showing them the old Sun Studios building (which had a Corvair parked inside it), and taking them up a bluff overlooking the Mississippi. He pulled out a cassette and played a song on a junky little cassette player that took his visitors by surprise.

Chilton played the guys a Chris Bell song. He was raving about it saying it was Chris’s best song and it was the ultimate “Big Star song “…the song was I Am The Cosmos which the public had not heard at this point. 

Chris Bell would die in a car wreck on Decemeber 27, 1978…only 7 months after this happened. 

Chris Stamey on Big Star:“They were my favorite, and as far as I knew they were popular all the way across America. At least for that moment, I forgot about Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.”

Peter Holsapple on meeting Chris Bell and I Am The Cosmos:  “that the person who made all that beautiful music was a right-on kind of guy, too.” “It’s that kind of rife-with-sadness record, but it’s realized with the same imploding beauty that Big Star had. I mean, I Am the Cosmos-it’s just wry enough to make you turn your head and do a double-take, you know, the first sixteen thousand times you listen to it.”

Black and White

I, I never would hurt you
But even if I did you
You never would tell me
Oh, we are finished
As of a long time ago
As of a long time ago
I stop
I don’t enjoy you anymore
Well I guess I just don’t enjoy you anymore
Well I guess it’s all laid out in black and white
You don’t like it at all

Love
Love is the answer
To no question
But thanks for
Oh, the suggestion
I know I don’t care at all
Yeah, I know I don’t know anything at all
But I stop

I don’t enjoy you anymore
Well, I guess I just don’t enjoy you anymore
Well, I guess it’s all laid out in black and white
You don’t like it at all
You don’t like it at all
You don’t like it at all
(In black and white)

Posies – Golden Blunders…. Powerpop Friday

Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer started to write songs together while in High School in Bellingham, Washington in 1986. They were influenced by The Hollies, Hüsker Dü, XTC, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and Big Star.

They released an album Failure on cassette and vinyl near the end of 1988 on local indie label PopLlama. Several major labels noticed the band early on and in late 1989 they signed to new Geffen Records imprint DGC Records. The released an album Dear 23 in 1990 and this was their first single. The song peaked at #17 in the US Modern Rock Tracks in 1990.

Ringo Starr would cover Golden Blunders on his 1992 solo album Time Takes Time.

There is no surprise after listening to the Posies that guitarists  Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer  would join Big Star’s Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens to record and tour as Big Star in the 90s and up until Alex’s death in 2010.

Ken and Jon’s harmonies, writing, and playing are top notch. The 80’s and 90’s popular  radio left a lot to be desired, at least to me, they could have really used these guys…I may have liked that era much better hearing more of this.

Jon Auer on Golden Blunders: “It’s about two kids in high school who mess up the rest of their lives,” “There’s the implication of a teenage pregnancy but there’s not any amazing message here.”

Golden Blunders

Golden blunders come in pairs, they’re very unaware
What they know is what they’ve seen
Education wasn’t fun, but now that school is done
Higher learning’s just begun
(Chorus)
You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never
Disappointment breeds contempt, it make you feel inept
Never thought you’d feel alone (at home)
His and hers forever more, throw your freedom out of the door
Before you find out what it’s for
(Chorus)
Four weeks seemed like a long time then – but nine months is longer now
But even if you never speak again – you’ve already made the wedding vow
(Chorus)
Honeymoons will never start, bonds will blow apart
Just as fast as they were made
Men and women please beware : don’t pretend you care
Nothing lasts when nothing’s there
(Repeat Chorus)

Tommy Hoehn – Blow Yourself Up… Power Pop Friday

I’ve been reading about the early to mid-seventies Memphis scene and have found out that we missed out on some great power pop that was never heard by the general public. To my readers I have to pass all of this along. I do appreciate of you reading about these more unknown artists…but if one person listens to some of these posts and likes one…it makes it worth it…it also feels good living up to my WP power pop name.

Tommy Hoehn is another in a long line of musicians  who should have been heard but it just didn’t happen. I would have never thought of Memphis as a power pop location but a generation of local musicians were heavily influenced by the Beatles, Who, and the Kinks. They took mid-sixties pop… along with Badfinger and the Raspberries and put a different spin on it.

The most known band from that period from Memphis is Big Star…you won’t hear that sentence a lot. Tommy Hoehn played with Big Star’s Chris Bell and Alex Chilton as well as helping out on Big Star’s 3rd album. “Blow Yourself Up” is full of hooks and his voice is perfect for power pop.

All of these musicians at the time hung out a lot at Ardent Studios. The owner John Fry would let them record and gave many keys to come in when they could and no one took advantage of it for a long time. That is one reason many of these artists sounded really good…they had time to get a sound they wanted.

This song was released in 1977 on Power Play Records, a local Memphis label and it was a regional hit. That same year, Power Play Records released Hoehn’s first solo album Spacebreak, which contained two of the songs Hoehn had recorded with Prix as well as the Blow Yourself Up single.

Blow Yourself Up was featured on Rhino’s D.I.Y.: Come Out and Play: American Power Pop (1975-78) compilation that was released in 1993.

He continued to release albums in the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s. In late 2009, Hoehn began work on a solo album tentatively titled Pi. However, in December 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer, and became too ill to sing lead vocals on the album. He died on June 24, 2010, at the age of 55.

Blow Yourself Up

She lie / in a cool repose / She breathing
Tries to believe I don’t know it
I’m not dull, I show it
She shies away:
Shaken / and I push her just a little
Even enough to fool just her
Ooo I really mussed her
Cutchya’ I’ll blow yourself up

She-vades / Such a crude contempt
I invade
She gets away and I feel it
Then I just can’t hide it
She shies away
Thinkin’ / There’s a full moon, I’m not thinkin’
Stupid as nails she keeps askin’
“Who just opened my door?”
Come in and blow yourself up

Stop! We don’t care!
Step above, I could stare –
In your eyes, for a week
Maybe two
They’re so blue…

She lie! / In a room she made to wonder
Tries to believe in a reason
Frets inside her feelings
Comin’ so close – solo!
And the overcast is breathing
Even the leaves gonna shudder
I see stars and colors
Something to blow yourself up 

Ray Davies and Alex Chilton – Till The End of the Day

I didn’t know they ever did anything together and to find this was special. Two of my favorite performers coming together. Ray of course from one of my favorite bands of all time and Alex Chilton from another band I admire, Big Star.

Ray had an album in 2010 called See My Friends, a 2010 album featuring versions of classic Kinks’ songs recorded with Alex Chilton, Black Francis, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica and many others.

This song was recorded a year before Alex died. They were neighbors in New Orleans and Alex would bring beer over to Ray’s house although Alex didn’t drink. Alex and Big Star were huge fans of The Kinks.

Ray Davies:

“Way back in 2004 I was in New Orleans, recovering from an injury, and I was befriended by a neighbor called Alex Chilton. Alex had been in a band called Big Star, and had sung on a record called ‘The Letter’ by The Box Tops. We didn’t talk about music much, but he did say to me before I came back to England, ‘You know, I’ve recorded one of your songs, ‘Till the End of the Day’, with Big Star, and I’d love to do another song with you. And he asked me to write some songs for him – I felt really flattered, because by then I had found out about his history. A very unassuming guy.”

“In 2009, on July 4th, Independence Day, he came up to Konk Studios. He was a real character – he was wearing a New Orleans beret, he had a cigarette holder – he was a chain smoker, and I think a recovering drinker – and he said, ‘Let’s do it!’ I said, ‘What would you like to do?’ He said, ‘‘Til The End Of The Day’ and ‘Set Me Free’. So I just had an acoustic guitar and a rhythm box, because I hadn’t organized anything. I played guitar and Alex sang. We did five or six takes and comped it together. “

I cannot find Set Me Free but here is a short clip of Ray talking about Alex.

Scruffs – Break The Ice —-Power Pop Friday

Memphis in the early 1970s was more than Big Star. Many power pop bands and artists were coming out of there at that time. Not many made it huge but many were recognized later. They formed in 1974 and released their first album Wanna Meet The Scruffs? in 1977. Like the others around this period. Many of the power pop musicians worked with each other. The Scruffs worked with Alex Chilton, Tommy Hoehn, and Jim Dickinson. Break the Ice was the first single off of the album. It reminds me of the Raspberries.

Wanna Meet the Scruffs? - Wikipedia

To show what some rock critics thought of the band…here is Robert Christgau (rock critic):

Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record, and I am that sucker. A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy. The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life’s pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls. To which objection the rockin’ formalist in me responds, “I wanna hear ‘Revenge’ again.”

Pretty good endorsement right? That is just one of many but again they just couldn’t break through. They did not have the influence like Big Star did but they were a great power pop band. I listened to all of this album and that jangle of the guitar is infectious. The song was a regional hit but was not played outside of Memphis too much. They did move to New York in 1978 had some high profile gigs at  CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

The Band broke up in 1981 but Stephen Burns the singer, guitar player, and songwriter  would continue recording albums under the Scruffs name into the 2010’s…with Peter Buck from REM guesting on the 2011 Kill! Kill! album .

Sorry I could not find the lyrics.

Big Star – Life Is White

Love this driving song by Big Star. It was on Radio City, their second album. Some say it is a response to the Chris Bell song off the first album called My Life Is Right…or a message to his girlfriend Diane (Don’t like to see your face Don’t like to hear you talk at all) that he was splitting with at the time.

After the failure of their first album, singer/songwriter guitar player Chris Bell quit Big Star. Alex Chilton didn’t know if Big Star was going to make another album. He continued making demos because he could always do a solo album. The two other members, drummer Jody Stephens and bass player Andy Hummel wasn’t sure either what was going to happen. They had talked about ending the band.

Their record company Ardent was under the Stax umbrella. They sent out invitations to all of the major rock journalists of the day in 1973. They invited them to Memphis to see Ardent’s roster of bands but most of all Big Star. The rock writers loved Big Star. Many legendary writers were there including Lester Bangs.

Stax agreed to foot the bill, which amounted to $40,000 to fly in more than one hundred rock critics from across the U.S. and U.K., put them up at the Holiday Inn, wine and dine them, bus them to Memphis landmarks like Graceland, and, on the final night, knock them out with a showcase at Lafayette’s Music Room, featuring Skin Alley, Larry Raspberry and the High-Steppers, and Big Star.

As writers from California (Shaw, Gene Sculatti, and Cameron Crowe), the New York City area (Richard Meltzer, Andy Shernoff, Gary Kenton, Pete Tomlinson, Lenny Kaye, and Nick Tosches), upstate New York (Billy Altman), Austin (Chet Flippo), Detroit (most of Creem’s staff, including Lester Bangs and Jaan Uhelszki), and the U.K. (Simon Frith, Ben Edmonds, and Pete Frame) signed on, Big Star was persuaded to play the gig.

The writers sat through the other bands and by the time Big Star took the stage, around midnight, they were well lubricated. Big Star couldn’t have had a more receptive audience. Rock critics are not known to dance but they were all on the floor and some has since called the performance by Big Star magic. Some called it the greatest performance and sound they ever heard. That night is what convinced Big Star to stay together and finish their second album Radio City. They played most of the first album, some covers, and a few songs they had worked on including Life Is White.

What I question is…Stax would give money for things like this but could not distribute records?

Alex had the quote below while he was in Big Star. What he said foretold Big Star’s future. It would be years later before the album would sell anything and get noticed. They would make one more album…Big Star Third/Sister Lovers before ending it.

Alex Chilton: “The important thing is to make a good record,” “because if you make a good record, it doesn’t matter what happens. It’s going to sell from then on to some degree, even though it doesn’t sell anything when it comes out and is a big disappointment to everybody. If it’s really good, people are going to want it from then on, and that’s the important thing. It might take five or ten years for it to pay off—or it might take twenty years, and you might be dead when it pays off. If it’s good, it’s going to pay off for somebody, sometime.”

Life Is White

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Whatever’s all the same
Now there’s nobody to know
And I can’t recall, recall your name
All I can say is so

And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Your life is white
And I don’t think I like
You hanging around

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that now

Chris Bell – You and Your Sister

When people think of Big Star…when people do think of Big Star…Alex Chilton comes up more often than anyone else. That is not an over sight really because he was on all of their albums. The sound Big Star had largely originated from founding member Chris Bell. Alex and Chris wrote most of the first album and they modeled themselves after Lennon and McCartney. Their first album  was praised by practically everyone but not distributed…people wanted the album but the album was not in the stores so it failed. Chris left the band not long after that failure.

Chris went into a depression but Alex carried on with Big Star making two more albums.

Chris visited and stayed in England off and on and recorded some solo material but a record deal never materialized while he was there. He brought some recordings over that he made in Memphis and Geoff Emerick mixed it for him. Geoff was the engineer for the Beatles. The song that he mixed was I am the Cosmos. Chris would continue to record some in Memphis through the mid to late seventies.

In fall of 1978 he got a call from Car records and they wanted to release a single with a song called  I am the Cosmos with You and Your Sister as the B side.  It was the only solo release Chris would see in his lifetime. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t get to enjoy it long. He died in a car wreck on December 27, 1978. He was only 27 years old.

When he recorded You and Your Sister he got Alex Chilton to sing harmony vocals with him.

By the way…if you haven’t heard I Am The Cosmos give it a listen. It’s a layered, lush,  almost perfect pop song. I hope you enjoy this song.

14 years after his death in 1992  Rykodisc released Chris Bell’s solo album from the songs he recorded including the two songs on this single.

You and Your Sister

They say my love for you ain’t real
But you don’t know how real it feels
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Your sister says that I’m no good
I’d reassure her if I could
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Plans fail every day
I want to hear you say
Your love won’t be leaving (Run run, run run)
Your eyes ain’t deceiving (Run run, run run)
Fears will soon fade away
Smile now, don’t be afraid
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
And let me whisper in your ear
Don’t you worry, they can’t hear
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you

Big Star – Jesus Christ

A Christmas power pop song that I wish I heard more of than some of the others. It has a strange 20 second intro but after that the guitar starts and then it’s pure Alex Chilton.

The song is on the Third/Sister Lovers album. The album was recorded in 1974-1975 but wasn’t released until 1978. The album has no theme…it’s all over the map with different style of songs. This song…considered a Christmas song didn’t really stand out on the non-Christmas album because it’s so eclectic. 

Guitarist Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens were the only original two left during this album but they had musicians to fill in. This song was written by Alex Chilton.

Today I will be posting some Christmas shows throughout the day…from here until Christmas…powerpop will be completely Christmas programming.

Jesus Christ

Angels from the realms of glory
Stars shone bright above
Royal David’s city
Was bathed in light of love

Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born

Lo, they did rejoice
Fine and pure of voice
And the wrong shall fail
And the right prevail

Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
And we’re gonna get born now

Build-A-Band

Remember Build-A-Bear? Well this is the rock edition. I think this post may go under…”looked great on paper but…” but lets give it a try. Have you ever thought about if you could have a pick of any musicians living or dead and bring them together in their prime…what combinations would you come up with?

Who would you pick if you could pick anyone? We have a time machine so don’t worry…Jimi Hendrix is just a trip away.  This is a discussion my friends and I have once in a while. I always wondered what a band with Keith Richards and John Lennon together would have sounded like…probably as raw as you could have sounded…a band with Big Star’s Alex Chilton and the Beatles Paul McCartney? It would be interesting.

There are many musicians I have left out…most likely they were here in previous editions that I’ve went through in the past few weeks.

Now… I would want to make at least two or three different bands…a rock, hard rock, and a pop/rock band.  Now I could go on and on…Soul, Blues, Funk, Country/Rock, and even Heavy Metal. Who would you pick? What would your “dream” band be? If I had time I would have listed around 10 different kind of bands…but these 3 will do for now.

How to play 'Watching the Wheels' by John Lennon - Chords, Lyrics, and  Guitar Tabs from SongnotesMontreaux Switzerland 1972 by Dominic Lamblin : rollingstones500+ ALLMAN BROTHERS ideas in 2020 | allman brothers, allman brothers band,  southern rockJohn Paul Jones | Wiki | Bass Player Amino                  Resultado de imagen para charlie watts young | Charlie watts, Rolling  stones, Rhythm and bluesLeon Russell “Leon Russell” « Cool Album of the DayRod Stewart - Wikipedia

Rock  band.

  • John Lennon – Rhythm Guitar/vocals
  • Keith Richards – Rhythm guitar/vocals
  • Duane Allman – Lead guitar
  • John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) – Bass
  • Charlie Watts – Drums
  • Leon Russell – Keyboards
  • Rod Stewart (early seventies version) – Lead Vocals

Jimi Hendrix on Twitter: "I have a song on abortion and a song on Vietnam  and a song on just about any problem"Old Love by Eric Clapton | SetlistingJohn Entwistle | Wiki | Guitar Aminoyou may say i'm a dreamer — Young Keith Moon in the band the BeachcombersITCHYCOO PARK// FAKEGRAM - 1 - WattpadJon Lord - Wikipedia

Hard Rock Band

  • Jimi Hendrix – Lead guitar and vocals
  • Eric Clapton – Lead guitar and vocals
  • John Entwistle – Bass
  • Keith Moon – Drums
  • Steve Marriott (Small Faces and Humble Pie) – Lead Vocals
  • Jon Lord (Deep Purple) – Keyboards

Silly Love Songs #TheBeatlesMania | Paul mccartney, John lennon beatles,  Ringo starrAlex Chilton, Big Star, Dead at 59 - GuitarVibe.comI Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea - Lyrics and Music by Elvis Costello & The  Attractions arranged by nrdcskbClem Burke InterviewBrian Wilson (@BrianWilsonRP) | Twitter

Pop/Rock Band

  • Paul McCartney – Bass/Lead Vocals
  • Alex Chilton (Big Star) – Guitar/Lead Vocals
  • Elvis Costello – Rhythm guitar/Lead Vocals
  • Clem Burke (Blondie) – Drums
  • Brian Wilson – Keyboards/Vocals

Big Star – O My Soul ….Power Pop Friday

This song is from their second album Radio City. Their other guitarist Chris Bell had left the band leaving Alex Chilton as the only guitarist. In this song Chilton’s guitar is pushed to the front and after about a 46 second intro the song is on it’s way.

It’s a bluesy, funky,  rocky, and soulful riff all built into one. Alex just takes off on the guitar with this one all through the song. The guitar has a tone that you don’t hear everyday. Whenever I’m playing guitar I go back to their albums to try to emulate a tone that Chilton found.

Alex Chilton was not the only one writing songs on the album. Bassist Andy Hummel wrote or co-wrote five of the albums’s 12 tracks. Jody Stephens pitched in and co-wrote one song with Chilton and Hummel.

Chilton remained the constant variable that made the band’s music soar. His September Gurls is among the band’s finest songs and one of the prototypical power pop songs.

Radio City is not as polished as their debut album but it’s just as good and many say better.

O My Soul

O my soul mama
I lose control
Go ahead and shake if you wanna
And I’ll never know
Wull come on
You know it’s alright
We’ve got all night
You’re driving me mad
And you shouldn’t do that
We’re going to get on up
And drink till we drop.
You’re really a nice girl
And I think you’re the most
And when we’re together
I feel like a boss

Trying to see you
I’d know off your doors
dying to see you
I’m down on the floor.

I can’t get a license
To drive my car
But I don’t really need it
If I’m a big star.
Never you mind
Go on and have a good time.

The Box Tops – The Letter

Alex Chilton was sixteen when he recorded this song for the Box Tops. The Box Tops formed in Memphis Tennessee in 1967. They would go to have seven top 40 hits. This one was their most successful single. It peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #5 in the UK in 1967.

After the Box Tops, Alex Chilton would help form one of the best ever power pop bands of all time that no one ever heard of… Big Star. One of my all-time favorite bands.

Nashville songwriter Wayne Carson Thompson wrote the song after his father gave him the line, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane.”

When the group recorded this they still did not have a name. One band member suggested…”Let’s have a contest and everybody can send in 50 cents and a box top.” Producer Dan Penn then dubbed them The Box Tops.

Rolling Stone magazine included the Box Tops original at number 372 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”

The band was known for this song, Cry Like A Baby, and my favorite Soul Deep.

From Songfacts

This song is about a guy who gets a letter from his former love telling him that she wants him back, and the guy wants to fly out and see her immediately. 

Thompson gave the song to The Box Tops on the recommendation of his friend, Chips Moman, who ran ARS Studios and liked the sound of an unnamed band headed by then-16-year-old Alex Chilton, who auditioned for him in 1967.

Thompson played guitar on the recording. He didn’t like the singing, believing the lead vocal was too husky, and wasn’t fond of the production either. The addition of the jet sound “didn’t make sense” to him. When producer Dan Penn added the airplane sound to the recording, Wayne Carson Thompson clearly thought that Penn had lost his mind. He hadn’t – several weeks later it became one of the biggest records of the ’60s, and The Box Tops went on to score with a few other Thompson compositions, including their follow-up release, “Neon Rainbow” (#24, 1967), “Soul Deep” (a #18 hit in 1969) and “You Keep Tightening Up On Me” (their last chart hit, which peaked at #74 in 1970). A few years later, Thompson won a Grammy for cowriting the hit “Always On My Mind.”

At 1:58, the Box Tops’ version of this was the last #1 hit to be shorter than two minutes in length.

Cover versions were US hits for two other artists, The Arbors (#20 in 1969 – arrangement by Joe Scott) and Joe Cocker (#7 in 1970). Cocker’s version is a live recording featuring Leon Russell; a studio version appears on his album Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

The title is never sung in this song: his baby writes him “a letter.”

The Letter

[Chorus]
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to baby again
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

[Chorus]

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

[Chorus]

The Replacements – Alex Chilton —-Powerpop Friday

The Replacement’s tribute song about Big Star and Box Tops lead singer, Alex Chilton. The song was off the album Please To Meet Me.

The Replacements recorded Pleased To Meet Me in Memphis at Ardent Studios, the same studio as Big Star. The man behind the board was Jim Dickinson, who produced the storied third   Big Star album. Alex came into the studio a few times while the Replacements were working on the record (and laid down a guitar fill for “Can’t Hardly Wait”), but the band avoided the awkwardness of playing “Alex Chilton” whenever Chilton was around.

From Songfacts

This song is a tribute to former Box Tops/Big Star member Alex Chilton, credited by many as being the founder of Power Pop. He has produced several songs for The Replacements. The song is not only a tribute, but a reminder of Alex Chilton’s relative obscurity, as emphasized in the ironically hyperbolic chorus: “And children by the million sing for Alex Chilton/When he comes ’round/They sing, “I’m in love/What’s that song?/Yeah, I’m in love, with that song.” 

 In a 2008 interview with Rockband.com, the Replacements singer and guitar Paul Westerberg, who co-wrote the song with bandmates Chris Mars and Tommy Stinson, said that he couldn’t remember if Chilton played on the track: “He was there. I mean, uh…well, s–t did he play on it… I don’t know if we had actually played with him earlier or not but I don’t think we had the ‘Alex Chilton’ song when we he did that ‘Can’t Hardly Wait,’ that early thing.”

In the same interview, Westerberg described the songwriting process: “it’s one of those where melody and chord changes were there and the lyrics changed over the course of six months or so. By the time we were down in Memphis we had already met Alex and I steered it toward him. Of course it was as the legend goes ‘George from Outer Space’ was the first working title, but that just didn’t grab it quite as well. I just thought it would be fun to write a song about a living person and we’ve been through this, Al and I, and I sort of regret the albatross that it’s came with… I was certainly trying to like, I guess, hip the outside world on who this guy might be publicly, but he didn’t need that. It would kind of hurt if he was always known as Alex Chilton of that song.”

In a 1987 interview with Buzz magazine, asked how he felt about the song, Alex Chilton said: “Uh well, I didn’t feel any way about it. I mean I’m so used to having these kind of fawning, imbecilic fans you know. To have it take on some coherence is refreshing.”

Alex Chilton

If he was from Venus, would he feed us with a spoon?
If he was from Mars, wouldn’t that be cool?
Standing right on campus, would he stamp us in a file?
Hangin’ down in Memphis all the while.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

Cerebral rape and pillage in a village of his choice.
Invisible man who can sing in a visible voice.
Feeling like a hundred bucks, exchanging good lucks face to face.
Checkin’ his stash by the trash at St. Mark’s place.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

I never travel far, without a little Big Star

Runnin’ ’round the house, Mickey Mouse and the Tarot cards.
Falling asleep with a flop pop video on.
If he was from Venus, would he meet us on the moon?
If he died in Memphis, then that’d be cool, babe.

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round
They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

“I’m in love. What’s that song? I’m in love with that song.”

The Box Tops – Cry Like A Baby

It’s hard to believe this voice was coming out of a teenager… An 18-year-old Alex Chilton was singing this song with the Box Tops. The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #15 in the UK, and #3 in Canada. The band was successful with 10 songs in the top 100, 2 top ten songs and a number 1 (The Letter). The Box Tops were formed in Memphis in 1967. The most famous member would be future Big Star member Alex Chilton.

A bizarre personal story…a one in a million shot…Back in the 90s, I was trying to call a musician that was recommended but I dialed a wrong number and talked to Gary Talley the guitar player for the Box Tops for a good 45 minutes. He laughed and told me that I at least reached a guitar player but in Nashville, my odds were good getting one with any number. He was really cool and we talked about guitars and his touring etc… He was giving guitar lessons at the time.  He told me that other people have called him looking for Garry Tallent the bass player for Bruce Springsteen.

Cry Like a Baby was recorded at American Studios in Memphis, which was run by Chips Moman, who produced the album. Spooner Oldham played keyboards on the track in addition to co-writing it.

The Box Tops still tour with members Gary Talley and Bill Cuningham.

From Songfacts

This was written by Dewey “Spooner” Oldham and Dan Penn, whose other credits together include the hits “I’m Your Puppet” (a hit for James and Bobby Purify), “It Tears Me Up” (a hit for Percy Sledge) and “A Woman Left Lonely.” In our interview with Spooner Oldham, he told the story: “Dan Penn was producing The Box Tops, he had produced a #1 record called ‘The Letter.’ He recorded that in Memphis when he and I were both living there. So he calls me one day and says, ‘Spooner, will you help me try to write a song for Alex (Chilton) and the Box Tops?’ He says, ‘People have sent me some songs, but I don’t think any of them really fit. This record company’s been after me about three weeks for a follow-up single.’ And I said, ‘Sure, I’ll try to help write a song for you.’ We got together in the studio one evening with our little notes of our five or ten best ideas or titles. We each pulled one out and they eventually ended up in the garbage.

The next morning, we were getting tired and decided to call it quits. So we locked the doors, turned out the lights in the studio, turned off the instruments. Went across the street to the little café – name was Porky’s or something like that – and ordered breakfast. I remember I was putting my head on the table. There was nobody in there, I don’t think, but us and the cook. And I tiredly put my head on the table, my arms under my head, just for a few seconds. Then I lifted my head up and looked at Dan, and because I felt sorry that he needed another record and we were no help to each other that evening, I said, ‘Dan, I could just cry like a baby.’ And he says, ‘What did you say?’ And I said it again. He says, ‘I like that.’ So unbeknownst to me, we had a song started. By the time we walked across the street back to the studio, we had the first verse written. When we got in, he turned on the lights and the recorder, and I turned on the Hammond organ. He got his guitar out, and we put on a quarter-inch 90-minute tape, and we finished the song, just recorded a demo.

The next day or two in the morning Alex Chilton came in. I was so tired and weary I didn’t know what we had, if anything. I played the little tape demo to him and he smiled and reached out his hand, shook my hand, so I knew he liked it, anyway. And then we got in the studio and recorded it shortly, I think that day.”

In the tale of this song, a man previously took for granted the love of his caring, faithful girlfriend. He regrets how terribly he had treated her now that she’s left him. He now cries every time he sees her or even thinks of her.

This song is notable for its electric sitar, which was provided by guitarist Reggie Young. 

It wasn’t worth crying over, but this song stayed at US #2 for two weeks, kept out of the top spot by Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey,” which held the top spot for five weeks.

Cry Like A Baby

When I think about the good love you gave me
I cry like a baby
Living without you is driving me crazy
I cry like a baby
Well, I know now, that you’re not a plaything
Not a toy, or a puppet on a string

As I look back on a love so sweet
I cry like a baby
Oh, every road is a lonely street
I cry like a baby
I know now that you’re not a plaything
Not a toy, or a puppet on a string

Today we passed on the street, and you just walked on by
how my heart just fell to my feet
and like a fool I began to cry

Oh when I think about the good love you gave me
I cry like a baby
Living without you is driving me crazy
I cry like a baby
I know now,that you’re not a plaything
I cry like a baby, cry like a baby

Every road is a lonely street
I cry like a baby, cry like a baby
Living without you is driving me crazy
I cry like a baby, cry like a baby
I cry, I cry, I cry

 

The Box Tops – Soul Deep

A song by the Box Tops and their teenage lead singer Alex Chilton. This song peaked at #18 in 1969 on the Billboard 100, #9 in Canada and #22 on the UK charts. This has always been my favorite song by them. It was not as big as “The Letter” or “Cry Like a Baby” but it was their last top twenty hit.

Listening to his voice it’s hard to believe Alex was only 19 at the time this song came out. In just two years after this song was released Alex would be one of the founding members of Big Star.  Great song by the Box Tops

Soul Deep

Darlin’ I don’t know much
I know I love you so much
A lot depends on your touch
My love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep
Too big to hide, can’t be denied
Love is a river running soul deep
I worked myself to euphoria
Just to show I adore ya
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for ya
Cause my love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep
Too big to hide, can’t be denied
Love is a river running soul deep
All I ever, ever hoped to be
Depends on your love for me
If you believe me, if you should leave me
I’d be nothing but a jilted male
I know darned well, I could tell, but
I don’t know much
I know I love you so much
A lot depends on your touch
My love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep
Too big to hide, can’t be denied
Love is a river running soul deep
My love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep
My love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep
My love is a river running soul deep
A way down inside me it’s a soul deep