Saturday, March 20, 2010

Misc. on the passing of Alex Chilton

1. I'm struck by the sudden blooming of video tributes on my Facebook page. Lots of homemade videos and those songs- ! This is what we do now, right? We seek simultaneity of affect and "Years ago, my heart was set to live, oh..." you know?

2. Rcvd. 1 (1) Cassette [Maxell XLll90] #1 Record/Radio City from the Rev. Wayne Coomers in winter 1987/88. Aassoc. Images: #1 Record sitting in front of a stack of LPs in the living room of the California House/D-Luxe Kitchen, that round dish machine that Barry washed his clothes in/noticing that the "astrological" poster that's in the Willliam Eggleston photo on the cover of Radio City was on my living room wall when we lived on Rush Dr./Millie's Deli, Springfield, Mo.

3. I remember being worried that he wasn't going to make it out of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

4. Chilton was "famous" in a strange way, it was at first a kind of negative fame or conspiracy by record collectors and rock critics. Eventually it would seem like this fame was what he was most famous for.

5. You can really hear just how things are gonna go with him in the second verse of the second song on side one of #1 Record:

There's people around who'll tell you that they know
The places where they send you, and it's easy to go
They'll zip you up and dress you down
and stand you in a row
but you know you don't have to,
you can just say "No."

You can also hear, I think, why his constituency was so broad and deep. Because we all needed to hear someone say that in a pop song, in a great pop song, just like that.

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