by Dan Bolles
Really bummed about Big Star/Box Tops front man Alex Chilton's passing yesterday. I discovered the songwriter through Elliot Smith's cover of "Thirteen," shortly after moving to Boston in 2000. The combination of Chilton's sweetly innocent lyrics and Smith's fractured voice resonated deeply with the homesick and perpetually lovelorn guy I was in my early twenties. Ten years later it still does. If there is such a thing as a perfect song, "Thirteen" might be it. Regardless of who is singing it — Jeff Tweedy has a nice version too — that tune will forever be on my "desert island" list.
In memory of Alex Chilton, here are two videos I hope you'll enjoy. The first is Big Star performing another personal favorite, "September Gurls." Local guitar god Bill Mullins does a great of version of that song, BTW. The second is is "Thirteen," sung by the man who lead me to Big Star, the late, great Elliot Smith.