I heard the sad news on the radio this morning that Alex Chilton has died. He wrote and recorded The Letter with The Box Tops at the tender age of 16. He later went on to form Big Star, who I discovered myself at the tender age of 16.
I can still remember buying a copy of their debut #1 Record from the old Borderline Records shop in Brighton (where Komedia now is) - the grizzly hippy guy behind the counter told me it was one of the greatest records ever made. He wasn't far wrong. Big Star were my secret, none of my friends had heard of them, nor did they care to listen to the tapes I made them of #1 Record. Not even my dad, a big sixties/seventies music fan, new anything about them or their records.
I got to see Big Star live twice, once at the Reading Festival the day after I got my GCSE results, and again last year supporting Tindersticks at Hyde Park. They still had it.
Chilton also performed production duties with 2 of my favourite bands The Cramps (first 2 records) and, later, playing drums and recording three songs with Stereo Total for their debut Oh Ah!. One of these was a cover of a Serge Gainsbourg song: I have come to tell you I am leaving...