Monday, November 5, 2012

Big Star - Memphis Indie Pioneers...

too many coincidences lately... watch for them.. it is late in 2012.. but first, the story..

last night I was privileged to see the Big Star documentary at the Indie Memphis Film Festival.  I was invited by Chris Bell's niece.. in turn, I invited one of his best friends... and in this group, the circles of friends all closed quickly... Ardent, the Fry family, the Turleys who started a local restaurant with Chris's family... dang it.. I fell into coincidences again... let's just say small circles... like my friend Tommy, who owns the first amps I ever built, was in the movie!

I need to get to Big Star... move along, 2012...  Big Star was a local band that was a commercial flop... copies of their albums were impossible to find... yet somehow they survived.... almost legend... whisper on the wind... from musician to musician did #1 Record pass... and somehow, despite zero sales and less promotion, an alternative rock album from  early 70's Memphis is here today... Elvis was still around.. Isaac Hayes ruled the other side of town... this record was definitely Memphis, but had no home...

 the music was too far ahead of its time... REM and the Replacements cited Big Star as their major influence..  jangly guitars would belong to college rock, but not for at least another decade... but critics did recognize them... all three of their albums are in Rolling Stone's top 500.... so.. I guess I am saying that if you like Indie.. or college rock... these guys are who you owe... pick up #1 Record... or, perhaps more so, you really need Chris Bell's I am the Cosmos..

(YouTube links and ramblings of an actual music writer are here:  Stereogum)

PS to JC - hey man... there were quite a few partying scenes with Eggleston (yes, audiogeeks, Eggleston Works)... I am wondering if your old man was in this doc as well?  It certainly looked fun!


  1. The first Big Star album I got was Radio City. Great album. It sounds so professional and polished. I hope someday Memphis can make music again.

  2. Great stuff but it's the live one on Ryko that is on my desert island list. As far as studio records, I think 3rd(sister lovers) blows away the first two - things got so much more depressing at that point.

  3. Jeffrey et al,

    Don't know if you have seen it but Omnivore Recordings has an LP of ALex Chilton's first solo recordings after the Box Tops.


Blog Archive