Don’t know why, but I always pictured Alex Chilton as a lonely guy, sort of at loose ends, wandering through the world with the nagging feeling that he could of and should of been a contender. He was a huge success at AGE 15 when he was the lead singer with the Georgia garage band The Box Tops, who scored with “The Letter” and “Cry Like a Baby.” But then he faded into cult star status, putting out a series of highly regarded and commercially disastrous records with his band Big Star.
And now Alex Chilton is dead, not even 60 years old, which reminded me again that even though “The Letter” was part of that same amazing year when the Beatles unleashed “Sgt. Pepper” on an unsuspecting world, Chilton was a good ten years younger than the rock icons of that period — a sophomore in high school when his baby, she wrote him a letter and told him she couldn’t live without him no more.
I’d like to think that now Alex Chilton truly is a Big Star, sparkling and shining and bursting with energy in the skies over Rock and Roll Heaven.
Check out these clips of The Box Tops and Big Star.