Yes, Big Star are still sort of around. - Oh My Rockness

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November 09, 2009
Man, this band is totally ripping off that theme song to That '70s Show! I mean, seriously! There's homage and then there's rip-off. Oh, wait? What? You mean that theme song is a cover of a Big Star song? Well shoot, put mud in my eye and hope I cry. Learn something new every day.

Formed in Memphis in 1971, Big Star was one of the very first power-pop bands. Would there be Rivers Cuomo if there wasn't first Alex Chilton? Tough questions asked here.

The band's heyday was in the early-to-mid '70s when they released three classic records (#1 Record, Radio, and Third/Sister Lovers) that still sound as perfectly lovely today as they did back in the dinosaur days of my parents.

But even in their "heyday," Big Star always had more of a cult following thing going on than anything. My parents never heard of them. Sure, there were people that were into them, but not as many kids that were into, say, The Byrds (or even Cheap Trick, for that matter).

Singer/Co-Founder Alex Chilton is regarded by some as a prophet and messiah and a yeti all rolled into one. His sweet singing voice and clean guitar melodies gave the kids the chills. After breaking up in 1974, the band was dormant for the rest of the '70s and the entire '80s (the time period when Big Star's cult following really grew).

Chilton got the band back together with different members in 1993 (sadly, co-founder Chris Bell died in a car accident shortly after recording Third/Sister Lovers) which included two dudes from The Posies. Anyway, long story short, Big Star has performed sporadically since then. And one of those sporadic times happens to me now.

The list of bands they have influenced is too long for this page. And they helped change television sit-com history forever. No Alex Chilton? No Kelso. No Punk'd. No trucker hats. No Demi Moore. No camera commercials. No movie where we're supposed to care that he and Kevin Costner are really good swimmers and are thus able to save drowning people. Thanks, Alex. Thanks a lot.


Big Star play Brooklyn Masonic Temple, on Wednesday, November 18th.


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