Lembrando de Alex Chilton
“I was drumming with my old band BMX Bandits when we opened for him at the Glasgow College Of Technology sometime around 1990. Alex’s music had been a big, big influence on a range of bands from Glasgow in particular including Teenage Fanclub and Primal Scream.
At the end of a powerful live set which included tracks from his then new album “High Priest” and a glorious rendition of Big Star’s “September Gurls”, a fan yelled that he should play his mum’s favourite song. “My mom’s favourite song?”, drawled Alex, before sliding into a beautiful, slow-burning jazz rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” to close the night.
Afterwards in the dressing room he seemed a little jaded but amiable enough; happy to let some of us acolytes come and hang out with him and his band. I was 19 and nervous but keen to try and converse so I asked if that was really his mum’s favourite song. Came the languorous response: “Oh…I don’t know..[pause]…Mom’s dead actually”. Silence. Boy did I feel awkward. And boy did he probably have some harmless fun in making me feel awkward”
It was some years back, the last time I saw Alex Chilton. We miraculously bumped into each other one autumn evening in New York, he in a Memphis Minnie T-shirt, with take-out Thai, en route to his hotel. He invited me along to watch the World Series on TV, and I immediately discarded whatever flimsy obligation I may have had. We watched baseball, talked and laughed, especially about his current residence — he was living in, get this, a tent in Tennessee.
Because we were musicians, our talk inevitably turned toward women, and Al, ever the Southern gentleman, was having a hard time between bites communicating to me the difficulty in … you see, the difficulty in (me taking my last swig that didn’t end up on the wall, as I boldly supplied the punch line) “… in asking a young lady if she’d like to come back to your tent?” We both darn near died there in a fit of laughter.
E o papo segue aqui.Tags: alex chilton, big star, francis macdonald, paul westerberg, replacements, teenage fanclub