Sorry to mix my other obsession, music, with tennis, but I just had to post this article by Steve Tignor on the passing of Alex Chilton, lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star. You probably have no idea who Alex Chilton or those two bands are. That's ok. But what you should know is that Alex Chilton was probably a really big deal to your favorite bands.
Alex Chilton passed away at 60 in Memphis while I was in Indian Wells. It was quite sobering news to get on my way to my Mecca. You can read about how I came to learn about Alex Chilton and Big Star here. But driving down to Indian Wells I checked my Twitter feed to see an outpouring of sadness from all of my favorite bands and musicians. He meant a lot to them and he inspired a lot of them. For that, I'll always be an Alex Chilton fan.
And of course, he inspired one of the greatest rock lyrics of all time from one of my all-time favorite songs:
Children by the millions sing for Alex Chilton when he comes around.
They say "What's that song? I love that song."
"I'm in love with that song."
Which brings me to Steve's piece. He so beautifully captures the sentiment in this Replacements lyric. As a few of my friends know, I'm a bit of a loner. The request to be alone comes in different formats. Sometimes it's just walking a mile to meet a friend so that I can just throw on my iPod during the walk, or asking, begging, and pleading that I be allowed to take the bus home (as opposed to getting a ride) because all I want to do is sit on a bus quietly and listen to music, or sit at home on a Friday night with a 6 pack and a stack of records. Song lyrics, more than books, movies, or television, inform my life. Songs are my friend. We have life-changing conversations on a daily basis.
Wow. That sounds so much more pathetic when I see it in black and white.
So props to Steve for paying a proper tribute to Alex Chilton with his rumination and ode to music. I read the piece and automatically wanted to buy him a beer.
And then we'd both pour one out to Alex Chilton.