The man, the legend, the goat, the satyr
When rock’n’roll was young, when rock’n’roll was so young that it wasn’t even born, a proto-rock’n’roll manchild was born deep in the breeding-ground of the blues, under the sign of Capricorn. Gospel and rhythm & blues were his influences; Carl Perkins, Little Walter, and Little Willie John were among his heroes; Memphis was his home. He wrote many songs, but covered many more: his heroes never died. He burned brightly, briefly: the Ed Sullivan Show, tours, drugs, women. Sadly, uppers, downers, and alcohol took their toll, along with a perpetually shaky mutual relationship with the 60s counterculture to whom he was too square, too clean, too reactionary. Towards the end he was known as a lounge act, a curiosity, a cult figure who was fabularly “out there,” until one day, too soon, he was gone. And he was mourned. Today he’s a memory, a myth, an icon, honored by others, the object of tributes and rockcrit encomia the world over.
Happy belated birthday, Alex Chilton (12/28/1950-3/17/2010). We remember.