By Holly George-Warren
The 1st biography of the influential musician and forebear of the indie-rock scene
Alex Chilton's tale is rags to riches in opposite, starting with teenage rock stardom and heading downward. Following stints top 60s sensation the field Tops ("The Letter") and pioneering 70s popsters mammoth celebrity ("the final American pop band"—Time), Chilton grew to become a dishwasher. but he rose back within the 80s as a solo artist, manufacturer, and trendsetter, coinventing the indie-rock style. through the 90s, acolytes from R.E.M. to Jeff Buckley embodied Chilton's legacy, ushering him again to the highlight sooner than his premature dying in 2010.
In the career-spanning and revelatory a guy known as Destruction, longtime Chilton confidante Holly George-Warren has interviewed greater than a hundred bandmates, buddies, and family to flesh out a guy who presided over—and influenced—four a long time of yank musical heritage, rendered the following with new standpoint in the course of the adventures of a real iconoclast.
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Extra info for A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man
A new decade was underway, and there would be a new way of doing things. Rush would still create extended pieces, traffic in sequels, and commit egregious lyrical overreaches, but never again would they do them with the same navelgazing inattention to craft as they did on the first half of Hemispheres. “It was too long to do in one take, because it wouldn’t go on a piece of tape,” recalled Terry Brown. “So we had to do it in sections, and then we would get the section and find a convenient place where we could actually pause, stop, and then we’d go back and we’d start recording again and do the next eight or ten minutes.
I use sets of tube cowbells, melodic tom-toms, and sets of chimes to get a different sound. “We don’t want to stop at any particular plateau,” continued Peart. “We were faced with the choice of adding a band member or else getting really ambitious and doing it ourselves. We want more textures, new sounds. ” Implicit in this was that Mercury was no longer sending its want list through to Danniels, who would filter label directives onto the cabal of three, or perhaps first through Terry Brown, during one of their prerecording lunches.
So why did 2112 take off? Well, one might argue that progressive rock was at its peak, having grown to adulthood from its inception in 1970, a year that also incidentally marks the Author collection birth of metal. As well, FM had entered a golden period. It was not uncommon for DJs to play all of the title track in one large and uninterrupted meal of escapist stoner rock. Manager Ray Danniels also attributes the album’s success to three other factors: (1) the steadfast belief the band had in their art, resulting in an album that even Mercury had to admit was objectively “good”; (2) the workable six-digit fan base built by the first three albums; and (3) the fact that Caress of Steel was toured unflaggingly, despite the blank stares from the few who showed up.
A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man by Holly George-Warren