This’ll be the last one…
Alex Chilton’s death is a difficult one to get a handle on. Grief takes on a life of its own, and sometimes you really don’t know what it is you’re grieving about.
In the 70s Alex’s music re-wired my mind in ways that no other artist did at the time – at first the songs were bright and shiny, but with words that conveyed yearning and confusion. Later on the music became messy and confused and the words, desperate. It was exactly like real life, and maybe the reason this hits some of us so hard is that we watched this guy get knocked to the mat over and over and still manage to get back up and keep going.
It just seems that (like all of us) he deserved to someday be old and happy, and he didn’t make it to the finish line because his body gave out on him. His artist life reflected our private lives in so many ways, and it’s a little scary to think that we can have so many ups, downs, struggles and successes, loves, hopes, satisfactions… and then nothing.
He already wrote about the nothing part, so in a way I guess he’s prepared us a little for that, too.
My kids have “I’m In Love With A Girl” on their iPods (thanks, House) and can sing along to “In The Street”, and we will have an Alex Chilton appreciation night soon – wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if another generation got re-wired the same way we were.
Built up and trusted, broke down and busted
They’ll get theirs and we’ll get ours if we can just…