(Fender’s Rich Siegle contributed to this post)
Alex Chilton died after apparently suffering a heart attack Wednesday at age 59.
As the founding member of the Box Tops and seminal band Big Star, Alex Chilton’s influence resonates throughout pop rock history. With a string of hits like “The Letter” and “Soul Deep,” the Box Tops were the epitome of blue-eyed Memphis soul.
Big Star, the great lost band of the ’70s, was hugely influential for bands like Cheap Trick and the Replacements, whose song “Alex Chilton” appeared on their Pleased to Meet Me album. Big Star finally made the mainstream when Cheap Trick’s cover of their song “On in the Street” was used as the theme song on TV sitcom That ’70s Show.
Chilton was scheduled to join the remaining members of Big Star for a retrospective set earlier tonight at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. It’s been reported that the show was turned into a tribute to the late artist.
An inventive songwriter and wonderful guitarist, Alex Chilton will be sorely missed.