Our Idea Of A Summer Blockbuster: “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me”

So we don’t have a release date on the soon-to-be-released documentary on Big Star, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Mebut let us assert that in a perfect universe, this would be the movie you’d watch in your favorite drive-in, as the Super Moon rose and that couple necked in the back of a car.

We’ve been thinking a lot about Big Star lately, as the lines coverage, and the coverage of the William Eggleston exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum remind us of that time, in 1974, we walked into a record store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and hearing the jangle of Big Star’s Radio City album, we asked for the record and espied, also for the first time, that great Eggleston image on the cover.  We bought the record, and thus had about a three-year head start on everyone in getting to understand the greatness of Alex Chilton.  See, it was really only in 1978, after the band had broken up and what then was called Third was released (later given the intended name of Sister Lovers) that the rock crit brigades came out in force to ensure we knew of Big Star’s greatness.  By then, Chilton had spent a summer gigging in New York with Chris Stamey playing in his band, but the magic that was Big Star was over — at least until the early ’90s when Chilton and Stephens began to tour with the Posies rounding out the lineup, eventually releasing a (not very good) album in 2005.

A zillion words have been spilled on Big Star, some of them here — wherein we tell the story of that drink we had with Chilton in 1980 — and some of them here — wherein we write about the impact Big Star had on music, culture, and most important, our teenage life — but let us calmly state: in the great chart of influential bands, if the progenitors of much that we love can be seen to have started with the Beatles, Stones, Led Zepplin, and the Velvet Underground, many — so many — of the bands we have loved since the mid-Seventies owe their eye teeth and first-born children to the music made by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel over the course of a few short years.

Check out the links above, and go see the movie.  In a just world, they really would have been big stars, and this really would be a summer blockbuster.

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