Paul Westerberg, Craig Finn, Carrie Brownstein and Patterson Hood carry a torch for Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton

Editor’s note: A day after Chilton’s death, these artists had plenty to say about the great frontman for The Boxtops and Big Star:

The Quote from Paul Westerberg of The Replacements: “In my opinion, Alex was the most talented triple threat musician out of Memphis — and that’s saying a ton. His versatility at soulful singing, pop rock songwriting, master of the folk idiom, and his delving into the avant garde, goes without equal. He was also a hell of a guitar player and a great guy.”

The Source: Statement to the AP, via post on Man Without Ties, 3/18/10

The Quote from Carrie Brownstein of Sleater Kinney: “Musicians and fans have always passed around Big Star songs and albums like a secret handshake. When you found out someone hadn’t heard #1 Record or Radio City, you were so excited to provide that missing link, to pass on all the glimmer, the jangly guitar, the big chords, the melodies, the American anthems that let you keep your teenage self — for some of us long since faded — close, etched upon your skin. And suddenly, you realized that every great band or musician you love also loved Alex Chilton and Big Star; it’s certain.”

The Source:, 3/18/10

The Quote from Craig Finn of the Hold Steady: “…there are so many songs that just give me so much joy. Thank You Friends is one of my favorites. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about positivity in rock n’ roll, I think that’s about as positive a rock song as has ever been written.”

The Source: SXSW interview via Entertainment Weekly, 3/18/10

The Quote from Patterson Hood of The Drive By Truckers: “…It should have been next to the Beatles and the Stones in popularity as well as influence. A lot of it sounded like it came from Britain or something, although you couldn’t deny the southern soulfulness of it, too. That’s what made it so great. It combined that pop sensibility that came over with the British invasion with that southern soul and grittiness. That’s the key. It’s like the Beatles with booty.”

The Source: SXSW interview via Entertainment Weekly, 3/18/10

More on: Alex Chilton and Big Star

The Big Star Box Set:

Big Star: Keep An Eye on the Sky
Big Star: Keep An Eye On the Sky