Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a concert tribute to Big Star’s swan song
For an album that was deemed unreleasable at the time of recording and has never had a proper running order, Big Star’s Third has certainly gotten its due. It’s now considered one of the greatest albums of all time. After the sudden passing of Big Star frontman Alex Chilton in 2010, an all-star group of musicians got together to pay tribute, including Mike Mills of REM, Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, Chris Stamey of the dB’s and members of the Posies. They found that the magic they created was worth continuing.
After playing live shows all over the world, they decided to document things with Thank You Friends – Big Star’s Third Live…and More, a DVD/CD combo just released by Concord Bicycle Music. To talk about it, we welcome in the musical director of the project, Chris Stamey. He also talks about playing in a post-Big Star band with Chilton and what led to him releasing Chris Bell’s single “I Am the Cosmos” on his own label in 1978.
Legendary melodic songwriter Peter Holsapple is back with a new vinyl 45, his first new solo project in 20 years.
Peter was a touring musician for both R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish
If you trace the roots of Power Pop, in the Seventies you had the Raspberries, Badfinger & Big Star. Later in the Nineties you had artists like Matthew Sweet, the Gin Blossoms & Weezer that were able to have commercial success. But, during the decade in the middle there – the Eighties, it was all about funny hair and keyboards, and it was hard going for the power pop guys. There were bands like North Carolina’s the dB’s, who released a string of hook-laden albums that gained only a cult following, but are now considered classics.
Singer/guitarist Peter Holsapple not only led the dB’s, he’s also been a member of the alternative supergroup the Continental Drifters, and was a touring member of R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish during their peak years. Holsapple has just issued a vinyl 45, his first new solo outing in 20 years called “Don’t Mention the War.”
We talk radiofreesongclub.com, the project that helped spur on this recent burst of creativity, plus the excellent music video that accompanies the song.
The dB’s released four critically-acclaimed albums throughout the Eighties, jam packed with melodic hooks. But for some strange reason, the band never achieved the commercial success they deserved, breaking up near the end of the decade. Then, a funny thing happened – word began to spread about how good those albums really were, and they started fetching high bids on Ebay. To meet the demand, Collector’s Choice music reissued the band’s first two albums in 2002.
Now, the band is back with a brand new record, their first with the original lineup in some 30 years, called Falling Off the Sky . Icon Fetch talks with singer/guitarist Peter Holsapple about what brought the band back together in the first place, why the recording process took so long, and how the band is joined by several young musicians from the North Carolina scene for the new record.