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Big Star: The Story of Rock’s Forgotten Band Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I was fortunate enough to appreciate Big Star while they were still together and treasure all three of their albums. I just missed seeing the three-piece version live (long story, don't ask) but that didn't damper my enthusiasm for their music.
As one may have discerned by now I am quite prejudiced in my opinions when it comes to this band. However, I don't believe that this book is for the curious. It is for the true believer. That should not prevent any music lover from reading Big Star's history as it is never too late to discover them and their sounds.
Anyway, this book is thoroughly researched with interviews of most of the principals involved and a very easy read. Mr. Jovanovic puts the reader right in the middle of things as they happened. He provides a very real experience of a time and place long gone.
As three of the four original members are no longer alive, this is the closest most of us will ever get to knowing this band.
Further, while reading this book, I was inspired to listen to all of their records again and heard many of the songs with fresh ears thanks to Mr. Jovanovic's many perspectives.
Read and listen, one could do much worse. I am envious of anyone who will discover and read this book and listen to Big Star's music for the first time as a result of same.
Rob Jovanovic did a great job with respect to research and capturing what makes Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens' music so special. The one sour note, and it is not the author's fault, that he didn't get to speak directly to Chilton, who without a doubt, is probably one of the most interesting figures in contemporary pop music. Bruce Eaton's book on Big Star's "Radio City" (part of the 33 1/3 series) is a much better book, due that he had actually had a relationship with Chilton, and Alex was willing to talk to him. Through that book one finds out he was devoted to Civil War history,and was quite knowledgeable about Memphis and New Orleans history. Plus he was totally devoted to the world of Zodiac signs - and had a long interesting relationship with the great photographer William Eggleston.
But by no means does that mean one should ignore Jovanovic's book. Its a very good (and detailed book, especially the early years of The Box Tops) bio on a band that is endlessly fascinating. So do get this beautifully produced edition (by the great Jaw Bone), as well as Eaton's book on "Radio City" and the masterpiece by Robert Gordon "It Came From Memphis." The beauty of the Alex Chilton narrative is one gets a bigger picture of Memphis as well as American music.