The cover of the Austin Chronicle on Thursday.
Amidst all the partying and rock shows on Wednesday at SXSW, a sombre mood started spreading as news of cult icon Alex Chilton's death made its way around town.
Chilton initially came to prominence as a teen while playing with the Box Tops for the song the Letter, but in music nerd circles he was most known for his work with the seminal power pop band Big Star.
That legacy was to be celebrated in Austin this week with a panel discussion, a screening of the documentary I Never Travel Far Without A Little Big Star, and a live performance on Saturday of the reunited band.
Big Star's groundbreaking work in the 70s didn't really get acknowledged properly until the 90s, when bands like REM, the Replacements, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and many more started citing him as a key inspiration, which eventually led to the influential band reforming. And while they remained a cult band, millions have heard their song In The Street as the theme song for That 70s Show, although most seasons featured Cheap Trick's cover of the track.
Much like the Velvet Underground, Big Star were one of those bands that didn't sell many records, but it seemed like everyone who bought one ended up starting a band. One thing's for sure - you can bet that bands all over Austin are going to be dropping Chilton covers in their sets all week.[rssbreak]