Thus spake the Replacements' Paul Westerberg in their sixth and first Stinsonless LP, Pleased to Meet Me, in the song Alex Chilton which Westerberg wrote in an attempt to, as he has said in an interview last year, "hip the outside world on who this guy might be."
This guy was the man who managed to sound like two completely different singers between his time with The Box Tops (The Letter, Cry like a Baby, Soul Deep) and as part of the far more influential than commercially successful seminal power pop band Big Star. After Big Star imploded he hung out in NYC with a short lived band, produced some tracks for the Cramps in Memphis, worked for a short bit as a tree trimmer and dishwasher in Louisiana and made some of the most deliciously weird solo efforts you'll ever hear (just try to get a hold of the Like Flies on Sherbert LP where he does covers ranging from The Carter Family to K.C. and the Sunshine Band's Boogie Shoes or the LP 1970 in which he does a supremely drunken and destructive cover of the Archies' Sugar, Sugar). To use a word worn out by critics, Chilton's work as a whole is "uneven" (yet always interesting) but when you soar to the heights of the Big Star songs Chilton wrote (i.e. most of them including the one below) many other moments of self indulgence can be taken in stride. Happy Birthday to Mr. Chilton who today turns 59 years old.