Saturday, 20 March 2010

Alex Chilton

“Children by the million / sing for Alex Chilton
When he comes ’round

They sing “I’m in love. What’s that song?
I’m in love with that song.“
('Alex Chilton' by The Replacements)

Alex Chilton sang about teenage love in ways that no other man managed before or since. He sang about a teenage boy's love. Songs like 'Thirteen', 'September Gurls', ''I'm In Love With A Girl" (all 1 minute 48 seconds of it!)

About a year ago, I posted the lyrics to Thirteen,
Won't you let me
Walk you home from school?

Won't you let me
meet you at the pool?
a song that perfectly expresses that astonishing season when you suddenly discover that girls are interesting (what do you mean? well... just... interesting) in a way that they have never been before. A season when you know nothing about girls, but you suddenly decide that you would quite to be with one of them.

(Be with? What the hell are you going on about?
What kind of wanting is that, wanting to be with someone?)

Alex Chilton died in New Orleans on Wednesday night. He was fifty-nine. Old for a teenager; young for a man. He was a year older than my dad when he died. (Nowadays I know, that is young.) And that song, Thirteen... that's the song about the year I discovered girls, which was also the year I discovered my dad was dying

Important stuff. A great many questions,
and no-one to answer them.

The Alex Chilton aong everybody seems to be turning to right now is 'September Gurls' (love that spelling.) I'll go and find the words, and post them here later today.

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