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- Posted on Mar 19th 2010 10:00AM by John D. Luerssen
"It'll be just a cool way for us to all share that music Alex was part of," said Stephens, who, along with original bassist Andy Hummel, was still going forward with a panel discussion on the influential group. "Certainly where Alex and I connected over the years was through music, either in the studio or on stage, so I think that's a great way for us all to tip our hats to Alex and celebrate his life."
Since his passing in New Orleans of an apparent heart attack on Wednesday, there has been an outpouring of sympathy. "I'm grateful people care and are interested," Stephens said. "I'm always grateful when people are interested in Big Star and are talking about it."
Stephens -- who planned to sit in with Star and Micey, a group on his Ardent Records label, Thursday night at the Memphis Music Foundation showcase -- said Chilton's funeral arrangements are incomplete and being overseen by his sister, Celia.
As for Big Star continuing in any capacity without Chilton, Stephens said, "I can't imagine that, to tell you the truth. Alex was the heart of it. Maybe Jon and Ken and I can do something together, but now's not the time to think about it."
Outside of the many comments from the music world, Chilton's death also rocked the House of Representatives yesterday as Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee paid homage to the Big Star founder and Memphis native who first got his start fronting the Box Tops, by quoting lyrics to a song by the latter and offering up information on Chilton's 40-plus year career.
"His music will live on forever," Cohen told the floor in a minute-long tribute. "He is an embodiment of Memphis music: Hard, different, independent, brilliant, beautiful. We're lucky he came our way."