March 19, 2010 17:14

Alex Chilton's Big Star bandmates confirm SXSW tribute show featuring REM

Cheap Trick, John Doe rumoured for show

Alex Chilton's Big Star bandmates confirm SXSW tribute show featuring REM

Photo: Getty

Big Star legend Alex Chilton's bandmates are organising a tribute show to him, following the news of his death on Wednesday (March 17).

The band's current bassist Ken Stringfellow confirmed that they are hoping to recruit R.E.M's Mike Mills and members of Cheap Trick for the gig. The show is likely to take place at the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas tomorrow (March 20), reports Spinner. Big Star were due to perform at SXSW with Chilton tomorrow night.

"We've decided to still put on some kind of performance in tribute to Alex," Stringfellow, bassist for Big Star since 1993, told NME's sister publication Uncut. "There's already a lot of people stepping forward, interested in augmenting the band and singing some of Alex's songs. We drew up a shortlist of people we knew were playing at SXSW who might be interested, but I'm not sure exactly who can actually do it yet.

"Jon [Auer, guitarist for Big Star and the Posies] has already spoken to M Ward, John Doe and Chuck Prophet. There's also Cheap Trick, who are known for doing a Big Star song on a television show in the States ['In the Street' is the theme to That 70s Show], so they might be possible.

"And I'm pretty sure that [R.E.M bassist] Mike Mills is coming to join us. I'm sure there are a lot more people too, who we don't realise want to get involved yet."

Mills paid tribute to Chilton himself, writing on "Alex Chilton's music was a big part of my life and a huge influence on R.E.M. He will live on for us through all the great music he made."

Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie also spoke about Chilton, saying his music was "as good as The Byrds or The Beatles", reports BBC News. Last night, MGMT dedicated their gig at London venue Heaven to him.

Chilton died of a suspected heart attack.

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