Big Star is the band that didn’t make it. Except they did. Led by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, perhaps no band as little known by the general public had so profound and broad an influence on the popular music that came after. Three Big Star albums were named to the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest albums of all time. Many bands conceivably wouldn’t ever have plugged in without the Big Star inspiration.
REM, Wilco and Yo La Tengo are among the luminaries that credit Big Star as a sort of foundational text. And members of all three bands and more including Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy will play a show in LA on April 27 as a Big Star tribute. Founding Big Star member Jody Stephens put together the show full of big stars. They’ll play the entire Third album live, as other groups of rockers have done in the past. The LA gig, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, will feature a full orchestra. To know better the beauty of what you’re hearing, spend some time with the Big Star documentary — Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. Trailer below.