Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Andy Hummel RIP

Just four months and two days after passing of fellow Big Star member Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel has died at the age of 59. Andy was the bass player (he's pictured above, flanked by drummer Jody Stephens on the left and Alex Chilton on the right), and while he had left the band in 1974, his work on such classics as "The Ballad of El Goodo," "September Gurls" and others will be forever forged in my mind.

Andy had been battling cancer for the last couple of years, but he still managed to play with Big Star at SXSW this year a few days after Alex died. Jason Gross, editor of Perfect Sound Forever, posted this clip on Facebook of Andy, Jody Stephens and others associated with the band speaking on a panel at SXSW:

That leaves Jody Stephens as the only remaining original member of Big Star still alive. He and Alex had reformed Big Star with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies (they were present at the SXSW panel as well), and they released the album In Space in 2005. But I think it's safe to say that without Alex, Chris Bell and Andy, Big Star will cease to exist. Thankfully we have all of their recordings (including the stellar box set Keep Your Eye on the Sky, which was released last year) to listen to and to cherish.

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