Music Break

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my surely engrossing, or at least on-topic, fountain pen posts are going to be postponed. I hope not for too long.

But what do we do when the going gets tough? Turn on the radio. Or the turntable. Or Spotify.

Given the month, what could be more appropriate than the song up there, September Gurls by Big Star? This one is from way, way back in the 1900s — 1974. It’s from an album called Radio City, which was the second album from Big Star, and truly it’s a lovely song. Since September Gurls has been covered by other groups, you may have heard it.

So, okay, some trivia. Big Star was a little group and never became big stars. But one of its members, and the principal songwriter, was the late, great Alex Chilton. You may have heard of his earlier group The Box Tops. And Chilton happened to be friends with a guy named William Eggleston. Now, just a few years later, Eggleston would start being recognized as one of the greatest photographers ever. But back then Eggleston wasn’t particularly well-known, and he gave his friend a recent photo for the cover. That photo, The Red Ceiling, is surely the most famous thing about the record today.

But the 1970s ended, and we came to the 1980s. In 1987, the band The Replacements put out a tribute to Alex Chilton, called, appropriately enough, Alex Chilton.

The Replacements were the greatest American band of the 1980s. (I think that’s been scientifically proven). Also, totally wrecked. Fun fact: the band broke up for good during a concert, on stage, in Chicago.

I don’t like old music, but The Replacements are the bomb, even today. Scrolling through their YouTube videos, I’m in heaven. Merry Go Round. Kiss Me on the Bus. Unsatisfied. I’ll Be You. The whole of Let It Be. It does seem that they were never all sober at the same time, so if “on-key” or “well played” are important aspects to music, don’t even click.

But then the next decade came, the 1990s, and everything changed. Again. There was this little band, that became huge, called Nirvana. Back in the 1900s. And it’s very hard to believe this, but tomorrow will be the 25th anniversary of the release of their second album, a little thing called Nevermind.

Actually, if you watch the video, it does seem like 25 years ago. Because that is the most dated video ever. Check out the the hair flips. We could do a drinking game to the hair flips: “He/she flipped his/her hair; drink!” Except we’d all be passed out drunk within the first minute and a half.

So I’m not ruling it out or anything.

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