By Holly George-Warren

The 1st biography of the influential musician and forebear of the indie-rock scene

Alex Chilton's tale is rags to riches in opposite, starting with teenage rock stardom and heading downward. Following stints top 60s sensation the field Tops ("The Letter") and pioneering 70s popsters huge superstar ("the final American pop band"—Time), Chilton grew to become a dishwasher. but he rose back within the 80s as a solo artist, manufacturer, and trendsetter, coinventing the indie-rock style. by way of the 90s, acolytes from R.E.M. to Jeff Buckley embodied Chilton's legacy, ushering him again to the highlight prior to his premature demise in 2010.

In the career-spanning and revelatory a guy known as Destruction, longtime Chilton confidante Holly George-Warren has interviewed greater than a hundred bandmates, neighbors, and kinfolk to flesh out a guy who presided over—and influenced—four a long time of yankee musical background, rendered right here with new standpoint during the adventures of a real iconoclast.

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Extra resources for A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man

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He dressed immaculately, always sporting a good tie or cravat, and looking elegant in his beloved cricket sweater and whites whenever he wore them. His trousers had a perfect crease and his old shoes were polished to a shine. He was certainly dashing in his air force uniform; he was a flight engineer, plotting courses, operating the radio. He flew often, making sorties over Germany and France. If Aunt wasn’t completely in love with him, they made a good show of it. They both enjoyed ballroom dancing and shared a similar sense of humor.

Autu m n a r r ived, and lessons at the Cone-Ripman School began in earnest, which meant that I now had to go up to London every day. Aunt was still teaching dance at the school and living in her one-room apartment. Since I was only eight, it was decided that I would stay with her during the week while classes were in session, and go home to Beckenham at the weekends. Uncle Bill was away in the Air Force, billeted somewhere, and Aunt and I were mostly alone together. I slept on a little cot; she had a single bed.

Our room did have a small electric heater, and we used stone hot water bottles in the big bed at night. But the sheets were so moist that steam almost rose from them when touched by a warm body, and they smelled horribly of mildew. The farm had a lot of acreage. It was also a popular riding school, with stables and several horses. I loved the smell of the tack room, the leather saddles, bridles, and the whole sensory experience of the animals. Johnny and I would help one of the local farm girls lather and clean the tack, and feed the horses and bring them in from the fields at night.

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