more alex

I first heard the music of Alex Chilton and Big Star in our friend and booking agent Carlos van Hijfte’s apartment in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This is back in the day when sonic youth would sleep on floors as we toured across europe and the usa – I recall waking one morning to the strains of “Feel” from #1 Record and wondering to myself “what is this racket?” The music picked for that morning’s wake up call did not conform to our standard mid-80’s playlist.

Little did I know that Carlos would turn us on to yet another soon-to-be musical staple and all-time favorite. The following is an email exchange between myself and Carlos, who in addition to booking sonic youth’s european tours for 20+ years also did a spell as Alex Chilton’s booking agent.

Onderwerp: alex

sorry to hear the news about Alex Chilton – I believe the first I ever heard him was in your old apartment…

ss
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reply:
I’m not sure, I’ve been a fan since mid 80’s and was very honored I got to work with him a bunch of years late 80’s maybe early 90’s. first couple of years he called me, no managers or agent, very low key. he travelled separate from his band who were cheap bar band pick up guys. I drove him around, stops at coffee shops were essential for him. he was very sweet and very stoned most of the time. he once told me how he met charlie manson through dennis wilson. he had many stories, he was sometimes cynical but never angry, I remember around that time his tourmanager left a bag with all the tour money plus all passports in a phone booth, yes everything was gone.

last time I saw him was at the atp you curated in la, I didn’t walk up to him to say hi, I was too shy. I was glad people like the posies helped him out to keep his career going. it was a shock for me to read the news this morning.

all best, carlos

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p.s. I too was also too shy to say “hello” to Alex (and Jody Stephens! a drumming hero of mine) at the LA ATP Festival curated by sonic youth. I did walk to their dressing room as the festival started to come to a close but I couldn’t force myself into their room.
s.s.