A BIG STAR SHINES THROUGH THE GOLDEN SMOG: Jody Stephens On Belonging Again

And here’s my full-length profile feature (and then some) on Big Star drummer and keeper-of-the-flame Jody Stephens. I still smile at this tweak on an old axiom: “If the legend is true that the Velvet Underground never sold many records, but everybody who heard them started a band, then everybody who heard Big Star became a rock critic.” Hard to argue with that. There are certainly a few of us who came of age in the ’80s and ’90s who championed Big Star’s brilliant light even in the vast, suffocating darkness of a dim-bulbed corporate rock landscape. It’s gratifying to know that our cause has notched some small victories along the way.

RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog

Starstruck In A Field: Big Star 1973-74. L-R Andy Hummel, Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens Starstruck In A Field: Big Star 1973-74. L-R Andy Hummel, Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens

L-R: Jody Stephens, Andy Hummel, Alex Chilton. L-R: Jody Stephens, Andy Hummel, Alex Chilton.

Following Big Star: Promo ad and image for Big Star's debut LP, #1 Record Following Big Star: Promo ad and image for Big Star’s debut LP, #1 Record

We all know how dreamily handsome Jody Stephens, the once and future drummer for Big Star, has always been (damn, check out Jody in his to-die-for patchwork leather jacket on the back cover of “Radio City”;  with that feathered hair and jawline, the dude made Keith Partridge look like Ernest Borgnine).  But he also stands as one of nicest guys and thoughtful interview subjects I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to: Gracious, engaging, warm, self-deprecating, patient, and wryly funny. I caught up with Stephens late last century when his other cool band, Golden Smog (led by members of Wilco, the Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, and Run Westy Run), were headed to Boston for a show.  I figured it…

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  1. […] A BIG STAR SHINES THROUGH THE GOLDEN SMOG: Jody Stephens On Belonging Again. […]

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