Even if you haven’t heard of Big Star, you’ve heard of Big Star. Who hasn’t heard the Bangles singing “September Gurls”? Or the theme song to the show That ‘70s Show, “In The Street” as performed by Cheap Trick?
The doc Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me gives the viewer a complete and exhaustive look at one of the most influential rock groups to ever commit their particular genius to vinyl. I myself was late to the game only discovering the Memphis quartet in the ‘80s while spinning discs on a college radio station. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me unwinds in an exclusive screening Monday, December 9 at 14 Pews microcinema.
Big Star consisted of Alex Chilton (formerly of The Box Tops), Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. The doc informs us that when Chilton sung lead on The Box Tops hit “The Letter” it was only the second time he’d been recorded. Bell died in a car accident at age 27. Chilton and Hummel passed in 2010, the former dying just days before a Big Star reunion concert at that year’s SXSW.
Part of the pure joy of watching films like this is the inspired feeling that the music evokes. Several songs are recalled: how they were recorded or when they were recorded or why they were recorded. Thanks to docs like this the uninitiated can learn a little bit more about the history of rock. Big Star’s three studio LPs are out there just waiting to be discovered.
- Michael Bergeron