Preview: "Live in Memphis" - Big Star

Artist: Big Star
Title: Live in Memphis
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Label: Omnivore
Format(s): CD, 2-Vinyl LPs, DVD, DD

Omnivore Recordings will release what is believed to be the only full-length professionally recorded show by Big Star on November 4 with Live in Memphis.

The release was recorded and filmed on October 29, 1994 in the band's hometown of Memphis, TN. The poster for the performance said "Big Star in Their Farewell U.S. Performance" but, as member Jody Stephenson said "We played Los Angeles three days later and went on to play together for another 16 years. No one ever said anything about the poster."

The 20-song performance includes some of the band's best known songs including Thank You Friends, September Gurls and The Ballad of El Goodo along with a number of covers. Notes are in the package in all three physical versions from Danny Graflund, Ardent Studios’ John Fry, Jody Stephens, Jon Auer, and Ken Stringfellow.

Stephens says of the release, "This second life for Big Star begins on April 25, 1993, in Columbia, Missouri. The performance gets recorded and released. We now have a record to support and a reason to tour. A handful of dates far and wide followed, but then an offer came from the New Daisy to play Memphis. Pretty exciting! Walking into the New Daisy that night brought on a rush of ’70s friends I hadn’t seen in years. So much support there from well-wishers, which included John Fry and my parents. Stepping onstage that night in Memphis with Alex [Chilton], Jon, and Ken was an incredibly good time and a bit of magic. It wasn’t so much that we were playing to the audience as we were sharing the music with them, and they were sharing themselves with us. We all cared."

Stringfield added "It might seem intimidating, and at the same time look presumptuous, to step in and complete the lineup of Memphis’ most beloved cult band on their home turf. However, Jon and I were (and to this day remain) absolutely passionate about the music of Big Star, and that sense of devotion and belief propelled us forward and, hopefully, silenced any grumbles about what two kids from Seattle were doing there in that lineup. By the time we rolled into town to play this show, we’d gone from the initial, delightfully fragile, show in Columbia, Missouri, to engagements in London, San Francisco, and Tokyo. There would be more heft to the show, and we were getting to know Alex and Jody in even deeper ways, musically and personally. You might even say ... we were a band."

Track List:

  • In the Street
Don’t Lie to Me

  • When My Baby’s Beside Me
  • I Am the Cosmos

  • Way Out West

  • Till the End of the Day

  • The Ballad Of El Goodo

  • Back of a Car

  • Fire*
  • Daisy Glaze
  • Jesus Christ
  • For You
  • Baby Strange
  • Feel
  • September Gurls
  • Big Black Car

  • Thank You Friends
  • The Girl From Ipanema
  • Patty Girl
  • Slut

* Fire does not appear on the DVD

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