Westerberg writes about mentor Alex Chilton
“Rock guitar players are all dead men walking,” he writes. “It’s only a matter of time, I tell myself as I finger my calluses. Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music — to sing, write songs, create, perform. Each an active art in itself that offers no promise of success, let alone happiness.”
Westerberg introduced me (and many others) to Alex Chilton, naming a song after the Big Star leader. Chilton actually enjoyed a surge of renewed popularity after that song and it became more apparent that bands like Westerberg’s Replacements and R.E.M. owed a lot to Chilton’s music. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco also acknowledges Chilton’s profound influence.