There is an important moment in every young musician’s life when they first discover Big Star. Although the band never achieved mainstream success during their original run in the early 1970s, their legacy as one of the most influential rock bands ever seems unquestionable at this point. Why that is—how a band can be so genius, so far ahead of their time—is one of the themes in the tragic 2012 documentary “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me“. I would totally understand if you stopped reading now and went to watch it. That’s what I would do if I was you. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Welcome back! If you just watched the documentary, then you will definitely want to discuss the most perfect Big Star song ever (IMHO): “September Gurls” (no easy feat considering that they wrote so many perfect songs). I have searched high and low and never found another opening guitar riff that is quite so heartbreaking. And then Alex Chilton starts singing and you quickly understand how he came up with that perfect riff. The lyrics are cryptic, but strangely relatable to anybody who has ever pined away for lost love. For all these reasons, and because Jody Stephens is an amazing rock drummer, “September Gurls” is one of the best short stories I have ever listened to.
Read the lyrics for “September Gurls” HERE.
Previous installments in this series:
- Violent Femmes—”Country Death Song”
- Husker Du—”Books About UFOs”
- The Mother Hips—”Gold Plated”
- The Replacements—”Left Of The Dial”
- Jason Isbell—”Elephant”
S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.