Monday, July 19, 2010

Andy Hummel,195?-2010. R.I.P.

Andy Hummel, the original bass player for the Memphis rock group Big Star, has died after a two year battle with cancer. He was 59.

It was only four months ago that his bandmate Alex Chilton passed away suddenly of a heart attack. My tribute to Chilton can be found here.

Although Chilton and Chris Bell were the primary songwriters in Big Star, Hummel contributed a handful of his own songs ("India Song") as well as those co-written with Chilton ("Back of a Car").

However, Hummel would leave Big Star shortly before the release of the group's second album Radio City in 1974 to finish college. After graduation, Hummel moved to Texas and got a job with Lockheed Martin in Texas.

Although Big Star would reunite in 1993, Hummel was not part of the reunion. In fact, Hummel would not strap on his bass until earlier this year at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. However, it was a bittersweet reunion as Chilton would pass away on the opening day of the festival. Hummel said at the time, "We're just trying to pull together what all that's going to look like now, without Alex."

Now with both Chilton and Hummel having passed on within months of each other and Chris Bell long since deceased (he was killed in a car accident in 1978) this leaves drummer Jody Stephens as the only original surviving member of the band.

Here's an interview that was conducted with Hummel in July 2001.

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