Nothing Can Hurt Me, the documentary film about Big Star—the legendary early-‘70s pop combo fronted by eternal cult hero Alex Chilton—will finally make its debut in Chilton’s adopted hometown of New Orleans. Two screenings are scheduled at the Contemporary Arts Center for Tuesday, June 30.
From the melodic joys of 1972’s #1 Record to the despair and redemption on Big Star’s 3rd/Sister Lovers (released in 1978 after the band’s break-up), Big Star covered every emotion there was, and had a profound influence on independent rock—even though their albums were barely noticed at the time of release. But Big Star’s stock rose after R.E.M., Uncle Tupelo and the Replacements all name-checked them and covered their songs; Paul Westerberg even wrote the song “Alex Chilton” which proclaimed “I never go far without a little Big Star.” After a slight bit of rewriting, the Big Star song “In the Street” became the theme of That ‘70s Show, as covered by Cheap Trick.
Chilton himself was thought to care little about his former band, but in 1993 he agreed to join a reunion tour with drummer Jody Stephens and two of his disciples, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies. Chilton would continue doing Big Star gigs when he had the time and was in the mood; the band was set to play a much-anticipated South By Southwest show in March of 2010. Chilton’s sudden death just a few days earlier was one of the saddest musical moments of that year. Stephens, who contributed to the film, is the original quartet’s one surviving member.
Advance word from fans says that Nothing Can Hurt Me does Big Star proud. Director Drew DeNicola will be present for a Q&A session at both New Orleans showings, 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. at the Freeport-McMoRan Theater inside the Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St. Tickets are $7 general admission or free for New Orleans Film Society members.
“Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” New Orleans Debut ScreeningsDate: Tuesday, July 30
Time: 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. screenings
Venue: Contemporary Arts Center (Freeport-McMoran Theater)
900 Camp St. (map)
Admission: $7 GA | Free for NOFS Members
More Info: www.bigstarstory.com