Look-Ka Py Py Podcast (ep 56):
Alex Chilton – Twinkle, Twinkle Big Star

On the night before Valentine’s Day in 1997, the lights went out at the Knitting Factory minutes before Alex Chilton and his band reconvened on stage for its second set. Without hesitation, the enigmatic, former Big Star frontman grabbed a guitar and delivered an impromptu, improvised acoustic set by candlelight. Sitting at a table just a few feet away from the stage was avid Chilton fan, follower and taper Jeffrey Vargon. With a Walkman in his pocket and a small microphone clipped to his collar, Vargon captured the enchanting evening which saw Chilton perform spry, heartfelt renditions of cuts from Slim Harpo, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Brian Wilson, George Gershwin and everyone in between.

Alex Chilton, podcast photo

Years later, in the wake of Chilton’s passing Vargon packaged and presented the bootleg to Chilton’s widow, Laura, who was so moved by what she heard that she impelled Vargon to seek a proper, public release for his recording. On October 8, the live album Electricity by Candlelight: NYC 2/13/97 will officially see the light of day — candor, cheers, claps and calls all fittingly preserved courtesy of indie outpost Bar/None Records.

Tune in below to hear Vargon’s recollections from that fateful night in New York fifteen years ago…

  • Jeff Vargon

    This is better than I remember it being; thanks Zach!