All-Star Lineup Recreates Big Star’s ‘Third’ in Concert
They never achieved much in the way of sales, but Big Star were a crucial component of early ’70s power pop, and their legacy only continues to grow — as evidenced by an upcoming all-star show in which Jody Stephens, the band’s sole surviving original member, will join some famous friends to recreate their classic ‘Third’ album live in concert.
The event, dubbed Big Star Third Live, is scheduled to take place at London’s Barbican Theatre on May 28, and will find Stephens surrounded by a crew of friends and admirers that includes Posies member and former Big Star bandmate Ken Stringfellow, dB’s cofounder Chris Stamey, legendary producer Mitch Easter, and famous fans Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Brendan Benson (the Raconteurs), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Sondre Lerche , Sharon Van Etten , Robyn Hitchcock, and more.
As Clash Music reports, the London gig follows a pair of U.S. shows that recast ‘Third’ in an orchestral setting. As Stamey points out, it was a challenge: “The original written scores for the record were long missing, but John Fry at Ardent Records was able to supply us with elements of the original multitrack tapes.”
For Stephens, the shows have also been challenging, albeit in a different way. “It’s easier as time passes to revisit that album because it came out of such a dark period,” he admitted. “There were brilliant moments in the studio, especially Carl Marsh’s string arrangements, which really take it to a whole other world. But it could be emotionally difficult to watch certain things happen. I was so close to it at the time that I could not see what it was.”