It’s been a sad year for Big Star fans following the passing of Alex Chilton, and now more bad news has arrived. Bassist Andy Hummel, who played on the classic #1 Record and Radio City, and was set to reunite with Chilton at SXSW this year, died of cancer in Fort Worth, Texas, on Monday (July 19) at the age of 59.
Hummel had been absent from the Big Star lineup since Chilton reunited the band in the early ‘90s, but rumors that he was to play with Chilton at the festival in Texas emerged just before the event. Sadly, Chilton passed away prior to SXSW, although a touching tribute to the band was staged, complete with an appearance from Hummel, as seen in the clip below.
The bass player’s contributions to the band also included a couple of lead vocal turns on “Way Out West” (above) and “The India Song,” which helped shape Big Star in its earliest days. Drummer Jody Stephens is now the only remaining member left from that era, but while he has yet to speak about Hummel, Ken Stringfellow from the Posies, who was a long-serving member of the reconvened Big Star, has tweeted this tribute: “Another sad loss for Big Star fans as Andy Hummel passes away after long illness.”