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Former Big Star Bassist Dies

01:01 PM Wednesday 7/21/10 | |

Andy Hummel, the original bassist in seminal power pop band Big Star, passed away Monday from cancer. He was 59.

Like many musicians around his age, Hummel found inspiration in The Beatles, according to Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal. The son of a former Miss America, Hummel played in several garage bands while growing up in Memphis. This led to working with Chris Bell and Jody Stephens in bands like Rock City and Icewater before hooking up with then-former Box Tops singer Alex Chilton to form Big Star in 1971.

But Hummel and the band went their separate ways a couple years later, and the bassist eventually found work with Lockheed Martin Aeronautical in Texas. Although Hummel was not involved with the 1993 Big Star reunion, he often appeared at events honoring the band.

One of those events was this year’s South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, where Big Star was scheduled to play.  But the conference opened on a sad note with the news that Chilton had died from a heart attack. Hummel appeared on a panel honoring Chilton, the band and its legacy and later jammed with the group onstage, marking the first time he had played with Big Star in 35 years.

Hummel had been receiving treatments for cancer during the past two years and recently learned the cancer had spread and become terminal while in the hospital for a hip operation. He is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, granddaughter, sister and brother.

Click here for the complete Commercial Appeal article.

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