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Alex Chilton’s death due in part to lack of insurance

on April 12, 2010, 10:00am

Just before the kick-off SXSW, the music world got a little dimmer with the passing of Big Star frontman Alex Chilton. And while the public mourning is all but done and the copies of Radio City have ceased spinning, the sad story of an indie pioneer gets a little more sad with a recent revelation from a public remembrance of the man who had mostly left music for the quiet solitude of New Orleans.

In a profile for, writer Keith Spera tells of Chilton’s journey to find himself among the culture of New Orleans while making a new life for himself. What’s a great profile that should be read for any Chilton, Big Star or Box Tops fan, the most interesting bit is stuck at the end.

“At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass. But he did not seek medical attention, [Laura Kersting, Chilton’s wife] said, in part because he had no health insurance.”

A sad reminder of the state of the health care system regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on.

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