Friday, July 19, 2013

Chet Flippo

Somehow, I had missed the news last month that Chet Flippo had died at the age of 69.  Although he's probably best known for his writing (and other work) on country music, back in the golden age of Rolling Stone magazine he was the man entrusted to cover Jann S. Wenner's favorite band, the Rolling Stones (in addition to many other profiles, including those of then-obscure artists that he treasured like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton).  Flippo was there in 1975 in San Antonio when the Stones took one of the most ridiculous publicity photos of all time in front of the Alamo, he was there at the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto in 1977 when the Stones played one of the more famous club dates in rock history, made all the more so by the fact that Keith was so hooked on heroin that it was even odds whether he'd survive the gig, and he was there in 1978 to get thrown off the tour after Mick blew a gasket over the negative reviews of a Stones show (by Dave Marsh) and "Some Girls" (by Paul Nelson, although it should be noted that Nelson was really just saying the album wasn't up to the standards of their classics).  And, he was there for the triumphant return of Mick and Keith a year later in Canada, when they paid their penance by doing a series of shows for charity.

As time goes by, more and more of the great first generation of rock writers are passing on - Lester Bangs, Paul Nelson, Robert Palmer, and now Flippo.  They were all giants, and they are all missed.


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