Bassist (above, 2nd from right) for the legendary power pop icons passes away at the age of 59.
By Fred Mills
It can be a cold, cruel world out there sometimes, and today
that world just got a little bit colder with the cruel news of the passing of
Big Star bassist Andy Hummel. In the wake of a Twitter post two hours ago from
the Posies Ken Stringfellow announcing the death, the LA Weekly and DFW.com are
confirming that Hummel, 59, died following a two-year battle with cancer.
The latter outlet’s Preston Jones reported that he “just got
off the phone with Ardent Studios founder John Fry,” and that the Big Star
friend and producer added that funeral services will take place on Wednesday.
Hummel’s death comes
just four months — almost to the day — after [Alex] Chilton’s sudden passing
on March 17, as this year’s South by Southwest music festival got going. An
impromptu tribute to Big Star was pulled together and Hummel traveled to Austin to perform during
the event. Fry said Hummel was also slated to play a Big Star reunion [in Memphis] gig in May, but
was too ill to make the trip.
No other details have been disclosed, but the confirmation
appears to have come from several additional corners, including via Entertainment Weekly‘s Music Mix blog, which reports that Rhino
Records, which released the recent Big Stat boxed set, also confirmed Hummel’s
death. We’ll report more information as we learn it.
UPDATE: A few more details have emerged since last night. According to Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Hummel passed away at his Fort Worth, TX, home, and had been receiving treatment for the cancer since learning about it a couple of years ago, but following a reccent hip operation it was determined that the cancer had spread and advanced to the terminal stage.
John Fry told Mehr, At that point Andy elected to accept hospice care and spent the
last couple weeks at home with his family.” Added Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, “He was such an inspiration. I’d known Andy since
the 7th grade. What an impact he had on my life. He will be sorely
The Commercial-Appeal report indicates that Hummel is survived by awife, two sons, a daughter, a granddaughter, and a sister and a brother. Services are Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Weatherford Texas, , and in lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Hummel’s name to the American Cancer Society or the American Liver Foundation.
Big Star at BLURT: