There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 1st, 2021  

Rich Tupica

There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star

Published by Hozac

Nov 26, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Rich Tupica's There Was A Light is the holy grail of information on Big Star and the late Chris Bell. An oral history spanning 400 pages, There Was A Light is exhaustive in its detail and entrancing in its storytelling. It is everything the obsessive Chris Bell/Big Star fan could dream.

What it took to put this book together must have been exhausting. Tupica conducted hundreds of interviews between 2013 and 2018 with all manner of folks both integral and peripheral to the Bell/Big Star story. But those many important players, such as Big Star members Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel, and Bell himself, who were deceased when Tupica began his interview process, are represented here as though they are living, breathing authors of their own story. Tupica took interviews from such varied sources, including the Big Star Nothing Can Hurt Me film, and masterfully weaved them into a narrative that flows with greatest of ease.

Bell's siblings provide valuable insights into the man. Chilton's history is also explored through quotes from his band mates throughout the years and via the man himself. And the story spans the artists' early days through the recent reissuing of the catalog and the Big Star's Third concerts that have kept Bell and Big Star's legacies alive.

Like so many fans have obsessed over Chris Bell and Big Star's music, so too There Was A Light should be obsessed over. Its detail is exhaustive, its revelations endless. It does perfect justice to the music that is held by so many in utmost regard. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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