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Ken and Jon joined Big Star in 1993 for the reunion show in Columbia, MO, later released as the album Columbia: Live at Missouri University 4/25/93.
Information on how this came about, from the Dear23 FAQ:
"well, having worked on the reunion show, i can only tell you what i
know from hanging around the office while the arrangements were
being made. we were running very close to the deadline for booking a
headlining band for KCOU's annual springfest. all of our original
choices had canceled and we were looking for a band that would make
a big impact. so (Jeff) Breeze and (Mike) Mulvihill the station's
promotions director and general manager, respectively, came up with
the idea of a big star reunion. they figured jody stephens was most
easliy approached, so they asked him. he thought it was a fabulous
idea, and said he'd do it if alex would. alex agreed to it. chris
bell had died, obviously, and neither jody or alex knew how to get
in touch with andy hummel. so breeze and mulvihill needed to find
two others to round out the lineup. the first choices were paul
westerberg, with mike mills of REM on bass. but westy was on tour in
europe and millsy was on vacation in mexico at the time, and neither
would/could do it. mills answered first, so we depended upon westy
and then started searching out matthew sweet. but he was also on
tour (opening up for westy in europe, so it happens) and that's when
jody suggested jon auer of the posies. breeze had listened to the
posies previously, but mulvihill hadn't. so i went to the stacks and
pulled the popllama 'feel' and 'i am the cosmos' posies single and
played it for them. that's when they decided to pursue jon, who said
he wouldn't do the tour without ken on bass. we had a few run ins
with their agents, and finally we got to talk to them directly and
they both agreed to do the show. and there you have it. history."
-- Laura Wren
Ken on getting involved, from the Big Star Reference site:
Q: How did you get involved with the Big Star reunion?
Big Star are currently signed to Rykodisc, the same label as the Posies, and have recorded their first new album (at Ardent Studios in Memphis) in over 25 years. It is called In Space, and will be released
September 27th in the US.
KEN: Prolonged begging. It all goes back to when we were making Dear 23, we actually looked at Ardent as a place to record, because we thought oh yeah, Big Star, Replacements, ZZ Top! So we got some literature and the studio was, of course, way too expensive for us to use. But the signature on the letter saying thank you for being interested in our studio was Jody Stephens. So we looked him up and talked to him and found out he was going to be at CMJ when we were there. So we hooked up and hung out with him. He's a super nice guy. Then when we were on the Replacements tour we didn't play in Memphis, but we stopped there. We had a day off and went to Ardent and hung out with Jody some more. It was all very cool and amazing. So we stayed in touch with him. When this Big Star show came up I think he kind of put our name in the hat box to
draw from. We hassled the people and it just kind of worked out.
Big Star Story was released in 2003 on Ryko and it featured the song written in 1996 by the new line up, "Hot Thing."