In the mid ’80s, a teenager with guitar skills got his single played on radio across North America: Charlie Sexton with the song Beats So Lonely.
The teenager had learned his guitar skills from well-known musician WC Clark in Austin, Texas, and also had a helping hand from other well-known musicians such as Joe Ely and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Recording with three other musicians, Sexton first was part of the band Maxwell, which recorded the EP Juvenile Junk. His skilled guitar led him to record his first album, Pictures for Pleasure with MCA in 1985.
Unlike the new wave romantic, hair bands or dance music that was dominating the pop charts, Sexton’s song was guitar driven rock n roll and blues, and produced by Keith Forsey, known for working with Billy Idol.
The album’s first single Beats So Lonely, with an eye-catching black and white video, got the double-hit of radio and MTV airplay, pushing his single up the charts, hitting #17 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
With stylish rock n roll looks, 16 year old Sexton definitely got his 15 minutes in the sun. Check the video here. Beast So Lonely by Charlie Sexton
In 1987, Sexton was an occasional opener for David Bowie on his Glass Spiders tour, recorded with Iggy Pop and the Velvet Underground and became a session player for Don Henley, Jimmy Barnes and Bob Dylan.
In 1989, Sexton recorded his follow up album, Charlie Sexton, and had become a well-known guitarist working a wide variety of musicians, but had left the video/pop star spotlight.
In the consequent decades he has been in other bands, worked on well-known albums and was hired by Bob Dylan to be a member of his backing band, so he may not be a pop star, but he’s a skilled musician who had his 15 minutes of ’80s fame.