photo of Jody Stephens

Jody Stephens

Artist Relations
Ardent Studios

I joined up with Andy Hummel and Chris Bell in the spring of 1970. Alex Chilton joined later that year. This would become Big Star.
Andy and Chris introduced me to John Fry and his Ardent Studios. This would determine the course my professional life would take, the course I am still on.
Big Star came to its first end in early 1975. I played in a couple other bands, waited tables, and went back to school. Majored in Marketing. This turned out to be my way back to Ardent.
In 1987, John Fry brought me back to Ardent in a marketing role and luckily, I’m still there. Ardent is presently undergoing a massive renovation to continue its place in the pantheon of iconic studios. I look forward to letting the world know about it.
Ardent has made it possible for me to continue to play music. Big Star gave me a platform. Here are some of the musical projects both past and present…
Alex and I regrouped in 1993 with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow and made another run as Big Star. We toured around the world. That came to an end in 2010.
In late 1996, Golden Smog’s manager called and invited me to join the band. Of course! It felt like I had known them forever. The result was the release of the album Weird Tales in 1998. The supporting tour was like summer camp on a tour bus….I loved summer camp. I also played on few tracks on the their 2006 release Another Fine Day. I rejoined the band in April/2022 for one off shows at 1st Avenue/Minneapolis. Let’s do it again!
In 2010, Chris Stamey put together a big cast of players which we called Big Star’s Third Live. We’ve played dates around the U.S. and internationally. Concord released the film, Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live, in 2017. Epically fun!
Luther Russell and I formed Those Pretty Wrongs around 2012. Holiday Camp, our third, and latest release came out on Curation Records in March/2023. (MOJO 4 stars , Shindig! 4 stars, UNCUT 8 out of 10) Our latest tours: Australia/August 2023 and England/September 2023. We loved it!
This brings us to the Music of Big Star. Chris Stamey, Mike Mills, Pat Sansone, Jon Auer and I thought playing in a 5 piece rock band would be fun. It happened to be the 50th anniversary of #1 Record’s release. We played a handful of dates that November/December 2022. Pure joy! So, at the request of Houston Party’s Jaime Hernandez, we got back together in November/2023 for a brief tour of Spain. It was something special for all of us.
Music is a community pursuit. Hard to give up.

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Events featuring Jody Stephens
Events featuring Jody Stephens