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Jay Bennett, Dead at 45

Posted by on May 24, 2009 | Comments (2)

Yeah, sure, the first time I saw I Am Trying to Break Your Heart I thought, “Ha, ha! What an annoying guy! How brave they are to kick him out of the band!”

Then I went back to the theater a few days later and watched it again, and I realized that I had been 100% wrong, and that what I was watching was a completely one-sided story, and that basically, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is a propaganda film for Jeff Tweedy.

The only good Wilco albums are the ones Jay Bennett played on. I always thought he got a shitty deal from Wilco, and was actually glad when he filed suit against Tweedy last month. They may not have gotten along, but his influence made that band magical and unpretentious.

So long, Jay Bennett, you died in your sleep last night. I stood up for you. No doubt history will conveniently rewrite itself and give you the credit you so desperately deserved while you were here. You died too soon.

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  1. Gerry
    May 25, 2009

    When I saw that film, I thought that Jay was the most sympathetic character. The heart and soul of a band fronted by a pretentious weenie who needed constant validation to keep his shit together. They even tried to replace him with Nels Cline, legit one of the world’s greatest living guitar players, and since then Tweedy has perfected his ability to hold back remarkable talent.

    Tirade aside, those dudes were friends and shit can happen between friends. Bennett’s contributions MADE YHF an album destined to be on music snobs “top 10″ lists for at least the next 40 years, and deservedly so. It’s a rare album where everything falls into place for a band.

    rest in peace you fucking awesome motherfucker. I wish you had been in my band.

  2. msrk
    May 26, 2009

    gotta disagree with 99% of this “article”. Bennett was the chain smoking whiner. Outside of being in Wilco, I can’t say much of what he’s done is very inspiring. Seems like everyone hates Tweedy these days, must be the tweeter trend!


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