May 262009

This was a sad bit of news you may have heard about already: former Wilco multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett was found dead in his sleep in Champaign, IL. Summerteeth is still the one Wilco album I like playing, and I know he had a large hand in that one. I know he was kicked out of the band during the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a story that was (I believe) central to that documentary that came out on the band around the time of YHF‘s release, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. I was not a big fan of that album, and I have still not seen the movie. I do own a Bennett/Edward Burch album, The Palace at 4 am, which I like best among all Wilco-related albums I own next to Summerteeth, so I’m guessing I was a Jay Bennett fan more than anything. I’ll have to check out the rest of his solo catalog. Too bad I didn’t appreciate more of his stuff in his lifetime.

NEXT: Rock Town Hall’s Official Eulogy…


  6 Responses to “Former Wilco Wizard Jay Bennett Dead”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    So what’s the deal, did Bennett get the shaft from Tweedy, or what?

  2. I don’t think so. Bennett was really talented and I think that Tweedy knew it and appreciated it, but Bennett just got to be too big a pain in the ass. From the movie, it really seemed like Tweedy just couldn’t keep going and I don’t think Tweedy was the only one that Bennett was irritating, just the one taking it hardest.

  3. saturnismine

    this is sad. *very* talented dude.

    fwiw, i always heard that the “who’s a bigger dick” contest was a dead heat between the two of them.

    on the content of this youtube: that “wind” track doesn’t make that song sound any less ordinary.

    it sounds like a bunch of guys trying to make an ordinary song sound less ordinary.

    i could set up a few space echoes, turn on a few sound effects cd’s, and leave my copy of “john wesley harding” playing, leave the house, and get artsy results, too.

    i was never a fan. and every time i hear a tune, i’m reminded of why.

  4. mockcarr

    The movie (or editing of it) gives you the impression that Bennett wouldn’t ever let a track get finished, he’d always want to tweak it or put something else in or take something away, and produce the hell out of a lot of stuff. Tweedy comes off as more organic in his approach, and recognizing he’s somewhat messed up personally along with getting a lot of migraines.

    Mod I have that album you speak of and haven’t listened to it since the year I bought it. Bennett’s voice is just too creepy and weak even if there are some good ideas on it.

  5. saturnismine

    go here for a free download of jay bennett’s ‘whatever happened, i apologize.’

  6. Mr. Moderator

    Thanks, Sat. I downloaded it yesterday and spent some time with it today. There are some nice ideas, but it’s basically acoustic demos. I was hoping for fleshed-out songs.

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