Memorial Day Blues - RIP Jay Bennett | Buzz Blog

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Blues - RIP Jay Bennett

Posted By on May 25, 2009, 3:20 PM

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Jay Bennett died last night. The former Wilco multi-instrumentalist rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way, starting with Jeff Tweedy whose creative sensibilities clashed with those of Bennett and which eventually lead to his departure from the band in 2001. He sued Tweedy three weeks ago for royalties from the documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (which featured scenes portraying him in a rather unforgiving light) plus profits from Wilco albums that he played on - arguably the band's best material to date. Upon learning of his sudden, tragic death, many people cited "Karma. It's a bitch." But to write off Bennett as simply a bitter, narrow-minded egomaniac is to overlook his immense talent and artistic achievements. He's certainly not the first musician to knock heads with his peers.

Bennett, who went solo after leaving Wilco, was suffering. He needed hip replacement surgery at 45 (!!) but couldn't afford the medical procedure, ostensibly propelling him toward a last-ditch legal battle. Doesn't seem like a total jerk now, does he?

Let's remember all of the good things he contributed to this world and bury the bad.

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