Monday, May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett 1963-2009





Sad news. Jay Bennett, multi-talented producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, who played with Wilco, during their rise from 1995-2001, died in his sleep yesterday. He was 45 years old, and the cause of death at this time is unknown. His departure from the band and rift with bandmate Jeff Tweedy was (guardedly) documented in the 2002 film, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Bennett's pop sensibility and taste for the baroque, as well as his knack for Beatles/Beach Boys melodies and arrangements are highlights of his recordings with the band. His tasty guitar solos were frequently acknowledged by Tweedy from onstage. It's a drag writing obituaries here, and a double-drag when they are for your acquaintances and contemporaries. Here's a few highlights from his tenure with Wilco.

Flags in Fluville are flying at half-mast.


Download:

"Magazine Called Sunset" mp3
by Wilco, 2001.
available on More Like The Moon EP

"Cars Can't Escape" (demo) mp3
by Wilco, 2001.
unreleased

"I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" (alternate) mp3
by Wilco, 2001.
also available on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

"Ashes of American Flags" mp3
by Wilco, 2001.
available on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

"A Shot in the Arm" mp3
by Wilco, 1999.
available on Summerteeth

"When You Wake Up Feeling Old" mp3
by Wilco, 1999.
available on Summerteeth

"My Darling" (demo)
by Wilco, 1999.
also available on Summerteeth

"100 Years From Now" mp3
by Wilco, 1999.
available on Return Of The Grievous Angel

"California Stars" mp3
by Billy Bragg & Wilco, 1998.
available on Mermaid Avenue

"Monday" mp3
by Wilco, 1996.
available on Being There

"Forget The Flowers" mp3
by Wilco, 1996.
available on Being There

"Burned" mp3
by Wilco, 1996.
available on I Shot Andy Warhol

photographs: © Ted Barron
Wilco at the Mercury Lounge, New York City 1996.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.

The Warden said...

What a true bummer. Thought Bennett got a raw deal from Tweedy & Co. But Bennett never seemed bitter about it, just picked himself up and went right on making music and collaborating with others.

Thanks for the excellent tribute and for the neat songs.

phil said...

Wilco is an amazing band - thanks for the links.