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Jay Bennett Dies at 45

Postby Stormy on May 25th, 2009, 1:27 pm

In memoriam: Jay Bennett (1963–2009)
Posted in Music by Areif Sless-Kitain on May 25th, 2009 at 1:45 pm
We’re saddened to report that former Wilco member Jay Bennett died in his sleep Saturday night. The Urbana-based multi-instrumentalist had been working on a new album, tentatively titled Kicking at the Perfumed Air, while preparing for hip replacement sugery—detailed in a lengthy blog post published on his MySpace page in April. It’s not hard to reason that the enormous expense of that medical procedure may have been what led Bennett to bring a lawsuit against Jeff Tweedy earlier this month, charging that his former bandmate owed him back royalties for several albums, including Being There and Summerteeth, and more notoriously, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart—the 2002 documentary following the final leg of Bennett’s tenure in Wilco, during the difficult period preceding the completion of the band’s celebrated Nonesuch debut, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. According to Jim DeRogatis at the Sun-Times, Tweedy issued the following statement via his publicist:

“We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him — as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band’s songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time.”

If it’s any condolence, Bennett’s mind appeared to be at ease toward the end, despite his deteriorating physical condition—humbled by his fans’ steadfast support and thankful to friends and family. He had this to say before his untimely passing:

“This whole experience has really taught me to look both inward and outward for support, and I’ve learned things about myself that I thought I had completely figured out years ago. Family and friends have helped me to keep faith in a future that will actually be much more carefree than my constricted present state. I encourage you all to tell me stories of recovery, as they really do help…if you don’t mind. All in all, I’m ‘in a really good place’ right now; I’m just waiting until I can make it all happen.”
http://www3.timeoutny.com/chicago/blog/out-and-about/2009/05/in-memoriam-jay-bennett/
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Postby Sam G on May 25th, 2009, 8:31 pm

Oh, wow, that's far too young for someone so talented. I'd only heard a few of his solo songs (which I really enjoyed), but the work he did with Wilco was some of the band's best.
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Postby Stormy on May 25th, 2009, 8:53 pm

Apparently he had been having some health problems. But from what I heard he needed, but could not afford, a hip replacement (too many years of jumping off speakers, etc), so I don't know how that would relate to his death, if it does.
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Postby Sam G on May 25th, 2009, 9:49 pm

Isn't that how Townes Van Zandt went too?
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Postby Brady on May 26th, 2009, 7:49 pm

Jeanene Van Zandt left a comment on one of our mailbags awhile ago with Townes' cause of death.
http://www.the9513.com/mailbag-who-sing ... ment-27637
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Postby Stormy on May 26th, 2009, 8:03 pm

Wow, who knew hips were such a lethal joint for singers.
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Postby Razor X on June 20th, 2009, 7:42 pm

He needed a hip replacement at 45? :shock: There must have been something else wrong.
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Postby Stormy on June 23rd, 2009, 1:45 pm

He spent a lot of time stage diving and pounding the crap out of his joints.
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Postby Stormy on June 23rd, 2009, 1:54 pm

It appears he died of an accidental pain killer overdose.
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Postby Razor X on June 24th, 2009, 7:25 am

Stormy wrote:It appears he died of an accidental pain killer overdose.


Yeah, I was just reading about it on Yahoo. What a shame.
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Postby zgzqy621 on June 24th, 2013, 2:32 am

Oh, wow, that's far too young for someone so talented. I'd only heard a few of his solo songs (which I really enjoyed), but the work he did with Wilco was some of the band's best.
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Postby MOHSIN6 -+_[] on October 29th, 2013, 1:14 am

Oh, wow, that's far too young for someone so talented. I'd only heard a few of his solo songs (which I really enjoyed), but the work he did with Wilco was some of the band's best.
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