Sunday, May 24th, 2009

R.I.P. Jay Bennett (1963-2009)

Photo via CSTChicago Sun-TimesI’ve spent the night following some terribly sad news that I was hoping wasn’t true, but apparently is – former Wilco guitarist and songwriter Jay Bennett passed away this weekend. It’s unfortunate that Bennett is mostly remembered for the way he left the band, famously documented in the I Am Trying To Break Your Heart film, and not for the magic he brought to the band via production and songwriting from Being There through Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – still arguably their best three records.

I’d like to pay tribute to the man with one of my favourite Wilco tunes, which happens to be primarily a Bennett composition. “Venus Stop The Train” was never officially released, probably due to his departure for the band, but did surface on the much-bootlegged Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Demos collection as well as Bennett’s solo debut The Palace At 4am (Part I) albeit in a drastically different form. I much prefer the starkness of the Wilco version, with just Jeff Tweedy singing overtop piano presumably played by Bennett.

Bennett released a slew of solo records post-Wilco, the latest of which – Whatever Happened I Apologize – came out last year and is available for free download. He was working on his sixth, Kicking At The Perfumed Air, at the time of his death.

Such a sad, sad thing – rest in peace, Jay.

MP3: Wilco – “Venus Stop the Train”
ZIP: Jay Bennett / Whatever Happened, I Apologize

By : Frank Yang at 10:58 pm
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post4 Responses.
  1. Aimz says:

    This is very upsetting and sad. RIP Jay.

  2. Adam K. says:

    Wow, very unexpected. R.I.P. Jay. Wilco, in my opinion, lost something in terms of songwriting that they never fully got back after his departure.

  3. RIP Jay Bennett, 1963 - 2009 — Cover Lay Down says:

    […] Nice tributes have already started to crop up elseblog; more, surely, will follow. I don’t have any Bennett solo covers on me at the moment, but here’s a few of my favorite Wilco covers that bear his subtle mark, in memoriam. […]

  4. Ex-Wilco bandmate Jay Bennett dies | says:

    […] R.I.P. Jay Bennett (1963-2009) ( […]