National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – May 24 – Jay Bennett

0 Comments 24 May 2012


Jay Bennett – estranged ex-Wilco member and indie rock anti-hero – is our DPD today.

Seemingly doomed to live the life described in his all-too-Sad-dad type music there are elements you’ve got to love about Bennett. The guy worked in a VCR repair shop during the 90s while touring with his band Titanic Love Affair – and worked there in between touring with Wilco as well. Just think about how dated (and cliché) that is. I remember the stoner white kid with dreadlocks from my video store in 1997 and I guarantee you he didn’t end up with a band as big as Wilco.

Sadly – for Bennett – there was a bit of a clash in the recording studio over who did what on Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album that forced frontman, Jeff Tweedy, to relieve Bennett of his services to the band just prior to its 2002 release. In the essence of full disclosure Tweedy has had pissing contests with previous band members and is said to be one of the primary sources of the dismantling of  his first commercially successful band, Uncle Tupelo, in 1994. Just sayin’

After leaving Wilco Bennett released five solo albums to a tepid response. In 2009 Bennett sued Tweedy for breach of contract claiming he was entitled to more royalty money from his work with Wilco. Coincidentally this claim came a few weeks after Bennett announced that he needed hip replacement surgery because his insurance company wasn’t going to cover the costs of a needed operation because it was considered a pre-existing condition. Bennett wound up dead a few months later before the suit could be settled.

The presiding coroner reported about one month later that his death was accidental, and was the result of an overdose of the prescription painkiller fentanyl.

Who knows what could have happened with free or even affordable healthcare for everyone in America? but we’re not here to quibble over meaningless issues. We’re here to serve up piping hot obits.

Got ‘em!

Jay Bennett, Ex-Member of Wilco, Dies at 45


Published: May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett, a singer and songwriter who was a former member of the rock band Wilco, died on Sunday in Urbana, Ill. He was 45 and lived in Urbana.

The cause is still unknown. Representatives of his management company, Undertow Music Collective, said he died in his sleep. Edward Burch, a friend and collaborator, told The Chicago Sun-Times that an autopsy was being done. No information about survivors was available. Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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