Former Wilco member Jay Bennett passed away unexpectedly over the weekend, reportedly in his sleep, at his home in Urbana, IL. As the outpouring of sadness from fans shows, Bennett was an incredible musician that touched many people with his work.
My only (sort of) interaction with Bennett was through his comments on a review I wrote of his last album, Whatever Happened I Apologize, where he basically (deservedly) ripped me a new one. This was the first article that I ever wrote where someone criticized me, much less the artist I was writing about! While I wrote what I believed and qualified my statements, I always felt bad about that article.
Unfortunately, Bennett may be most remembered (as is evidenced in my opening line) as that guy who used to be in Wilco and was famously (or infamously) kicked out of the band in the documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. I am (obviously) the last person to write a bio about the man, so I'm not going to simply list news headlines here.* But, judging by the outpouring of grief, there is a lot more to know about him and his career.
Today I listen to WHIA with a heavy heart.
*I'll leave that for updates on Transmission.