Jay Reatard died today, he was 29 years old
Artists React to Jay Reatard's Death
Bradford Cox, Ted Leo, No Age, and Pixies reflect
Photo by Andy Eisberg
Yesterday brought the sad news that Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard had died at the age of 29. As the news circulated, many artists and indie music figures who knew or admired Reatard expressed their feelings about his death. Below, we've collected the thoughts of many of those people.
UPDATE: Jay Reatard's website has posted his cover of Nirvana's "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle". It was recorded in May for a tribute to Nirvana's In Utero album. Jay played all the instruments.
Prefix points out that in addition to the many written tributes, No Age have posted a photo tribute on their blog, and Beck's website is streaming Reatard's cover of the Beck song "Gamma Ray".
-- Deerhunter/Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox: "Jay was what few people have the capacity to be. He created an undeniably classic album that contained so much pain transferred to tape in such an explosive way that it made you feel different after hearing it. He was transgressive and honest. His flaws were something he focused on and overdubbed and distorted until they made you forget who he really was-- a person with feelings and a good heart. He loved music and worked hard from a young age to pursue it. He was a self-made and unmade man. I am truly sickened to see him go."
-- Matador Records co-founder Gerard Cosloy: "I was on a flight to NY this afternoon and when I landed there were about two dozen text messages about Jay Reatard's passing. It is the height of understatement to say I'm upset, confused and deeply saddened by the loss of one of the more amazing people I've been fortunate to know. In record company parlance, yeah, we've lost (let's go down the checklist) a phenomenal performer, songwriter, and insatiable music lover. But we've lost a great friend as well, and that's the part that hurts the most.
We're not the only ones feeling that way right now, obviously. Jay's friends all over the country, heck, all over the world are dealing with this. I know his various scrapes over the years have made for cheap internet fodder, but the people who cared about him are gonna remember a real person that mattered to them. Our thoughts are with that very large group of people this evening."
-- Pixies: "We want to express our condolences to the friends and family of Jay Reatard, on his sudden passing today."
-- Ted Leo: "Man, I gotta say, this Jay Reatard news is really hitting me weirdly hard. I'd only met him a couple of times, but... Ugh. Weird. And sad ... Let's just take it easy with the jumping to conclusions and have a little respect, huh? Regardless of how it happened, it happened."
-- Vivian Girls: "We loved your music."
-- DIY promoter Todd Patrick: "You were talented & troubled & both a great influence and a negative influence on a lot of people. you should not be dead"
-- Zola Jesus: "'Blood Visions' was a perfect record"
-- Small Black: "There were few who could do more with 1 minute of time"
-- Sky Larkin: "The flying V never looked more at home than in his hands"
UPDATE EDIT: The police are now convinced his death was a homicide