RIP Jay…

Today marks the year anniversery of the legendary Jay Reatard’s death. Looking back, I remember when Glen informed me of this tragedy, I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was just another one of his bullshit shenanigans, only to discover it was the truth. Sadly, I just started getting into Jay’s music in the six months before his passing. Luckily however, I had the privilege of seeing him live three times and particularly had the pleasure of attending a memorable show during the Shattered Records Tour. Now, a year later Jay still remains my favorite singer and my second overall favorite artist (second to the Black Lips!) and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

Later today, Glen and I will make more Jay related posts. Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “RIP Jay…”

  1. I was not very surprised to find out of what happened. When you’ve been around people like that, and hear someone who is in his early 20s speaking of someone of similar age “passing away” as if it’s normal, when someone else speaks, in jest mind you, about not living more than another couple of years, when someone mentions that someone else is not supposed to survive the next few months, this cannot be a complete surprise. When I found out more about this person it made me even less surprised but I wonder how much of his whole angry, bitter, alienated act reflected his own life. Was he really that angry, alienated, confused? Was he just a little of these things and understood that it made for good songs? All performers need some kind of angle and if it is one that can get an audience engaged then one uses it irrespective of the intensity of true feelings. If he really was like that I have to say that I would not wish that on anyone, it’s a horrible existence.

  2. I highly doubt he was pursuing any act and in fact it appears he wanted to get away from that perception. Ultimately, it seems he struggled with this because often that’s who he was; it was all real, raw emotion and that’s definitely part of the appeal for fans, but I don’t think he masterminded anything.

  3. If he really was that miserable then one should remember that this would be mitigated by the fact that he was so highly thought of and that people I would assume have made that clear to him. So it’s not all bad. He really was the greatest of that whole movement if you go by what his contemporaries have said. How many of them have gone out of their way to associate themselves with him. Take that latest King Khan record, dedicated to his memory after the fact.

    What is more, people who are so highly thought of are very powerful. I have seen it myself with people like that. They know they can do things for which others are punished and get away with it. Often there is disappointment when they learn that they aren’t as powerful as they thought they were; that and complaints about “they don’t like me for who I am, but because I’m in a band”. One of the things that King Khan put in that statement from Australia had to do with Jay Reatard (there he is associating himself with him again) commenting about how someone like Hendrix would never be pulled off a stage. In other words, if they think you’re great enough, you can do whatever you want and they can’t do anything about it. That’s power. I think that one reason why people want to make music is for the power, even if it’s in a small circle of people.

    I don’t think it’s likely that he invented this character as someone completely different from his real self. Most likely it was an exaggerated version and that the path to that developed normally especially when you consider the type of music which lends itself to exaggeration and extremes.

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