Film At 11: Jay Bennett And Jeff Tweedy

We were just thinking about Jay Bennett, who passed away last weekend. Below is a 1999 clip of Bennett and Tweedy performing on alt.rock, a program on the now-defunct Austin Music Network. It’s a cover of 1927 song called “James Alley Blues,” and it’s particularly bittersweet. For all the real and staged drama between the two men, Bennett and Tweedy created the most beautiful music together.


Yesterday, those on Bennett’s email list received a missive that read, in part:

As many of you may be aware, Jay had finally found the courage to put his Wilco issues out into the public forum. After a long, four-year process (and therefore very much unrelated to his impending hip surgery), formal filings against Wilco were finally initiated. This task was very emotional for Jay. He was a lover, and this confrontation was not easy for him. With the exception of his final period in Wilco, Jay looked back on his time in the band with great fondness and pride. While he was dismayed that some people may have formed a narrow perception of him via the “documentary,” all who truly knew him understood that with most entertainment media, editing is usually constructed for dramatic effect and presents only a small part of a larger, more complex reality.

So, please spend some time this week engaging in Jay’s favorite passions: listen to a Nick Lowe album, watch some Mythbusters on Discovery, play Warren Zevon’s “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner,” rent Pay It Forward (one of his favorite movies), write a song with the TV on and the sound off, and focus on how Jay always concluded his communications: “Love, Jay.”