Wednesday, January 13, 2010
RIP Jay Reatard
As we all know by now, Memphis-based garage punk rocker Jay Reatard was found dead in his home early this morning. No cause of death has been reported yet, but friends of the singer said he recently complained of flu-like symptoms. He was 29.
It's a shame that someone on the verge of greatness. Last year, Reatard released Watch Me Fall, an album that showcased his talents and songwriting ability to a wider audience. His recorded output is staggering and impressive. He started playing music in the Memphis punk scene as a teen, and there was no stopping him ever since. From several singles in a year to several bands at a time, Reatard was a man who believed in music.
In era where indie has gotten soft and marketable, Reatard was something of gift, reminding of the days when indie rockers were iconoclastic, pissed-off kid who preached the gospel of rock and roll. While some may have found Reatard's antics annoying, I found it brilliant. Reatard not only crafted excellent tunes, but an excellent persona: the wild child of indie rock. From his fist fights with fans, to virtual fights with other bands, Jay seemed to be sent on a mission from God to be a Rock and Roll Messiah.
Reatard was an artist of great potential. While Reatard had a prolific career at the time of his death, we may never know what would have been. Let us all honor the best brat in rock music by punching our friends in the face, peeing on stage and by just preaching the word of good music.
Peeing on stage:
"It Ain't Gonna Save Me":