Jay Bennett Dies In His Sleep
Tue, 26 May 2009 10:22:49
Jay Bennett, the former Wilco multi-instrumentalist best known for his work on such albums as Being There, Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, passed away in his sleep on Sunday morning due to unknown causes. He was 45.
"Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed," Edward Burch, Bennett's friend/collaborator, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time."
"We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy," Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy added in his own statement. "We will miss Jay as we remember him—as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out tot his family and friends in this very difficult time."
Bennett's last album was 2008's Whatever Happened I Apologized, which he released for free through rockproper.com. He was working on his fifth album, Kicking at the Perfumed Air, at the time of his death. One of the last public postings by Bennett on his MySpace blog referred to his struggle to have a hip replaced without health insurance.
"I began the arduous, or more accurately, extremely time consuming and endlessly frustrating, process of finding a surgeon and hospital that would perhaps 'cut me a deal,' be willing to bargain/barter a bit, or at least allow me to make installment payments," he wrote last month. "As it turns out, this is possible, but also difficult to arrange, if you can not come up with a sizable down payment as a show good faith, etc. I have been saving as much money as possible ever since I made this new commitment to my health, my future, and my quality of life."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff