It is Possible to Pay Tribute to Jay Bennett’s Life Without Taking Sides in a Fight That’s None of Your Business in the First Place, Jerk
May 29, 2009
Jay Bennett‘s death seems to have awakened a long-dormant sense of partisanship in a lot of Wilco fans. In many of the articles purporting to be about Bennett’s life, the writer’s dedication to either Bennett or Tweedy causes the eulogy to degrade into rehashed gossip from a dispute nearly a decade old.
For all the times the fight scenes from I am Trying to Break Your Heart have come up this week, no one seems to mention that those scenes last for maybe 15 minutes. That’s hardly a basis upon which to make an informed decision about the dissolution of a relationship that lasted for years. Nor do a few interviews or pages in Learning How to Die fill in nearly enough gaps for anyone to make a confident declaration of allegiance to either man.
My thought is that those of us who never had a dog in the fight should stick to appreciating the music that Bennett made while he was here, and remembering the huge contributions he made to a fantastic period in Wilco’s history.