Arts Desk

Updated: Jay Reatard Dead at 29

jayreatard

UPDATE: In the Red Records owner Larry Hardy said Reatard was found this morning by his roommate, Jeffrey Novak of the band Cheap Time, who immediately called paramedics. Hardy said Reatard was pronounced dead on the scene.

In the Red released Reatard's 2006 album Blood Visions and a pair of singles compilations. "I'm in shock. He just phoned me yesterday," Hardy said, adding that Reatard stayed with him every time he visited Los Angeles, where the label is based. "That's the saddest thing about this—his career was taking off, he was having all this success, he signed to Matador. It seems like a really horrible waste."

According to the Commercial Appeal, Reatard's friends said the singer had been complaining of flulike symptoms recently.

Original post below.

Jay Reatard, a garage rocker recognized increasingly in recent years both for his prolific recorded output and a series of controversies involving other musicians, was found dead early this morning in his Memphis home, the Commerical Appeal is reporting. Two record labels that have released Reatard's work, Goner Records and Matador Records, have confirmed the death. Reatard, born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., was 29. No cause of death has been reported.

More news as it comes in.

When played at the Black Cat in July, his songs "landed like a punch to the face," wrote City Paper's Christine Ernest. "Reatard’s set was a 45-minute assault on the ears: It was loud and frantic..."

The Village Voice shares some stories of Reatard's antics from bombastic garage rocker King Khan:

Or here's the best Jay story. When he was 17, he played at a mechanic's garage. This guy that was a fan of the Reatards [Jay's former band] set up a show in some garage. So while the show was going on, Jay was getting really crazy. While he was playing, he got naked and he opened up a can of motor oil and dumped it all over his head and was slipping and sliding everywhere. And then some smart-ass in the audience just rolled up a can of something on stage–it was all dirty, so he didn't know what it was. Jay grabbed it and opened it up and sprayed it on his dick. Within 10 seconds he started screaming in agony on the floor in the fetal position–"Ahhhhh!"–while covered in oil. Then he grabbed the can and scrapped the dirt off from it–it was EASY-OFF oven cleaner.

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Comments

  1. #1

    Sad. Too many recent deaths--Teddy Pendergrass, reggae performer Yabby You(aka Vivian Jackson), and Haitian promoter/producer Joubert Charles (among thousands of other Haitians).

  2. Jonathan L. Fischer
    #2

    Shit, Yabby You died?

  3. #3

    Yep, and Mick Green (Pirates) and now Louisiana songwriter/singer Bobby Charles. 2010 has been rough so far.

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