Jay Reatard 1980 – 2010
There is not always need to speak a lot, at the moment, I am pretty much speechless.
Tweets of Jay Reatard‘s death overlap with the ones I was reading about the Haiti earthquake and marked the 13th of January as the worst day of this year.
I had a post about Jay Reatard on hold on Live on 35mm drafts since I saw him live opening with his former band, the Reatards, for the Black Keys back in May 2008.
I have been waiting for a second occasion to see him live and post some new photos to go along a review of one of the funniest guys of the circus. Unfortunately this cannot happen, but the photos are here for the ones who loved him.
Jay Reatard was a garage punk rock musicians. He was a bit of everything, spread on different genres and load of enthusiasm. His songs rarely last more than 2 minutes and have the immediacy and directness that only American punk has.
He was also one of the most prolific artists to have appeared in years. Jay started recording when he was just fifteen and to date he has published under his name a bulk of work that most rockstars don’t produce in their life. About 20 LP plus a plethora of EPs, singles and compilations. All spread on at least 6 different bands plus the production as solo artist.
Whoever was accompanying him on bass, drums or further guitars, the mixture of punk rebelliousness, pop fun and rock’n’roll energy made his music always fresh and sparkling.
This is neither the place nor the moment to talk in more detail of his music, a quick search on google would be much more exhaustive than my writing. I only wanted to share these unedited pictures with his fans, they will not find them anywhere else.
As you can grasp from the images, his live shows were among the most entertaining concerts you could attend, a relentless burst of liveliness which makes the contrast with his death too unfair to be true.
His last album, Watch me Fall, praised by many reviewers and listed on last year top lists of album by many magazines, was giving Jay the fame he deserved. Today it sounds quite oddly titled.
The only consolation I can find is that we are plenty of his music to listen and discover.
The unconsolable reality is that it is not fair to die at 29.
Rest in Peace Jay and keep playing rock’n’roll, wherever you are.