Those who knew Jay Reatard have been responding to the news of the singer’s shocking death.
“This is very sad news,” Spoon frontman Britt Daniel said in a statement. “Jay was a one-of-a-kind guy with an incredible spirit. He was a great rock and roller. He will be sorely missed.” (Spoon and Reatard shared a stage more than once, most recently at a Dec. 31, 2009 show in Milwaukee.)
“We want to express our condolences to the friends and family of Jay Reatard, on his sudden passing today,” the Pixies said in a post on their Facebook page.
“Jay was what few people have the capacity to be,” Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox wrote in a blog post. “He created an undeniably classic album that contained so much pain transferred to tape in such an explosive way that it made you feel different after hearing it. He was transgressive and honest…I am truly sickened to see him go.” (Cox and Reatard’s work together included covering each other’s music.)
Jered Gummere, frontman of The Ponys and a friend of Reatard’s, wrote via email, “It’s so hard to sum up a friendship in one sentence, but the thing I will always remember is he put every ounce of his soul and every emotion he had in every song he ever wrote. I love him like a brother.”
Alex Hammond, who made the 2009 Jay Reatard documentary Waiting for Something, told EW that, when she filmed the singer in the spring of last year, the director, “had an amazing time with him. He was an incredible philosopher, he had a heart, and I think a lot of people from the outside didn’t see that side of him. We had this feeling when we were with him that he wanted to do bigger and better things. So this is completely shocking.” Hammond’s co-director Ian Markiewicz was equally stunned by the news. “My first thought was that I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “He was a really extroverted, crazy, kind of personality. But at the same kind he was really grounded. Jay was like no other.”
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