Bennett famously left Wilco in 2001, just after working on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and appearing in the I Am Trying To Break Your Heart doc, and just before those things helped turn Wilco into Wilco (The Band). Now he’s filed suit against Tweedy, claiming he’s owed compensation for his appearance in the documentary, and for backpayments on song royalties throughout his tenure. More at, and Chicagoist has a PDF of the lawsuit, 1Ls. UPDATE: Tweedy responds.

Comments (28)
  1. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking crazy pills, but I still like Summer Teeth better than anything they’ve done since. Downvote away.

    • Alan Knut  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

      In my opinion it is their best album as well. I really like everything since, but Summerteeth is a very special album. The songs are truly great.

  2. sorry guy, wilco was wilco with being there

    • Rob  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

      I think Wilco hit their stride with Being There too, coincidentally when Bennett started recording with them. Seems like he contributed more and more to each release after- Summerteeth and YHF. I really felt like he was the creative thrust of that group while he was there.
      I was also ticked off when Ken Coomer either quit or was fired. He’s a tremendous drummer.
      I guess I have “Wilco issues”

      • arthur digby  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

        Coomer’s a good drummer, but I think Glenn Kotche serves them much better. I’ve never heard a drummer sound so talented and innovative without being showoffy and taking over the sound.

        • Rob  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

          True. I didn’t mean that to seem like a knock on Kotche. Coomer was good for them when they had more “oomph”. He has a lot of power and sharp fills. I guess they don’t need as much as they once did.

      • yeah funny how wilco started getting adult contemporary and boring after bennett left.

        peak Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, valley skybluesky

        skyblusky sounded like a james taylor record on valium

  3. I always felt bad for Jay. I’ll admit I didn’t listen to Wilco until YHF and after going through their back catalog, it’s still my favorite (w/ Being There a tight second). I think anyone who helped work on the album should be a millionaire.

  4. Jay Farrar > Jay Bennett

  5. I always felt bad for Jay too… until I saw the movie in which he is a pretty big doosher. Anyone who causes Jeff Tweedy to throw up in a bathroom doesn’t deserve anything.

    • Rob  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

      From what I read, the scenes in the film are edited together in a non-linear order and Tweedy threw up before the scene that preceded it in the film, not after like they present it.
      It’s been about 5 years since I read this so I might be wrong.

    • Ted Tedson  |   Posted on May 7th, 2009 0

      Tweedy wasn’t throwing up because of anything Jay Bennett did. He threw up because he was addicted to prescription medication and has mental issues.

  6. square peg  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    Jay Bennett is the new Matt Sharp.

  7. arthur digby  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    oddly timed. Jay just revealed to the world (via Myspace!) that he needs a hip replacement but doesn’t have the money to pay for it:

    I feel sorry for him but I really hope he’s not just doing this to get money for the surgery.

    also, why is he suing Tweedy about his appearance in the film? Tweedy had nothing to do with that, he wasn’t a producer. it was all Sam Jones’s doing. if he has problems with his portrayal or payment for the documentary (8 years after the fact…) then he should be taking them elsewhere.

    • seth  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

      right on, arthur digby. when i read this i was thinking, how is that tweedy’s responsibility?

      jay bennett was obviously an instrumental part in wilco’s early musical successes and i will forever love his contributions to the albums he worked on – they are three of my favorite records of all time, but this is just silly.

      • I believe that in regards to the documentary, Bennett claims that Tweedy was a producer for the film. I honestly do not know if that is true but that is the basis for him including it in the lawsuit

        • seth  |   Posted on May 9th, 2009 0

          tweedy was not a producer for ‘i am trying to break your heart’ – which is why i wonder why any of this is his responsibility.

  8. They should give all the monies to Jim O’Rourke

  9. Alan Knut  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    Except Matt Sharp is still making respectable music whereas Weezer, unfortunately, has become a joke.

  10. section 11: “Although Bennett was not a signatory to that specific agreement..”

  11. radio zero  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    i recognized jay bennett’s behavior in the documentary….i believe the technical term for his behavior….was that he was being a….”passive aggressive assclown”….i would have thrown up too….

    the following is an actual conversation between jeff tweedy and jay bennett that was left out of the documentary….

    jay – “jeff, all i wanted was to twiddle these knobs for a while longer, i just feel that this intro should slowly fade down here as opposed to later. this gives the song a certain dramatic effect that you aren’t familier with but i can bring out in this section…”

    jeff – “fuck off tubby! in case you were wondering…this is my fucking band….you fucking moron!”

  12. RT  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    You know what really bugs me? In the movie Jeff harasses Jay about the transition between Ashes of American Flags and Heavy Metal Drummer because he wants overlap (rightfully so – it’s a killer transition, and one of the high points of the album). Anyway, in that scene they argue so much, and Jeff gets so frustrated, that in the movie it appears this is literally the breaking point between the two. So what does Wilco (Jeff) do when YHF comes out on vinyl? They split the transition between sides B and C. On CD, you can’t hear the transition… on vinyl, they separated the two songs. If the transition was so important that it was worth firing the guy that most Wilco fans think added a lot to the band (see: most comments above), why then not even release the album like it “was meant.” Ah, just frustrated ramblings…

    • Rob  |   Posted on May 6th, 2009 0

      Plus if that “argument” in the movie was as heated as it got between the two…? I find it hard to believe that either of them had treated all their relationships in this manner. Didn’t either one of these guys get into fights with friends when they were 6 years old and learn to make up afterwards?
      Seems like most bands at some point get in a knock-down-drag-out in the studio but they get over it and move on.

    • christian  |   Posted on May 6th, 2009 0

      with the vinyl, sequencing is really tricky because of your time constraints. i’m sure the initial sequencing was intended for CD, then when they were pleased with it and pressed it onto vinyl, they had the problem of splitting the two songs. i think it’s a bummer to have to switch LPs between those songs, but they aren’t going to re-sequence the entire record or make it a triple LP for that segue. also, jay bennett was not fired over a segue. he was (and it) clearly a maniac. tweedy was probably just fed up with it after years and years of dealing with it.

  13. radio zero  |   Posted on May 6th, 2009 0

    Just read the update….Jay Bennett claims he did not give consent to appear in the documentary? He sat down for an interview AFTER he was fired from Wilco and they showed clips from his solo acoustic show….in the documentary! What did he think the cameras were doing there?

  14. Lonnie Pigford  |   Posted on May 7th, 2009 0

    wilco with jay bennett > wilco without jay bennett. and yeah YHF had jay bennett all over it.

  15. Frank  |   Posted on May 7th, 2009 0

    Tweedy is a great songwriter, but Jay helped Wilco make great albums. Watch the documentary, and you’ll see Jay bringing new production ideas to push the sonic envelope. That’s why Tweedy canned him – cause he was a bit of a pain in the ass, but Wilco’s albums were the better for it. He was a good balance to Tweedy and is the difference between GIB, SBS and Being There, Summerteeth, and YHF.

  16. standupbitch  |   Posted on May 12th, 2009 0

    So, here’s an idea. Why doesn’t everyone who appears to know who is right and who is wrong try this: JOIN A BAND. Do something creative. Write a poem. Spray paint. Something. Blogging is NOT creative. The words put forth here are actually hurting people. Argue about the music, NOT about the people. Isn’t that kinda what loving music is all about?

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