Jay Reatard was found dead in his home yesterday. He was 29. I wasn't a crazy fan of his music, but I really liked his music and saw him play Riotfest a couple of years ago during a day long drinking session and remember (vaguely) being really impressed by his set, and hours later saw him on the street and tried to bum a ride from him. But the thing I really dug about the guy was that not only was living the dream of a 14 year old by not only playing snotty, sloppy punk rock,but making a living off it and he was making a career out of it. Jay dropped out of school in the 8th grade and pretty much treated his band The Reatards as if it was his business venture, not in that he had a model or plan out side of his band, but in that music was going to preoccupy his life and that's all that mattered; his music was going to feed and shelter him and that's all he was going to do, and he was going to fucking do it. It was so great to see some one my own age who started off in the same scene I came from still not only doing it, but evolving and maturing musically while stil sticking to what he started out to do, and while the music he played was teenage in spirit, he played it like and adult. It was so great to see a guy in his late 20's playing lofi punk and getting respect from the music community as a whole instead of just being a stale relic of a long dead scene who's still touring 10 years after his prime.
I guess what saddens me most is the fact that while he had so much ground behind him, there was so much ahead of him. I looked forward to where he was going to go and what his 30's, 40's and even 50's had in store for him and us. We won't get to find out but at least he showed us that playing punk past 25 dosent have to be pathetic or terrible but can be great and genuinely fun. Rest in peace Jay.


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