Waiting For Something – a short documentary about Jay Reatard
Jay Reatard | MySpace Music Videos
I was born the same year as Kurt Cobain and caught on Nirvana when Nevermind was released. It was a great album. I never understood the extreme hype though. And it seems like I was in good company since Kurt Cobain always claimed there where other bands that deserved as much or more attention than Nirvana. When Kurt blow his brain out it came as no surprise considering the life he lead. I wasn’t devastated as many of my peers. Remember how much shit one of my friends got when entering the local club the night of Kurts death with a special home made t-shirt featuring an incredible crude and simple cartoon of Kurt blowing his brain out. Ola the bass player in my old band Raped Teenagers got incredible pissed off. Can understand that now sort of. It was just too early. As I said I wasn’t devastated. It was sad but I didn’t feel much cause their music didn’t mean that much to me. Simple as that.
So I was surprised over my reactions when I read about Jay Reatards death two days ago. I got upset. Really upset. Been surfing the web several hours since then reading and watching stuff about Jay. Unlike Nirvana, Jay Reatard made music and lyrics that I could relate to alot more. Especially since he went solo and the release of the incredible Blood Vision album. It was punk. It was pop. It was raw. It was hectic to say the least. Urgent as hell. I played and still plays it alot. You could clearly hear he got inspiration from early punk but unlike 99.9% of todays so called punk bands he didn’t try to emulate the past. It was for real and he made the music he made his own.
Just as I was fortunate enough to watch Nirvana live at Roskilde festival in 1992(?) I had the chance to see Jay with his band in March last year. Easily one of my top 5 shows of all time. The band was tight as hell and they played the set at break neck speed. What sounded as pure pop songs on record was transformed into pure punk blasts cutting the length of the songs into half. The show was so intense I can still feel like I’m there when thinking about it. I never took the chance to speak to Jay since I’ve never been the guy feeling the urge to talk to other bands except when I used to set up shows myself. And I’ve also felt awkward when people wanted to talk to me after playing a show myself. So I just chit chatted for a short time with the bass player when buying some merch.
Jay been a man of many myths and stories. There’s even a whole thread only about Jay on the Terminal Boredom blog where all sorts of stories and rumors are circulating. Just as there’s many people telling how nice he was to them there’s an equal portion of those who’ve experienced otherwise. And those who’ve experienced both sides. After following and reading about him during the years he reminds me alot of one my closets friend who could be a real asshole to others when drunk. He manage to have some respect for me when drunk though we fought each other a couple of times. A constant itch that won’t go away no matter what you do. A sense of constant dissatisfaction. Hate for sure. And at the same a wish for acceptance and just to be loved even though you punch and piss on people on the way. Just like a troubled child would do in lack of better tools. I won’t defend his behaviors, though I can recognize myself in some parts of his stage persona. The constant urge of wanting to fuck with the audience for some sort of reaction.
If Nirvana where overrated during their time Jay Reatard was sure underrated though he was on his way up and was becoming the indie scenes new darling. Jay constantly evolved musically and I so looked forward hearing and watching what he was up to next, but now it’s over. Fuck it. Bye Jay.
Here’s one of my many fave songs with Jay Reatard. See Saw.