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All Without Fight At The Crush of Veils and Starlight: Jay Bennett 1963-2009

Posted by evankessler on May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett: November 1963- May 2009

Jay Bennett: November 1963- May 2009

Jay Bennett’s heartbreaking, feedback-laden guitar solo on “Via Chicago,” the ninth song on Wilco’s third album Summerteeth, bears a heavy burden on the very soul of my music fan-dom.  I remember the first time I heard the song in question on my 3-CD AIWA changer, sitting in my 2nd floor dorm room at Dellplain hall at Syracuse University, staring blankly at my computer so as to soak in the music.  Following the lovelorn whimsy of “Pieholden Suite” which reminded me somewhat of the Beach Boys “Surfer Girl” and the contemplative “How To Fight The Loneliness,” I felt as though I had been set up for the devastating blow at “the crush of veils and starlight” when Bennett’s musical mastery seemed to be beckoning me to weep along gently with his guitar.  And you know what, I did.

So when I read early this morning about the passing of such an integral part of the music I felt so deeply connected with, I was inclined to shed a tear for old time’s sake.  Here’s to you Mr. Jay Bennett.  I hope you’re in a better place.

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