GLONO has a long history with Wilco. We used to be so obsessed with this band that we actually got teased by other bloggers and commenters. We used to be featured in the band’s links section of their website (until, mysteriously, we were removed just DAYS after running GLONO’s exclusive interview with Jay Bennett after he was sacked).
We miss those days, we miss THAT band. The missing ingredient is Jay Bennett, of course. No slight on current Wilco lead guitarist Nels Cline, but we miss Jay. So we’ve compiled 21 reasons why he should be brought back to the band. We do this out of love so don’t be mad, Jeff.
21. Dreadlocks – Dude had some freaky dreads back in the day. Helps balance Tweedy’s inherent honky-ness
20. Bendy notes – Jay Bennett’s solos always feature lots of bends, which just sound cool.
19. Wilco is too serious now – Jay Bennett is a top-notch goof making him the premier candidate to bridge art and fun.
18. Mellotron – Dude’s got some crazy-rare gear.
17. It’s good for the economy – With Jay comes JP. Those guys need good jobs. Do it for Obama!
16. Cover song selection increases – Jay Bennett is a music historian and can play anything. Wilco’s available catalog of cover songs returns to its proper place.
15. Airline to Heaven – Slide work on a 12-string guitar featured on “Airline to Heaven” is undeniable. Don’t even try, Tweedy. It is UNDENIABLE!
14. We like to get drunk – When Jay Bennett was in the band we got crazy drunk at your shows. Now they are in fancy theaters with limits on alcohol sales and stupid prices. If we’re bringing Jay back then Susan Miller Tweedy needs to reopen Lounge Ax too. This is a package deal.
13. Song structure is GOOD – Jay Bennett has a particular talent for song structure. He’s like Burt Bacharach and Neil Diamond combined. Mix that with Tweedy’s dyslexia and ADD and you get cool, freaky songs you can hum. See: Being There through Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
12. Mad scientist vibe – Bennett always looked like the weird professor from college who let you get away with murder. At the time you thought he didn’t know, but as an adult you now realize that he was well aware that you were an undercover fuck-up.
11. Forget the Flowers – This style of playing is my favorite and Jay Bennett does it better than anyone. It’s a crying shame that this song is not a staple in the live set but maybe that’s because it cannot be played by anyone else. In the name of the fans we demand that at a minimum Jay appear once per show to play “Forget the Flowers”
10. My Darling – the prettiest song on Summerteeth was composed entirely by Bennett.
9. His fashion sense is hilarious – This is in the Wilco is Fun realm but Jay Bennett dresses like a clown and that is funny.
8. California Stars – Bennett came up with the melody for the best song on Mermaid Avenue, and one of Wilco’s most memorable songs ever.
7. Kingpin – “Serious” Wilco fans got annoyed by Bennett hamming it up in the live setting, but this was always fun. It’s only rock and roll, for Christ’s sake. Let ‘er rip!
6. Harmonies – Jay has a strange voice that is really not suited for solo placement, but his scratchy baritone matched with Tweedy’s lead and Stirratt’s high harmonies is simply awesome. Creepy sometimes, yes, but fantastico just the same. *Example: “Casino Queen” live. His deep vocals MADE that song.
5. Dreamer in My Dreams – No idea who’s playing what on this, but it’s balls-out, raw rock and roll. And it’s awesome.
4. Someday Soon – The scootin’ guitar in this made it no longer possible to hate the Grateful Dead.
3. Tension makes for good music – Yes, we know you get annoyed by his anal retentiveness and he got you so mad you puked all over the studio but that sort of tension makes for great music. Are you bigger than Lennon-McCartney or Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson (okay, maybe)?
2. The Ludes vibe of the entire Summerteeth album – You can call it over-produced, or over-analyzed, or whatever you want. Bennett’s weird keyboards are the star of this album.
1. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco and management made a concerted effort to marginalize Bennett’s role in this album. But he wasn’t kicked out of the band until AFTER it was finished. He produced the album. Jim O’Rourke just mixed it.
You can download Bennett’s latest album, Whatever Happened I Apologize, for free from Rock Proper.