Unsolicited Advice for Jay Reatard



Late Sunday morning, I ran into Jay Reatard outside the Beauty Shop, and he assured me that he's got everything under control for his European tour, which starts on October 28th.

As you might recall, bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Billy Hayes unexpectedly quit Reatard's band last week. Since then, it appears that Jay has scrapped his West Coast dates, including an appearance at the Scion Garage Fest, slated for Portland, Oregon this weekend.

At the Beauty Shop, Reatard — who was rolling with Evil Army frontman Rob Evil and Oscars drummer Abe White — said that he couldn't comment on record, although he made this recent statement to the folks at British music mag NME:

"All the bullshit aside, our band is a really easy one to be in. Ride in the van, listen to jams, load in gear, eat great food, drink free beer, get paid well, load out, go to the hotel, repeat. I honestly love [Pope and Hayes] no matter what my dumb Twitter post says. They kinda quit out of nowhere, me and the tour manager thought it was a joke!"

What's not a joke:

Here's Your Future: Jay Reatard, an unsolicited bit of advice from Washington Post writer David Malitz.

First off, Malitz recommends that Jay dump the Reatard moniker and start performing under his given name, Jimmy Lee Lindsey.

Here's what Jay told me, in an August interview for eMusic: "At this point, it would be easier to get to certain levels in the music industry if I wasn’t called Jay Reatard, because it’s an immediate turn off. I would definitely be playing to larger crowds, and have more money. Everything I didn’t care about when I first called myself Jay Reatard, I could have more of now. But I’m fine with it — I look at it as a litmus test for assholes. If you can’t get past the name, then you can’t afford the price of admission."

Then, Malitz notes that in concert, Jay should play his songs closer to the way they sound on record.

Again, from my interview with Jay: "Most bands come up with songs together, develop them live, and then record them. I record them, and then I teach them to the band, and then we develop them live. They end up sounding different than the recordings, because I don’t think it’s fair for me to try to replicate what I’m doing on my own — in what is a really self indulgent process — and bring it to two other people who have their own personalities and styles and tell them to fit into my mold. We change parts, and as long as it resembles the song, I’m fine with it. It’s also funny to see the negative reactions I get from people at shows. They get really angry — you took my money and you didn’t even play the song right. It might be entertaining for the audience, but for me, it’s Snoozeville."

Next, he suggests an acoustic tour.

That might be a possibility.

Jay: "I definitely use the acoustic guitar as an antagonistic tool to rebel against the garage rock crowd. Even when I was a kid, I was using an acoustic guitar. I just didn’t let anybody hear it. My new confidence level allows me to go, you know what, fuck people and their sense of artistic entitlement. It took a long time to get that kind of courage. Being an adult, you develop that ability. I don’t care, really, what my audience thinks. So what if I’m 20 pounds overweight and I want to play acoustic guitars. The only thing that limits me is my skill as a musician."

And finally, Malitz recommends Jay channels his prolific creativity into, I dunno, an appearance on "The Colbert Report," which could be a stepping stone to mass popularity.

Jay, one more time: "Any time a large group of people comes together and has a collective opinion on something, I think it stinks."

For more on Reatard's recent antics, check out MTV News, Pitchfork and the Goner Records message board.

For footage of Jay urinating onstage during Gonerfest 6, go here.


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