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Jay Reatard dead at 29

Memphis musician’s death stuns the punk rock world


 

Jay Reatard, the prolific garage rock wunderkind from Memphis, was found dead at his home early Wednesday. Foul play isn’t suspected, but police are still waiting for lab results to confirm the cause of death. After over a decade leading seminal underground bands like The Reatards and Lost Sounds, Reatard, whose real name was Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., was only beginning to reach a wider audience. His debut solo album, Blood Visions, released in 2006, earned him widespread acclaim in punk rock circles for its stripped-down hooks and nihilistic energy, while his latest album, 2009’s Watch Me Fall, appeared set to bring his music even further out of obscurity. Of course, the hard-living Reatard was almost as famous (or infamous) for his wild temper as he was for his music. In 2008, he stormed off a Toronto stage after punching an audience member in the face, and his final Twitter had him offering to pay fans to slash the tires on a rival band’s touring van. Reatard was 29.

Memphis Commercial-Appeal

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