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News Tue May 05 2009

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett Sues Jeff Tweedy

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett is suing Jeff Tweedy for (in excess of) $50,000 for unpaid artist royalties, breach of contract and damages alleging that he was not compensated by Tweedy for his work in the band from 1994 to 2001 and for his appearance in the 2002 documentary about the band "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart".

However, Bennett is suing in accordance of a band agreement that he neglected to sign, yet alleges that both parties were still subject to and held to the terms of the unexecuted agreement for the time he was in Wilco. (Chicagoist has the legal docs if you want to take a look here.)

It wouldn't be hard to feel sympathy for the guy. After Tweedy more or less kicked him out of the band, Bennett watched Wilco catapult even further but never found the same level of success on his own. And now on top of that, he's a "starving artist" looking at the cost (financial and emotional) of a major hip replacement surgery and doesn't have health insurance to cover it.

Which makes the lawsuit is suspiciously timely. We imagine medical bills for the surgery would be just around $50k since as Tankboy puts it: "It's hard to believe that an amount as minimal as that would really have to do with song royalties." If this lawsuit actually had anything to do with band dealings, you would think it would have come sooner than eight years later.

UPDATE: Apparently Tweedy has "no idea what these claims are based on."

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


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