RIP Jay Reatard: A Special Note For Live Music Fans

I have some sad news to share with you. As Pitchfork reports, garage-punk rocker Jay Reatard died in his sleep early Wednesday morning due to unknown causes.

Whenever a musician dies I always feel weird writing about or calling attention to it.  I’m reluctant to blog about it because it makes other deaths seems less important or significant in some way.

But after I thought about this I decided to share this sad and unfortunate news with you because I consider Reatard and his fans part of the Live Fix community ever since they inspired me to write about the power of fan comments after Reatard’s recent concert in Austin, TX. 

For me I only had one chance to see him live when I saw him live at Pitchfork a few years back. But my knowledge of his music and show was limited then and sadly I didn’t get a chance to fully appreciate his live show. 

As the year continues to unfold I hope this is the only post like this that I have to do. But I do have something else to say to you that’s very important.

In these hard circumstances of grief and mourning, as a live music community, I encourage you to find comfort in your memories of seeing Reatard live and celebrate them. I know just hearing about his death brought up many of the recent deaths of family and friends I struggled through recently. 

And honestly, I felt kind of silly that I thought of Michael Jackson when I heard the Reatard news. But then again, I know that our minds and hearts process grief in different ways and our grief process is unique to our own experiences. We shouldn’t feel inferior because we all mourn differently. 

So as I continue to mourn those people I think of how I felt when Jim Carroll died last year. His song “People Who Died”  remains one of my favorite songs that helps me express a lot of the pain I feel when I think about the loss of people that meant a lot to me. And I think of  my eternal moment at a Saul Williams concert, especially because I know live music will continue to be a place where I can find a healthy escape to help deal with the grief and loss.  I hope the strength of the live music community does the same for you as 2010 unfolds.

I offer my prayers and thoughts to all Reatard fans and family in this sad and difficult time.

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