Jay Reatard Walks Out During Toronto Gig

> Apr 18 2008

Jay Reatard Walks Out During Toronto Gig
By Cam LindsayDon’t expect Jay Reatard to visit the city of Toronto any time soon. Last night (April 17) the boisterous Memphis rocker played a gig in the Big Smoke to support his series of seven-inches for Matador and during the fourth song, he unplugged his guitar, yelled, "I’m done” into the mic and headed off stage. Of course, there were a string of events that led to Jay’s retirement.

The first was a flying object that came in the set’s first song, "Blood Visions,” which was soon followed by a stage invasion. Some overexcited and/or drunken spectator jumped on stage bumping into Jay, who then grabbed the guy, punched him and began to tear his shirt off. No doubt frustrated, Jay gave a warning and continued with "My Shadow” and "Oh, It’s Such A Shame,” when a beer jug was tossed at the front-man, who immediately grabbed the jug and threw it hard into the crowd. When the band kicked into "It’s So Easy,” the endless mic bumping by the ravenous front row caused Jay to pack it in and make a bee-line for the exit.

Stunned, the crowd unleashed a barrage of boos and chants of "pussies!” and "we want our money back.” Reatard – who had left the venue - refused to return despite his band’s persistence to stay around the stage area.

When most of the club emptied, the band were hanging outside looking both pissed off and apologetic. Selling merch at a discounted price, Reatard’s bassist Stephen Pope explained what pushed Jay over the edge, saying, "He just had enough after they spilled that drink all over him and his gear.” He then nervously joked, "I think they wanna kill us. I don’t know how we’re gonna get all of our gear out of this place!”

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