Published Jan 13, 2010What started as a rumour has now been confirmed: Memphis-based garage icon and long-running punk musician Jay Reatard (born Jimmy Lee Lindsey) passed away in his sleep early this morning (January 13). He was 29 years old.
According to a report from the Commercial Appeal, the musician was found dead at around 3:30 a.m. in his home. Memphis police have opened a death investigation, a spokesperson said.
The rumour first broke via Brooklyn Vegan based on a number of tweets stating that Reatard had died. Later, Goner Records, which had a long history with Reatard, wrote, "It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend Jay Reatard. Jay died in his sleep last night. We will pass along information about funeral arrangements when they are made public."
Reatard's current label, Matador, has offered the following statement:
We are devastated by the death of Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., aka Jay Reatard. Jay was as full of life as anyone we've ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We're honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly.
Reatard spoke with Exclaim! on numerous occasions, and despite his notoriously hot-headed reputation, he was always a gentleman. Some interviews with him can be found here and here.
Stay tuned for further updates.