Published May 05, 2009It appears former Wilco member Jay Bennett is out to reopen old wounds, filing a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy. Bennett, who played in the group from 1994 to 2001, claims that he's owed royalties for his seven-year, five-album stint with the band and according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday, is seeking at least $50,000 in damages.
Along with album royalties, Billboard reports that Bennett is also out to collect on the band's 2002 documentary, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, which documents the making of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the ugly fallout between Bennett and Tweedy. The suit argues that Tweedy "never obtained the necessary releases for the use of Bennett's performance in the film," according to court documents.
"As a recording musician in Wilco, Bennett is entitled to compensation for his services rendered in the form of continuing and perpetual artist royalty payments from [Tweedy]," Billboard quotes the lawsuit as saying. The suit also adds that Bennett was compensated for his work with the band but only in "infrequent partial payments" equal to 15 percent of Wilco's income from sales and performances.
Wilco's management has yet to comment on the lawsuit, which points out that Bennett worked on the albums Being There, Summerteeth, Mermaid Avenue, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
In less legally sensitive Wilco news, as previously reported, the band have their upcoming full-length, Wilco (The Album), due out in June and are Leslie Feist's newest BFFs.