Jay Reatard 1980-2010

Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr. died in his sleep on Wednesday morning. He was 29 years old.

He is survived by his mother Devonna May, his father Jimmy Lindsey, and his sisters Leslie Lindsey, Stephanie Duncan and Gara May. He’ll be missed by music fans all over the world.

With 22 full-length albums and over 100 releases, Jay dedicated his life to music. He played nearly one thousand shows in over 20 countries around the world. He was incredibly grateful for all the support his fans gave him over the years.

UPDATE: The memorial service will take place on Saturday, January 16 at 5:00pm at Memorial Park Funeral Home, 5668 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN. This will be open to the public.

If you knew, played with, or were a fan of Jay and his music, please share your thoughts, stories, memories and condolences in the comments below.

Download: Jay Reatard – Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle

  1. nuneaton says:

    The death of Jay makes me feel so so sad . This bad news has deeply shocked me . I cannot realise it’ s really happened . I’ ve had the chance to see Jay one time on stage . That were an unforgetable show . I will miss him and his great music for ever , on this earth . All my thoughts go to Jay and his family . A new star is now shining in this lucky sky .

    A french fan . xxxx

  2. Hank.S says:

    A musical force to be reckoned with. I only discovered Jay in 2008 but he has easily been my ‘most listened to artsist’ since. When I heard he had passed away I was truly shocked and saddened even if I did not know him personally.

    I’m sad I will never get to spin a new Jay Reatard record but greatful that he left some amazingly catchy and inspiring music for us all to enjoy.

    My sympathy goes out to all who were close to him.


  3. cole says:

    as a memphis native, i mustve been 14 when i walked into goner records. i remember thinking “i will never be able to even scrape the surface of all of this music”. but i never stopped going in to see what was up. i remember seeing one record in specific-a bloody dude in whitey tighties with an all white background. id pick it up and look at it ever now and then, but it wasnt til i was 16 that i started listening to jay reatard. ever since (im 18 now) ive seen him around town on many occasions and live once. i love his music and lyrics, which never “spoke to me” in the manner of an epiphany, however, they did hit close to home in that this was someone nearby and accessible who i shared this city with.im very proud to know that his sounds came from my city and spread across the world, as jay reatard has thickened the memphis book of history with his music, antics, and passion. he turned me on to a genre and scene of music that i didnt even know existed in this town. my sincerest thanks to jay reatard and goner records, along with condolences to them, his friends, and family.

  4. TheLonger says:

    He may have knocked out some of my friends on purpose, and some of them by accident, but he always smiled my way and spoke to me like any other human being I love. He only made music that I was interested in listening to, which is more than I can say for anyone else even close to my age, and he was just a few months older than me. I’m crippled by this loss in so many ways. Jay was very positive about my art, and I feel like I understand why he liked it now, because we were doing the same thing. No matter you say about Jay, he was all about one thing that musicians don’t seem to get these days and that’s organic change. We’re about growth, punk is stagnant, but it’s necessary to propel, and you never forget the catalyst. But change is all the rage, and all that, and Jay understood that. When you change, when you adapt, you become stronger. He was constantly becoming stronger…which is why I am very fucking angry right now. FTW RIP

  5. danendand says:

    I was in 4th grade when I became fascinated with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.
    I lived in Israel and was totally oblivious to the media around me and like Jay, also retarded. I went on with my Nirvana binge for anywhere between 1-3 months (I don’t know) before my father casually asked me, “you know Kurt Cobain has been dead for a year now”.
    I was in the bathroom taking a sh

  6. danendand says:

    I was in 4th grade when I became fascinated with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.
    I lived in Israel and was totally oblivious to the media around me and like Jay, also retarded. I went on with my Nirvana binge for anywhere between 1-3 months (I don’t know) before my father casually asked me, “you know Kurt Cobain has been dead for a year now”.

    I was in the bathroom taking a shit on January 13th as I was browsing the web. On MySpace it showed on the bottom somewhere that Memphis punk rocker Jay Reatard had died, and it showed a cool Jay Reatard photo. My interest peaked and after watching the awesome documentary I decided to go and hear his music. I swear I almost wish I hadn’t. I missed the boat again even after moving to the states. I could have seen him with The Pixies in Hammerstein Ballroom but I didn’t. I missed the goddamn boat again. The cover is super sweet, and than again, I honestly did not hear a Jay Reatard song that isn’tt. So yes, I am going on an uber Jay Reatard Binge, yet again, knowing there would be no more new songs I could expect to hear. Uber sad.

  7. Autumn says:

    Jay Reatard made some of the only modern music I listen to. I have a hard time finding new bands I like, but his stuff spoke to me from the moment I heard it. I love his screaming and his guitar and his words and his crazy hair. I always planned on seeing him live, but it never worked out and I’d always miss his shows. Then I found out he was gone and my heart was broken. There are no words to describe the regret I feel.

    I just wanted to say how much I’ll miss him, even though I never actually got to know him. It’s strange that I can love someone I never met. I wish he had more time to create, but I am so grateful that he released so much in the time he had…

    My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of the other fans out there.

    And if there is a heaven, I’ll be fighting my way to a spot next to Jay Reatard.

  8. Jessica Myers says:

    I met Jimmy in 1996 through a mutual friend and we went on a camping trip with a few other friends to Hardy , Arkansas he and I shared a tent and it rained the whole time but we had so much fun! I felt like I had met my long lost twin as I had never been around anyone that was goofier than me. He kept me laughing the whole trip and usually I was known for being the one making all the jokes. Jimmy back then before Jay was always talking about music and we would drive around in my little car and he would put in these mixed tapes he had made with Devo and stuff on them. He has just started working on his first CD “The Reatards” maybe a year or so after we met. I really enjoyed his company and I was like 17 going on 18 and he was just a kid then maybe 16. I had just moved out of my parents house had a job and a car and the last few years at home for me werent too pleasant. i could relate to him and what he was going through as I came from a lower middle class family, with step dads and dropped out of high school with an 8 th grade education. He would call me to come get him and I wanted to rescue him as I wish someone had done for me. WE had little to no money but would hang out for days together eating taco bell, going to the park , just whatever he was so go with the flow and I would drag him to do all kinds of goofy things that when I think back now he probably had no interest in but was being a good friend and amusing me. He ended up getting a girlfriend who wasnt too Happy with Jimmy having a girl for a best friend and I think ultimately she gave him a choice me or her. He chose to have peace in his relationship with “STACYE” that did nt last long anyway. Young boys tend to side with the girls that are giving them the all action right?
    We talked here and there off and on over the years. I would bump into him in a random place as if you live in Memphis happens pretty frequently. we are all 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon. I remember when he had first changed his name and I saw him out with some of his friends and I said “hey Jimmy” and I can still remember his face turning red from embarrassment! Yes I did it on purpose! lol He was always real good at hunting me down I would not talk to him for a year or so then get a random phone call and it would be him just wanting to check in maybe I had crossed his mind a mist the chaos.
    I got married had a baby and life just got in the way. He was so busy with music and touring I would get emails about how he really wanted to get together and catch up. JAy and I had times when we didnt talk but we never quit being friends it was like we just had this understanding. No one was ever angry or hurt and I cannot think of us ever having an ill word between us in 14 years. We just didnt and I can honestly say that doesnt happen to often in most relationships. I will never forget when he wrote me a letter about being in love with his best friend and I still have it and get it out to read it from time to time Why I have kept it over these years I dont know.
    I ran into Jay at the HiTone in September 2009 and he bought me a beer, we talked about us both being new home owners and just being busy, we had our photos taken and I only regret i hadnt stayed longer that night as it would have been the last time I would see him. I did hug him and tell him how much i loved him and how proud I was of him! i think we were both so proud of each other because even though we had no education, family support, money we both were struggling to be something better. Him with his music and me with Nursing school. We came from nothing but Damn it we werent going to stay that way!
    I just understood him all of him the good the bad, the skinny little boy, the rockstar, the goober, even his anger and wanting to get revenge of some girl had broken his heart. I understood it because whatever he was feeling happy or sad, peace or rage it was deeply felt and real! You could not blame him for it because it was sincere! He was one of the funniest, down to earth people you could ever meet and even though he was almost 30 when he left us I still see that kid waiting for me in his moms front yard when I would pick him up! He wrote something to me in that letter 14 years ago ” I just think we could ease each other pain” and we did! We were two skinny little kids who eased each others pain through being so called “retarded”. Some one called me that the other day at school when i was being silly and I felt it to be the biggest compliment I had received in a long time and they had no idea! I cannot believe you have already been gone a year I love you and miss you! xooxoxo

  9. kidaok00 says:

    I know that I am almost 4 years late, but the passing of Jay feels like it was just yesterday.
    The internet is a fantastic place, a place that makes old new and new classics everyday and with every lost song that may pass with time, a time where those songs once they play in the ears of those who they were meant to become automatic obsessions and are loved, regardless of their age, good music no mater how old is still good music.
    I was on spotify and listening to everything like i always do, always looking for something inspirational and wonderful, with great hooks, leads and energy that i need at whatever particular moment.
    I stumbled upon Jay Reatards music after listening to another band I like and the love was instant, it was everything I could have asked for at that moment, it enveloped me like it should to anyone that has a sense of good music (very few and far between) and i found myself going back and back and back. I searched some more only to find that he had passed away almost 4 years ago.

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