January 14th, 2010
05:03 PM ET

Indie rocker found dead at 29

Prolific garage rock musician Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., who went by the stage name Jay Reatard, was found dead in his Memphis home on Wednesday. He was 29.

Kim Jones of the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office in Memphis, Tennessee, told CNN that Lindsey’s autopsy was performed on Wednesday and that results could take up to six weeks.

The Commercial Appeal of Memphis
reported that a roommate had found Lindsey in his bed and that the police have opened an investigation into his death. The paper also said that friends of the rocker believed he was suffering from flu-like symptoms in the days prior to his death.

Lindsey worked on 22 full-length albums and over 100 singles during his career, which began at age 15.  He released his first solo album, “Blood Visions,” in 2006.

“Few indie-rockers have ever been on a roll like this,” Spin magazine
said in a review of his most recent album, “Watch Me Fall,” released in August 2009. “Reatard classes up the joint a bit, smearing organ, hard-strummed acoustic guitar, and strings on the unrequited-love epic ‘I’m Watching You.’ ” The music magazine named “Watch Me Fall” one of the 40 best albums of 2009.

Alternative rock band The Pixies, which brought Reatard along as their opening act on several dates of their recent  tour, paid tribute to him via their Facebook page.

"We want to express our condolences to the friends and family of Jay Reatard, on his sudden passing today," the band posted.

Singer Beck posted Lindsey’s cover of "Gamma Ray," a single from Beck's album “Modern Guilt,” on his Web site.

In a final tribute to Lindsey, the webmaster of his site
posted an unreleased cover the singer had done of Nirvana’s “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle.”

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Filed under: Music

soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. sirrah

    Glory to God in the Highest! For getting rid of another Satanic Zionist!

    The world is now being freed of the rule of Satanism, Zionism, and
    all J*wish evil! This is another evi J*wish 'reatard' the world will NOT miss!


    January 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Miss I

    No offense to Teddy Pendergrass, may he rest in peace, but "someone" needs a dictionary. And the yawn goes to Pendergrass. Indie alternative=no yawn. What dimension are you living in???

    January 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    This is really sad. Hope his family and friends are all right. Sadly, it has been happening to many young people lately and that is odd.

    I saw his documentary not long ago and it was pretty interesting. The man wrote a lot of music that's for sure.


    January 16, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anita

    Jay used to practice with my sons in their bedroom when he was 14 years old. He worked so hard and was so proud when he finally started to rise. On stage he was electric, off-stage he was a nice young man that my family loved. Whether you liked his music or not, we have all lost a great musician who still had so much to give to his fans, and his family has lost a son and brother. Our prayers now should be for them. Black or white, young or old, we all feel great loss.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cc

    re: sarah

    do you always "run to tell your 5 yo" bad news? jeez, it's not something he really needed to know, was it?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    I think "someones" problem is racial. "Someone" is black and does not like the fact an indie rocker who is probably white (i've never heard of Reatard) is getting some press and wants to take a jab at whites to anger them.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LaBellaLuna

    The death of anyone at such an early age is a loss, but most keenly felt when it is someone with such enormous talent who has touched the lives of so many. My condolences to his family, friends and fans.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. yankie doodle

    didn't britney murphy have flu like symptoms?

    January 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MsTammy

    Folks, let's not feed the troll, and soon it will wither and die, having no negative energy to feast on.

    RIP Jay and Teddy

    January 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dawson1488

    I live in Memphis and am having flu symptoms. Kind of freaks me out!

    January 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. absurdist

    you know, it strikes me as odd that Brittany Murphy was only a few years older and died under similar circumstances–no apparent drug use, had the flu for a few days, sudden and unexpected death.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. someone else

    Well, it's all been said, already- But I'd like to say it again: Whether or not you know a musicians' work is completely irrelevant to their death. Should a no-talent Hack like Kanye get more press on his passing than, say... Jimmy Herring? I bet most of you don't know who Herring is, but I assure you, he's a thousand times the musician that Kanye is. Which isn't saying much, since Kanye isn't actually a musician. BAM! Got my point across, AND dissed Kanye!! It's like winning the Publishers' Clearinghouse deal!! WOO HOO!! Oh, and while we're on tangential rants, I'd like to say "HI!" to Pat Robertson, and remind him that we have a dinner meeting in Hell, someday!

    January 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. It's Me

    When is the American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, Country Music Television, or the Country Music Hall of Fame going to recognize David Allan Coe for his contributions to the music world?

    January 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Regina

    on Alt Press news...they said it's a homicide investigation now....

    January 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    While the details of his death are still uncertain, unfortunately this news did not come as a huge surprise. Jay was very troubled and fought many demons; unfortunately it is often the brightest talents that are burning the wick at both ends. Still, he was an enormous talent. Punk if I've ever seen it. The real deal. No BS, no irony, no posturing...just Jay. He will be missed,

    January 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. J.Crobuzon

    someone, you are actually Kanye West, aren't you? All grabbin' the mike and shizzle.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. VT

    Normally I would never do this, but I just wanted everyone to know how damn sad it is to see everyone trading punches with eachother over someone's death. People are so concerned with one-upping everyone these days and seeing how far they can stick their head up people's asses, it makes me sick. Hippies, yuppies, goth, metal, mainstream, pop, country, folk, bluegrass, reggae, indie, who cares what genre the man dabbled in, he is dead, pay him respect and move on losers.
    And maybe this post makes me no better than the rest of you, but someone had to do it.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  18. Steve-O

    I dunno, with an assumed last name of 'Reatard' and a couple of albums prophetically entitled "Blood Visions" and "Watch Me Fall" his sudden passing seemed inevitable.

    RIP Mr. Lindsey.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  19. 1MoreThing

    Have we all become compete idoits, what is going on with "us", AMERICANS.

    We have become cynical to the point of – whose death is worthy of being written about.


    We ALL have been watching too much Jon & Kate, Flavor of Love, The Bachelorm and Paris Hilton goes to jail.

    We have stopped caring about one another and this is sad.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  20. Stevey Majors

    I'm a fan of both Jay and Teddy, and both of their deaths are very saddening. But man, 22 albums, 100+ singles, and Jay was still just getting started.

    PS: "Someone" is just a troll and everyone is better off ignoring him.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  21. Someone else

    To someone: I don't think you're offensive at all – everyone's entitled to an opinion. Um, yeah, 29 and died of "flu-like" symptoms.....Calling all toxicologists......

    January 15, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  22. AlexWinter

    Damn. He was good. Could have been great. Flu-like symptoms, I wonder what this was?

    January 15, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  23. shadetreelogic

    Clearly person/band A is superior to person/band B because I say so.

    Am I doing it right?

    January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  24. Michael

    Whoa – what's going on here? I agree with Edge, both passings, any passing before its time, is sad! Obviously, lots of different people with many different tastes in music read CNN. Read what you like, comment on what's important to you, but don't knock another person's taste in music, or feel they're "irrelevant" just because you haven't heard of them or don't happen to like them. There's lots of people who do and find it very relevent. I'd never heard of Jimmy Lindsey until today, that doesn't mean he didn't mean a lot to a lot of folks. We need to show respect to those who aren't exactly "like us" in every way!

    January 15, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  25. Joe

    That's karma for using the stage name 'Reatard".

    January 15, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  26. Duh

    Stop fanning the flames people. "Someone" just wants to start some free drama. Ignore him. He'll go away.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  27. AMS in NJ

    Dear Someone- Sorry to hear that you think some human lives are more valuable than others. Everyone is "someone" with a life, family, and friends who will miss them.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  28. Tony

    Congratulations, someone. You got what you wanted. By putting down insensitive and ignorant comments you are sure to get the attention you clearly don't get at home.
    Any death is tragic, especially someone so young. Teddy Pendergrass was a great musician and his passing is sad. The death of a young rocker with so much future ahead of him and an unfulfilled potential is tragic. My condolences to both families.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  29. Suzanne

    I think the least attention we give to these people who do not appreciated a Muscian, then the better off we are..They have no feelings for human beings, no matter who they may be.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  30. Patrick

    I am in shock. Jay Reatard was amazing, and one of my favorite musicians/songwritiers of all time. R.I.P., Jay.

    to 'someone', suck it.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  31. Spornk

    This year has not started out good. Let's not have a repeat of '09, where so many people were lost. Take care of yourselves, everyone!

    January 15, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  32. someone else (ahem...kanye)

    Hang on a sec. Reatard...I'm happy for you and imma letchyou finish...but Teddy Pendergrass had the best January 2010 passing of all time! OF ALL TIME!! ...I'm just sayin'...

    January 15, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  33. Brett

    Someone- You should be happy most people don't share your outlook on life, as you might come to find your own accomplishments on this planet might not even rise to "yawn" status.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  34. matt

    unrequited love epic>?? what come on cnn. you can do better than that. gag me! haha its whatever..

    January 15, 2010 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  35. Mourners Below

    Is there a limit to how many talented young people we can mourn?
    All of them.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  36. to 'to 'someone'

    I think 'someone' was frustrated at the attention of one artist over another from the same location who was more talented and a more significant in terms of bringing joy and life fulfillment through music. I recommend discovering Pendergrass. No need to get angry or bring up earthquakes vs. tsunama's like the person would actually think or say that.

    Maybe he/she is a huge fan of great singers like Pendergrass, some people hurt when significant artists of their life pass away.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  37. Sarah

    I was really saddened to hear of Jay's passing. When I read about it I ran to tell my 5yr old (because he LOVES his music) and he said "That is sad. But we can still listen to his music." So true.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  38. Everything is a pissing contest

    Every time there is a story about someone dying, screwing up, or making dumb comments, the guns come out. It seems like most - remember, I said "most" - comments are negative and frivolous. Remember the old saw, if you don't have something nice to say, shut the f-up... I have something nice to say. It is too bad someone with enough talent in the music field to accomplish what Jay R accomplished in his short life has died too soon. We need all the good musicians to keep the life-light of music going to encourage our young people to follow their own musical talents - despite what school boards are doing everywhere in canceling music programs for children.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  39. Rob

    Wow.... who would have thought someone as steady as a rock like Mr. Reatard could die. I jut hope his autopsy doesn't reveal drug use. That would devastate the children who looked up to him.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  40. Amy G.

    Rest in peace. Music has moved me, changed me, nurtured me, healed me, comforted me and entertained me. This man has reached so many. Tragedy is striking our generation and something needs to be done.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  41. to 'someone'

    I'm glad that you find the death of a talented young artist to be so unworthy in comparison to another. What does it matter that he wasn't as well known as Pendergrass? Personally I didn't know who EITHER of those artists were, but it doesn't prevent me from finding both deaths equally sad. Let me guess, the next thing you'll say is: "Earthquake in Haiti, yawn. The tsunami a few years back, now that was a natural disaster worth writing about." Get a life, and stop acting like it's your place to determine which deaths are worth writing about or not.

    January 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  42. DJ Gray

    Sorry we're not as cool and super-awesome as you, "someone." Maybe you could come down off that pedestal of yours for a while and tell us what we should listen to so we can be as hip as you are.

    January 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Lauren

    To : someone

    Re: If you don't care, then go away and write on the Pendergrass page.

    January 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Bryce

    Dear someone, that was really insensitive. not cool dude

    January 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Shaun

    That comment about Teddy Pendergrass was totally uncalled for. This isn't a pissing contest.

    Jay Reatard's death has PROFOUNDLY affected many people. The man had an incredible career that spanned over twelve years and started at the age of fifteen. His music will be remembered for generations.

    January 14, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  46. someonewhoknowsomething

    Alternative, indie, yawn? Considering that most of the decent R&B albums of the 2000s occurred almst 10 years ago (save the new Maxwell album), maybe you DO need to resurrect Teddy.

    That being said, i can name at least 50 great indie rock albums from the same period right off the top of my head...

    January 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Larry Miller

    20+ Albums and 100 Singles and he was only 29 years old. That is Enormously Talented "Someone". Teddy Pendergrass also a wonderful and great talent (R.I.P.) is sure to get a tribute done to him, Jay will only get this little bit of media coverage because he was not mainstream!!!.
    MUSIC IS MUSIC, a musician is a musician no matter what type and style of music. R.I.P. to the both of them!!!!!.

    January 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Edge

    someone, the title of the article clearly states it's about an Indie rocker. If reading about a death bores you to the point of yawning, then A) Why read the article to begin with, and B) Why do you feel the need to leave a useless, insensitive comment? As for Teddy Pendergrass, I'm sorry, but I hadn't heard of the good man's existence until I read about his passing today. However, that's no reason to make a stupid comment about it. Both passings are sad. Just because you like one artist better than another doesn't make one more relevant to report on.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  49. MK03

    Uh, they did write about him, someone. It's right here:


    January 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Elliana

    what is going on with all these young people dying? this is so tragic!

    January 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  51. someone

    Alternative, indie, yawn. Teddy Pendergrass was truly and enormously talented. His contributions are surely worth writing about.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Gus

    Come on, guys. That's not Jay Reatard's photo, it's his former bass player. CNN is surely better than this.

    Anyway, Jay Reatard was a special talent with a seemingly very bright future ahead of him. Very, very sad story.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |

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