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Bennett Vs. Tweedy Again ... Really?

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on May 5, 2009 3:50PM

Photo via Jay Bennett's MySpace page
We've long defended Jay Bennett's importance to Wilco. We thought he was the foil frontman Jeff Tweedy needed. However, we find it distressing to see the Trib report that Bennett is launching a lawsuit against Tweedy, "claiming Tweedy owes him money from the band's 2002 documentary [I Am Trying To Break Your Heart] and royalties on songs written during Bennett's seven years with the group."

The amount off this lawsuit? Around $50,000.

We'd like to review the documents filed, but at that amount the lawsuit reads as more like a public swipe at an old bandmate than anything else. It's the sort of thing that probably could have been settled behind the scenes, especially if the crux deals with his belief he was unfairly compensated for his appearance in I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. It's hard to believe that an amount as minimal as that would really have to do with song royalties though.

We're willing to suspend our judgment until more details are released, but that's the way it reads at this point.

UPDATE: Jim DeRogatis digs through Bennett's MySpace blog to divine a possible motivator behind the suit.

UPDATE II: Well, now we know why this wasn't handled quietly behind the scenes. According to a statement given to Paste, Tweedy says "I've read the news and I honestly have no idea what these claims are based on."