I met Jay when he was 15. He sent me a letter saying “send me something.” Written in pencil, signed “Jay X.” I think I sent him a sticker from my record label. He was impressed. Later I received a cassette with something like 15 songs he’d done at home with a hand-drawn cover. I was amazed. I’d been playing with the Oblivians. We were making some kind of mutant, angry, punk-rock, blues thing. Listening to Jay’s tape, I knew that at 15 years old he’d already absorbed what we were doing and adapted it to his own chaotic teenage lifestyle. The fact that he used buckets in the bedroom instead of drums just seemed fitting. It was truly ‘trash’ rock.
We took four songs off of his tape and that was his first record. I loved it. Jay loved it. I think at that time he realized he could do it and that it would be all he ever wanted to do. Then came so many bands: Reatards, Lost Sounds, Angry Angles, Nervous Patterns, Terror Visions, Final Solutions, Bad Times. 22 full albums, over 100 releases. Over 1000 shows, 20 countries. All from a kid from a crappy part of Memphis, all by himself. He was fearless, relentless, and awe inspiring. He was a force of nature. He could be a pain in the ass. He was my friend.