Anyone who’s seen I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, the uncomfortably revealing documentary on the making of Wilco’s 2001 breakthrough Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, knows that Jay Bennett’s departure from the band wasn’t exactly amicable. Well, now the tense scenes between Bennett and singer Jeff Tweedy will be played out in the courtroom, though likely with lawyers instead of A&R reps.
Bennett sued Jeff Tweedy today for breach of contract over royalties from his seven-year tenure in Wilco and his role in the documentary in which he split with the band, the Chicago Breaking News reports (via Jeffro’s Indie Rawk Blog). The specifics of the lawsuit indicate that Bennett is seeking compensation for his work as a sound engineer and multi-instrumentalist. This comes as no surprise, as Bennett has been publically documenting his alleged role as a songwriter, engineer, and musician in Wilco for years. Now, it seems, Wilco is rolling in dough and Bennett’s influence on their formative works is a much bigger deal.
So how much of said dough is he after? Bennett claims he wasn’t paid for his appearance in the film and only received 15% of the band’s profit from the time in question. He seeks a minimum of $50,000 in damages.