Memphis rocker Jay Reatard's cause of death announced

The autopsy results for acclaimed indie-rocker Jay Reatard, who was found dead in his Memphis home on January 13, were released today, revealing that the 29-year-old Matador Records signee died of “cocaine toxicity, and that alcohol was a contributing factor in his death,” according to Shelby County Medical Examiner Dr. Karen E. Chancellor.

Many notable names in the music industry, among them Beck, the Pixies, and Britt Daniel of Spoon, mourned his loss; the wildly prolific Reatard (born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.) released countless full-lengths, EPs and one-offs in his career, beginning when he was just 15. Matador tells EW that there are no immediate plans to release any material posthumously.

Watch him below in the video for “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me,” from last year’s excellent Watch Me Fall:

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Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • HMB

    Terrible, terrible shame. He was so talented. Apparently also self destructive and reckless, like many driven artists.

  • Ellipsian

    I’m sad to say that I didn’t even know that Jay had passed until reading this article. I picked up “Watch Me Fall” a few months ago thanks to exposure from EW, and, although it wasn’t really my cup of tea (his music benefits from having a visual medium attached, as in the above vid for “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me”), it seemed like Jay’s hard work was finally pushing him in to his own. Shame.

  • ks

    This makes me said that his death was caused from drugs-what a waste of a person , not to mention a talented one. I hope he has found peace.

  • bunker

    such a cliche

    • Wondering

      That’s what makes me mad. I’m sad that he;s gone, but like that is such a waste.

  • sick_of_losers

    Yeah, and oh wow that’s really a surprise! Everyone knows he was a drunk and a druggie… like most famous people & ‘performers’ these days. Yawwwn, What else is new? So boring. When he came to my town the first thing he did was buy drugs (thanks for supporting the local drug and crime trade a-hole) and his manager couldn’t even keep control of him. So sick of the cliche’s,, these stupid selfish train wrecks who ruin their lives- quit wasting oxygen and make room for those who appreciate being alive. LOSER… doesn’t deserve to be put on a pedestal. His music was stupid too.. amateurish and immature. Next…!

    • sick_of_above_loser

      To the person that posted the comment 2/4/10. You sound like a very well adjusted person yourself. Yawwwn. Did you know him? Calling him a “loser” after he has died?! He had family and friends who cared for him. I’m willing to bet you don’t.

      • rick schawn

        Couldnt agree with you more, the original poster needs to quit hogging my oxygen(car wreck maybe) and quit distorting truths and passing rumours, lies and crap.

  • Z

    Lost sounds ruled. Durgs are bad.

  • GA

    As someone who has known and seen J. Lindsey rock for the past 10 years I find the above ignorant comments such as “cliche”, “waste of a person”…

    do you drink? do you take tylenol? then you do drugs you ignorant fools.

    He was constantly touring and enjoying life more than most people I know.

    RIP Jay Reatard

  • AM

    it is not for us to pass judgement. we all have our vices. he was my friend and a gift to the music world and i will miss him forever.

  • maya

    i love jay reatard and he was most definitely not “waisting oxygen” damn you guys suck
    he contributed so much to society and musical culture

  • Drugs already get a bad rap

    It’s a shame because it was probably an accident, and he didn’t mean to die. Don’t knock drugs, or someone’s misuse of them that ends up hurting the user. Everything’s a form of drug anyway, it’s our job to learn to use our coping mechanisms accurately. I loved Jay Reatard’s music, so energetic and honest.

  • emill

    Jay will be greatly missed. Quite ironic how his last EP was a cover (Frances Farmer) of another music great Kurt Cobain…

  • mic

    “Die young is far too boring these days”

  • mic

    die young is far too boring these days

  • Freddy

    So sad that he’s gone went to one of his shows and I’m still demeltyfying my face and my ears are still ringing. Frkin coke man… If you’re reading this and are young and haven’t tried it (or old), DONT DO IT. It’s a wack drug and everyone I know that has tried it has been gripped by it eventually and faded their life spirit little by little or quickly, they lost loved ones and broken the hearts of all of us that love them. It’s an evil drug. It will destroy you in the end. Loved his music. Such a loss.

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