KING KHAN SENT ME THIS, SAID THERE’S A JAY REATARD DOCUMENTARY COMING OUT. (photo by Kirstie Shanley)
My First Time with Jay Reatard… By King Khan
I first met Jay when he was 17 years old. He booked us a gig at Barristers, the line up was The Spaceshits, Deadly Snakes and Reatards. When we showed up in Memphis it looked like a ghost town. Skid Marks (drummer of the spaceshits) has always been a magnet for scum bags and immediately befriended a one armed man who had just come out of prison. They disappeared in search for some weed.
When Jay showed up he told me that he had just gotten engaged to be married. He also apologized about the lack of people at the show in advance, the reason was simple… “everyone hates us in this town.” There were 4 people in the audience that night, Greg Oblivian and the dudes from Impala. But the show went on and it was great fun. Later that night everyone went to Greg’s house to hang and listen to records and Carson Binks (Legend of San Fran), Skid Marks and I decided to go for a Memphis adventure with Jay.
We drove around crazy ghettos in search of drugs. All we wanted was a little weed, none of us wanted any of the countless crack offers not even Jay. We parked at a gas station for some cigarettes and when we were getting back into the car i remember all these crack heads coming out of nowhere asking me for a smoke. They were crawling towards us like true zombies and even continued to follow the car in slow motion as we drove away. It really felt like George A. Romero was somewhere around the corner. Jay spoke of these crackheads with a sense of pride which was followed by pure hatred. He was really into showing us the nitty gritty of his city.
After hours of unsuccessful attempts Jay seemed fed up of searching and told us we could go to his mom’s and get some weed. So we showed up at her house at around 3 AM, sure enough his mom was awake watching TV and his little sister was sitting in the cutest mini lazy boy chair i had ever seen. His mother was so kind and invited us in and was thrilled to have some Canadians in her house. It felt so timeless like it could have been afterschool but it was actually 3 AM. His sister was adorable, she looked like a little Shirley Temple. At one point his step dad, poked his head out and basically looked just like what jay had described earlier as a real “pinhead.” We hung out and smoked some dope with his mom and then proceeded to Alicja’s house where he had just moved in.
When we got there he showed us some crazy analog organs and we had a little jam (this was all years before Lost Sounds). It was so amazing to see how into space sound he was already at that age. Carson passed out in the corner on a rug like the pigmonkey (a nickname his Japanese girlfriend gave him years later) that he is.
Jay and I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning and swapped tales about total debauchery. He told me about how he played a show in a mechanic’s garage where he got naked and dumped a can of motor oil over his head. He was literally slippin’ and a slidin’ everywhere and could hardly even play a note on his guitar. Then some douchebag rolled a spray can towards him. Jay didn’t even look at what was in the can, he just opened it up and sprayed it all over his balls. Within a few seconds he collapsed into a foetal position screaming his head off. He had emptied a can of Easy off oven cleaner on to his junk. Could you just imagine the facial reaction of the doctor that had to examine him later, finding this 16 year old naked boy covered in motor oil with the first two layers of skin off his penis burnt off? It really felt like I had found a lost twin, two exhibitionist punk kids who loved to fuck shit up and get fucked up.
He told me he went night swimming with some buddies and this girl whom he couldn’t stand but who used to follow him around like a puppy. When they got to the “lake” he got butt naked and jumped in. When he came out he was covered in shit, he had jumped into a cess pool. The first thing he did was go up to the girl and sit right next to her and put his arm around her.
In the wee hours of the morning Jay wanted to sneak into Alicja’s room to show me something. We were giggling like little kids and he went straight to a little night table next to her bed. He pulled out this cherry cola flavored body gel that Hustler magazine had just put out. He poured some into my hand and told me to rub it it on my wrist. I did and my wrist got hot. We giggled some more and he told me about how when he was a kid he used to take a can of Pam to school and huff it with girls “cuz it made your privates hot”. It was funny cuz I had never met Alicja before and it felt like we snuck into Jay’s big sister’s room.
So what’s next? “Wanna watch a UV porno?” Ofcourse!!!!!
We watched a porn movie that was filmed entirely in heat sensitive UV. It was incredible. You could see how the blood rushed into body parts as they got hotter and the cum shot looked like an erupting volcano. I mesmerized Lemmy in a studio in Frankfurt ten years later describing this exact porn film, I still don’t know what it was called.
Despite his hatred for everything in Memphis, Jay loved it and was proud of all the scum.
And that was the beginning of what became a great brotherhood for life.
Jay loved showing class and painted his face with pride when the Death Cult first rolled into Memphis, and he was by far the wildest of the bunch. All the times we shared after this were as insane as you probably have heard, lots of nudity, burning money, drugs and pure mayhem, but there is no need for me to get into all that cuz when i think of the Jay who lives permanently in my heart I see a big hearted lion who just loved to entertain us, sometimes shit got real out of hand but it was all a part of the fun.
The last day i spent with Jay was very different from the first time we met. We were playing a show together in Buenos Aires and had spent the night before in Sao Paolo getting utterly obliterated. We shared a cab to the Sao Paolo airport, we both hadnt slept the whole night. He was telling me about this Geto Boys song that he loved so much about a guy who kills his girlfriend, it was really scaring me how much he loved this song.
When we arrived at the airport he bought me some water and a beer. We went to the bathroom where he threw up standing with the door of the toilet stall wide open, i was blowing my nose so hard it sounded like a trumpet and looked like an abortion had come out of my nostril. We were the only two guys in the bathroom and then in walks this old Brazilian man who must have been like 70 years old. He was in slow motion. When he opened the door he took one look at us, me with bloody slimeball in hand, and jay vomitting. He just turned around and left. We erupted into very loud maniacal laughter. We flew into Buenos Aires, checked into a luxurious hotel, and went swimming. We sat by the pool and talked about how great things had turned out for us. We went for a bite to eat and walked around the city for a few hours, he spoke of how he had made peace with his dad and was really stoked about that. We sat down and ate a nice meal and he got the check.
Later that night we played in a soccer club house for a strange party of people who may or may not have really got what we were doing, but whatever we had a shit load of fun. I saw him piss in some soccer trophy backstage, it was a real hoot.
I miss him everyday and I know that wherever he may be right now he is surrounded by all the legends that made us who we are. Jay Reatard was a real rock n roller, a true death cult champion and the first and only male lips that have ever touched my penis. There I said it.