Join the band. Argue. Make up. Break up. The cycle used to end there, but former Wilco member Jay Bennett is adding a new phase -- the law suit. He's taking Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy to court to recoup money he claims he's owed from his years in the band.
Bennett sued Tweedy in Cook County (Chicago) Circuit Court yesterday, claiming he was owed money from the band's 2002 documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart and royalties on songs written during his seven years with the group.
Bennett was in Wilco from 1994 to 2001, when he left amicably -- allegedly -- and with "no hard feelings," according to Tweedy. Of course people with "no hard feelings" don't typically try to take you to court for thousands of dollars. Bennett's breach-of-contract suit argues that his work on Being There, Summerteeth, Mermaid Avenue, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot entitles him to "compensation for his services rendered in the form of continuing and perpetual artist royalty payments from" Tweedy.
The suit does concede that Bennett was paid while a member of the group, but only in "infrequent partial payments," and it claims that Tweedy did not pay Bennett or obtain the necessary releases for his appearance in the 2002 documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.
Bennett's price tag on compensation? $50,000 in damages.