CHICAGO – A former member of Wilco is suing the band’s lead singer, claiming he’s owed royalties for songs during his seven years and five albums with the group.
Jay Bennett also claims in the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed Monday against singer Jeff Tweedy that he deserves money from the band’s 2002 documentary, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” The film documents the making of Wilco’s album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”
Bennett worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for the band from 1994 to 2001, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, which asks for at least $50,000 in damages.
The lawsuit said Bennett was compensated but only in “infrequent partial payments” equal to 15 per cent of Wilco’s income from sales and performances.
“As a recording musician in Wilco, Bennett is entitled to compensation for his services rendered in the form of continuing and perpetual artist royalty payments from” Tweedy, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement Tuesday, Tweedy said he doesn’t know what the claims are based upon, adding that he didn’t produce the movie, has done nothing wrong and hopes the matter will be handled fairly.
Bennett worked on the albums “Being There,” “Summerteeth,” “Mermaid Avenue,” “Mermaid Avenue Vol. II” and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” the lawsuit said.