Wilco

1994-
Jeff TweedyVocals, guitar
John StirrattBass
Ken CoomerDrums1994-2000
Jay BennettVarious instruments1995-2001
Glenn KotcheDrums2000-
Mikael JorgensenKeyboards2002-
Pat SansoneVarious instruments2004-
Nels ClineGuitar2004-

Wilco Artistfacts

  • Wilco rose from the ashes of alt-country band, Uncle Tupelo, who disbanded in 1994. Jay Farrar, one of Uncle Tupelo's two main songwriters, went on to form Son Volt, while his ex-partner, Jeff Tweedy, formed Wilco with former Uncle Tupelo drummer, Ken Coomer, bassist, John Stirratt and multi-instrumentalist, Max Johnston. Tweedy also enlisted the help of Uncle Tupelo guest guitarist, Brian Henneman, who performed on Wilco's debut album, A.M..
  • The band are named after the military radio acronym, "WILCO," meaning "will comply." Frontman Jeff Tweedy admitted the name is "fairly ironic for a rock band."
  • Wilco teamed up with British songwriter come political activist, Billy Bragg, for the 1998 Mermaid Avenue album, which put lyrics from Woody Guthire's archives of unrecorded songs to music composed and performed by Wilco and Bragg. In 2000, both artists released a second volume titled Mermaid Avenue Vol. II.
  • In June 2001, Wilco's former US record label, Reprise, refused to release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, as they considered the album "career-ending." Wilco consequently left the label and independently streamed the LP through their official website, before going on to officially release it with Nonesuch Records on April 23rd, 2002. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot remains the band's most popular release to date.
  • Jeff Tweedy checked in to rehab in April 2004 after developing an addiction to painkillers, which he had turned to because of crippling migraines he had suffered with since childhood. His rehabilitation resulted in the delayed release of A Ghost Is Born, which was held back from June 8th to June 22nd 2004.
  • In May 2009, former Wilco guitarist, Jay Bennett, died at the age of 45 from an accidental painkiller overdose. Bennett was a member of Wilco from 1994 to 2001. At Bennett's time of death, Jeff Tweedy released a statement on Wilco's official website: "We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him - as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution."
  • Wilco's line up has undergone frequent change over the years. Frontman, Jeff Tweedy and bassist, John Stirratt, are the only two members to remain from Wilco's original incarnation.

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