The COVID Diaries: Jeff Tweedy & Me

Hello Darling Ones,

I have never met Jeff Tweedy. He does not know of my existence. I don’t want you going into this thinking I’m gonna be dishing some dirty deets about the guy from Wilco, because I got none. Sadly. I will admit I’ve had an inordinate number of sex dreams about Jeff Tweedy. I don’t often have sex dreams about famous people, but if I do it’s Jeff Tweedy or Kirsten Dunst. I don’t know why. In my conscious life I don’t find either of them particularly sexy or attractive, but brains are weird.

My relationship with Jeff Tweedy’s bands has been long and contentious. It could have started in college when some dude was all, “Chromes, Uncle Tupelo, you’ll love it.” And I maybe I did? Or maybe that was the same kid who said “Under the Table & Dreaming is the best record ever” so I ignored him.

What I remember is that when I finally stumbled onto Wilco I fell hard and fast and love them for a very, very, very long time. I loved them so much I went to see them at the Walker all by myself. I loved them so much that I went and saw them at Midway even though I had long given up on their new records.

It is my belief that Wilco peaked at Summerteeth and every album after that has been a little more boring until I entirely stopped listening to their new music in 2009. I do, however, hold a special place in my heart for the song “Impossible Germany” because at that aforementioned Midway show Wolf and Heather both wandered off, in separate directions, to be nearer to the stage. When they returned, again separately, they both talked about how they cried during “Impossible Germany.” And if that ain’t fucking couple goals, I don’t know what is.

When Jeff Tweedy released a memoir in 2018 I noted it and vaguely added to my To Be Read list. I did not jump into it because dude rock memoirs tend to be really, very boring (See: Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Lenny Kravitz, Bob Mould. . . I could go on). In fact, I would argue that a lot of rock & roll books written are men are boring because men seem to think “well-researched” is the same as interesting and as an avid reader I am here to tell you it is not. Just because you learned it Bob Mehr, author of The Replacements’ biography, does not mean you have to tell it to me.

I did not rush into the Tweedy memoir. However, earlier this year I read his book on songwriting and that thawed my ice robot heart a bit. It was funny and I really enjoyed his approach to creative work. So when I spied Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) on the Library app I had nothing to lose.

OH.MY.GOD.

This book has quickly skyrocketed into the Top 10 of all the rock & roll memoirs I’ve read. It’s right up there with Kristen Hersh’s Rat Girl and the much-beloved Heart memoir. This book rocked me so hard that I read it in e-form from the library, then I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and then I bought a copy for myself that should be here next week.

I love this book so much that it’s all I wanna talk about and I’m hella bummed that nobody wants to talk about it with me. I tried with EM, but she super hates Jeff Tweedy and so the conversation was mostly her saying, “I hate him, he’s a sanctimonious asshole” and me saying, “I know, but. . . ” And BFK doesn’t even know who Jeff Tweedy is.

This book is hilarious and interesting and heartbreaking. He’s catty about Jay Farrar and self-deprecating about himself. He’s sincere in talking about his addiction and so fucking right about the relationship of pain/suffering to creativity that I want to give him one-million high fives and right ons. I’m paraphrasing a bunch, but he thinks that yes writing about pain and creating art about pain is what brings us together to make sense of it, but you do not need to suffer or romanticize your suffering to be creative. What makes you creative is showing up every day and making shit.

If y’all could just go read chapter three and then come back and talk to me about it, that would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jodi

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