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Old 01-21-2004, 02:19 PM   #1
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Well, this fucking sucks.

Guitarist, Keyboardist Quit My Morning Jacket
Sick of all the shredding, booze, trim
[Updated Wednesday, January 21st, 2004 04:00:00 Pitchfork Central Time]

Ashford Tucker and Trogdor the Burninator report:
Original lead guitarist Johnny Quaid and keyboard player Danny Cash have quit My Morning Jacket, according to an open letter on the band's official website. Under the headline "MY MORNING JACKET LINE-UP EVOLVES" is a note that states: "After four years of passion, sweat, traveling the world and spreading the love, Danny Cash and Johnny Quaid have decided to hang up their instruments and pursue other things in life." The lead story links to extremely candid statements by Cash and Quaid explaining their recent departures.

Quaid's exit is striking for two reasons: first, he's one of My Morning Jacket's original members; the band's in his blood. He's the cousin of woolly bandleader Jim James. Secondly, the majority of the band's last two albums (2001's excellent At Dawn and last year's major label debut, It Still Moves) were recorded on Quaid's family farm in Kentucky. Almost as compelling/stupefying is the fact that Quaid was always grinning like a mo'fucker on stage. His side of the story, so to speak, is a parable about a competition show horse that basically adds up to "my country ass is now ready to go the fuck home."

Keyboardist Cash joined the band just in time to record At Dawn. His tasteful, solid playing is a staple of the band's recorded work, and he played a role early on in the development of My Morning Jacket's now somewhat legendary live show. Cash echoes Quaid's home-body sentiment, stating, "Unfortunately, the lifestyle of a touring musician is not the one for me. I've spent a lot of the past several years missing my family and friends back home. As much as I love the band and the music we make, it's just not worth sacrificing my home life."

When reached for comment, a spokesman for the band elaborated: "Bands are weird things. It's really like having five girlfriends. Five different people that all need to be happy, have all their needs met and feel fulfilled. It's a tough thing to pull off and sometimes things have to change. John and Danny are great friends and we will miss them dearly, but I think they made the right [decision] in leaving and I really hope and believe that things will still be fine in MMJ world. Life's too short to live it unhappy."

Carl Broemel (of shitrockers Silvercrush) and Bo Koster are listed as "on the road" with the band filling in for Quaid and Cash in the interim (Broemel's website, linked below, is pretty priceless -- see for yourself). As previously reported, James is embarking on a solo/collaborative tour with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and M. Ward (that dude who plays like Stephen Stills and sings like Edie Brickell) after the current flurry of My Morning Jacket tourdates have concluded at the end of the month.

As much as I love this band, it's difficult to get through this article without wondering out loud/in print just what the fuck is going on here. Who leaves a band that has a decent shot at-- and is in the process of making a career out of music? And, if all is as it seems and these kids are getting out just because they're tired, what the fuck did they think they were getting into back when they started? One thing's certain. If James continues to write complete albums' worth of solid songs at his current pace, Cash and Quaid will be the balding, unfamiliar dudes on a future Behind the Music episode. And they'll only be hatin' on themselves.
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:15 PM   #2
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Though I have to wonder what's wrong with people who'd rather go back to Kentucky than take every opportunity they can get to get out of there. It's the Hellmouth, I tell you. It sucks you in and only the lucky ones make it out for good.
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:21 PM   #3
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i tell ya i took every opportunity to get out of KY. i lived there for 8 friggin horrible years. its AWWWWWWFUL there. the mountains and horsefarms are beautiful though! just don't live there.
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:22 PM   #4
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I read about this today on nme....I am going to go see them again next weekend, so I was sort of wondering as well.

different strokes for different folks I guess
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:29 PM   #5
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A friend of mine moved to Louisville about a year ago and he loves it, even though he doesn't have enough work to really make ends meet and had to sell his car.

So yeah, this sucks, except that "my country ass is now ready to go the fuck home" made me laugh.
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Old 01-21-2004, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2andPolitix
i tell ya i took every opportunity to get out of KY. i lived there for 8 friggin horrible years. its AWWWWWWFUL there. the mountains and horsefarms are beautiful though! just don't live there.
I agree. It's an absolutely gorgeous state, but it's definitely one of those "nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" places.

Louisville, Lexington, and parts of northern Kentucky (Cinncinnati suburbs) aren't as bad, but there were many times, especially in my college years when I would go somewhere and I swear I could hear someone playing the song from Deliverance on a banjo.
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