Late musician Jay Reatard recalls live pigeon biting incident in film ‘Better Than Something’

The documentary is currently on a screening tour of North America

A film about late punk rocker Jay Reatard has begun a screening tour of the United States. Scroll down to view the trailer.

Better Than Something features interviews with the musician’s family, friends and bandmates and also with Jay Reatard himself. The prolific DIY musician, real name Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr, passed away in January 2010 at the age of 29, from the effects of cocaine toxicity coupled with alcohol.

The hour and a half long documentary also features live footage of Jay Reatard‘s often confrontational shows with his bands The Reatards and Lost Sounds. The film shows footage of one particular show when Reatard tries to beat up his bass player mid-song.


“I’d rather be half-assed at 100 things than a virtuoso at one,” says Reatard at one point in the movie. He also recalls the time he bit off a live pigeon’s head during a gig and then tossed the bird’s body in to the crowd, when “it landed right between [a woman’s] boobs”. He continues: “I thought that was humourous – kind of dark… but kind of funny.”

Reatard also takes the camera crew on a tour of his hometown Memphis and points out the run-down shack where he recorded his first album. A friend later reveals that Reatard had planned to record a country album under his own name before his death.

The film shows Reatard’s burial plot, which is near to the grave of soul singer Isaac Hayes.

The film, directed by Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz, is currently screening at The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles (until March 11), before visiting a number of other US cities, including Phoenix, Austin and San Francisco. For a full list of screening locations, visit: