Jeff Tweedy, the singer and front man of Wilco, is 45 years old today. For almost 30 years he has been one of the most important men in the Alternative Country movement, with a background form Uncle Tupelo and Wilco.
Jeff Tweedy joined his high school friend Jay Farrar’s band The Plebes in the early 80’s. The band changed name to The Primitives and then to Uncle Tupelo in 1984. Ten years later the band broke up because of musical differences, and Tweedy formed Wilco, the band he has played in ever since.
The term Aternative Country, or alt. country is based on the sound of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and Jay Farrar’s band Son Volt. The sound is rougher than straight country, mxing influences from punk and rock with country. It is a natural succession of the country rock that started with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and The Eagles, but much rougher.
Besides Wilco, Jeff Tweedy has a solo carreer, he has released a book of poems, and also been a member of bans like Golden Smog and Loose Fur. He has visited Norway many times, and my first time photographing him was at the Norwegian Wood festival in 1999. I saw him again at the same festival in 2004, at the Austin City Limits festival the year after, plus at the Oeya festival in Oslo in 2009.
Happy birthday Jeff Tweedy, and may you have many unwritten songs, so we can still have a lot of good moments with your songs in the future.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and may not be used in any way without written permission.