Death is an inevitable part of our natural lives, and the physical pain and heartbreaking emotional tidal wave it creates amongst loved ones and those involved is just as unavoidable. But when it happens to someone who takes their own life, it creates a shockwave of rings around us all bigger than the planet Saturn’s. It has the gravitational pull to also create a sense of loss even without knowing someone personally. So it is with great sadness that The Fort Studio owner, Bushwick community member, and well-known good soul Jim Bentley took his own life Monday July 22, 2013.
Bushwick Daily has known Jim Bentley for quite a while. His professional resume is peppered with successful artists and clients that resides in Brooklyn and beyond (Tim Garrigan
Aquadora, Youthquake, The Nuclears, The Barrens, Dead Betties, Moon Furies among many others). We first highlighted The Fort as a haven for local bands/artists to be able to get their music recorded in a highly professional manner. The Fort was known for keeping the quality without having the absorbent costs that can end careers rather than foster them. Jim’s unparalleled dedication to everyone who came in defined him as a person. We partnered with Jim and the Fort on their 10th year anniversary with a Black Tie event just this year, on April 20th, 2013. We celebrated the triumphs and accolades while bringing to light an all too familiar business reality of a shrinking music economy.
To work with him professionally left an indelible mark. The reaction has been across the board of sadness, shock, and good memories. Josh Ackely of Dead Betties who recorded with him extensively back when The Fort first was born; leaves yet another lasting impression of his love, dedication, and desire to make great long lasting music, and to truly bring out the best in all his clients. Ackely’s memory of Jim is spot on:
Jim Bentley and The Dead Betties started working together following a show we performed at the now defunct Rock and Roller-skate show at Office Ops in 2003. We recorded multiple singles at The Fort and eventually, two full lengths. One of my favorite parts about working with Jim was his insistence on getting the perfect take, regardless of time and money. I remember once threatening to walk out of a session at The Fort after being pushed through at-least 70 takes of screams for one song, but Jim was relentless until we got the take! It was the perfect take.
Then there was the time we had a deadline to submit our album to our label, and right after we finished recording, The Fort was broken into. Jim called us on tour to let us know the tape our record was on had been stolen—not and easy phone call to say the least. As heartbroken as we all were, Jim insisted that we just had to bite the bullet and re-record as quickly as possible, which we did, free of charge. Jim worked tirelessly to get that record done in time and never let our morale slip. The amount of character and decency Jim had when times were tough was unparalleled.
Outside of being the ultimate professional, Jim was an extremely loyal and caring friend who believed in art and was at the forefront of the now thriving music community in Bushwick. He was a collaborative force and always supported others. He will be sorely missed.
Fellow Bushwick Daily artist Moon Furies lead singer Andy Kiel says of Jim: “Jim was a very genuine guy. He was very real. You could talk to him about almost anything and would never feel like he was judging you. He will be missed.”
Friends have gathered to create a series of memorials for Jim – the first of which will take place August 13th at Fontana’s bar. Details of Jim’s death are unknown to us.
We like to urge anyone reading this that there are options out there if you or someone you know is dealing with thoughts of suicide. Please go to Suicide Prevention; there are many options of counseling to help yourself. There are services for those who know someone who mentions or shows signs of wanting to hurt themselves.
Here at Bushwick Daily we mourn the loss of Jim Bentley with as much respect, love, and dignity as Jim Bentley gave to us. You are missed, Jim.