Quote of the day: "He looked just like a zookeeper in a human zoo. So I said hey man how the hell did they get to you. Don't you know us animals need something to do. Then I flew." - I Won't Say Anything
Jay Bentley was born in Kansas; Greg grew up in Wisconsin. They ended up in the same junior high school, Hale, then went to El Camino High School together. When he was asked to join BR the band didn't have a bassist (it was Ziskrout, Greg and Brett) and Greg says they didn't care much either. They had already written and played Sensory Overload, World War III and Politics without a bassist and it sounded alright to them. They only knew three bassists so Greg went up to Jay in school and asked him if he wanted to be in a band. Jay answered "Yeah, I can play guitar". -"We've got a guitarist, we need a bass player". -"Well I don't play bass". -"Well, it's a four string thing...". -"Well, I know what it is!!". -"But, I don't have a bass, I don't play bass, but I want to be in a band, so OK". He went to sears, bought a bass, and it took minutes to learn to play. "Hey, these four strings are the top four strings on a guitar, cool. No chords, I get to play one string at a time; I can do this easy, all you've got to do is follow the guitar player". He says it was pretty much what he knew how to do on a guitar anyway, "play Smoke On The Water on one string!". He quit BR in 1983 while they were recording the first song for Into the Unknown. Even during the end of his time with BR, he had been playing with another local punk band, Wasted Youth. Just after he quit BR, he was asked to join TSOL, which led to Jay opening for himself in Santa Barbara. BR had one final show booked, which he agreed to play, opening for TSOL. At this point, he was actually in three bands at the same time. When original bassist Mike Roche returned to TSOL, Jay left and joined the band's singer, Jack Greggors (a man of many surnames, today he is Jack Grisham or The Joykiller), in the short-lived Cathedral of Tears. Then Wasted Youth underwent a line-up change, at which point he quit, and suddenly he wasn't in any band at all. He sold his gear and settled into a well paid job as a machinist, making precision parts for airplanes and space shuttles. Jay: "It was cool. Some of the jobs were ones were you couldn't talk to the guy making another part, because you might figure out what it was. 'What do you think it is?' 'Looks like a hand grenade, man.' I thought it was hilarious. My pay was pretty good, and I was dating the boss' daughter, so that helped. But everybody who'd been doing it for years was missing fingers! I kept saying, 'I've got to get out of here.' I wasn't playing in a band, but I knew I wanted to play music again, and I wanted to have all my fingers". In 1986, Greg called and asked if he'd like to rejoin. At first he said no, mostly because he wasn't sure what BR sounded like, and didn't want to play in front of fighting crowds. Greg insisted that things had changed, and told him their set consisted of songs from How Could Hell. He agreed to play one show, and had so much fun that he stayed. By the late 80s / early 90s he was working on motorcycles for the motion pictures. In his own words "when you see in a movie when the guy crashes on the bicycle (...) then when they cut on the scene I go in and put the bike back together so they can ride it again". He also worked in Epitaph for many years with / for Brett and eventually quit during the Recipe for Hate Tour because the tours were getting longer and he felt he couldn't cope with the workload and there was no reason why someone else couldn't do it for him. He said he doesn't like the songs he writes, he feels insecure during the process of writing although in the end they may end up pretty good, so usually he scraps the songs. Plus, when Brett was in the band there were plenty of songs he and Greg wrote constantly so he didn't feel he had to write. He also said when he writes songs they sound too much like Elvis Costello so he feels they don't belong with BR. He now lives in Bowen Island, British Columbia (Canada). He divorced Michela, with whom he had two sons: Miles and Hunter. The kids don't like daddy's music; they like The Pogues. In 1997 he built (by himself) a garage for his four guitars and for Michela's car (and for his kids' future band he said half-jokingly). He also goes fishing. He's a really nice guy. Michael Smith from the Doomed Clowns (the best Bad Religion band in the world after Bad Religion) once told me "Jay is an extremely down to earth person. We saw him sitting by himself after they had some sound problems during a show in Orlando, Florida. The fact that he was a bit down because the show didn't go off perfectly impressed me. After all these years, it seems he still feels everything they write and do and very much enjoys playing with BR".