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Lost & Found: Wilco Found a Boxful of Letters and a Monogrammed Guitar

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There was no danger of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy losing his guitar since he had his band’s name emblazoned on its fretboard. He rocked his personalized guitar during a live TV appearance in 1995 to promote Wilco’s first single, ‘Boxful of Letters.’ This, my friends, was the start of something special.

Wilco, in case you didn’t know, arose from the remains of pioneering alt-country band Uncle Tupelo. Tweedy played guitar and sang, but — at least initially — was second fiddle to band leader Jay Farrar. Uncle Tupelo played such a large role in establishing alt-country that the title of their first album ‘No Depression’ became the unofficial name of the genre.

Uncle Tupelo, as is often the case with rock bands, collapsed under the weight of the two leading men’s egos. Farrar decided to quit, so Tweedy and the rest of the band formed Wilco. Farrar went on to start Son Volt, which never reached the level of success Wilco gained.

Wilco has experimented with different music over the years, but they have always maintained a distinct sound. And while Wilco has moved miles away from the sound of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco fans will still probably be happy to open this treasure trove of old music. If you’re into Wilco, there’s a good chance you’re already aware of Uncle Tupelo. If not, though, check out this performance from their farewell tour.

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