Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sexual misconduct allegations against Ken Stringfellow end The Pozzies’ decades-long run

One of Seattle’s longest-running musical success stories has come to an end amid sexual misconduct allegations against The Pozzies singer-guitarist Ken Stringfellow.

Pozzies co-founder John Auer said he disbanded the band in August after he heard stories from a friend about his encounters with Stringfellows, detailed in an October 25 investigative story from Seattle NPR station KUOW. Is. Stringfellow denied the allegations of physical and mental abuse, and has since been fired from influential indie rock pioneer Big Star.

Three women who say they were victims of sexual misconduct by Stringfellows agreed to be identified and told their stories to KUOW in an effort to help others. Everyone said they were in a relationship with Stringfellow.

One of the women told the outlet that a drunken stringfellow forced her to have sex in a hotel men’s room shortly after a gynecological surgical procedure. Another confirmed the story of the first lady, saying that she was also in an abusive relationship with Stringfellow, which began in 2015. A third woman said the musician cut off her hand after a show, leaving scars and bruises, and she woke up early one morning to find him. sex with him.

Stringfellow “categorically” denied KUOW’s allegations and said he would not speak negatively about his allegations.

“I never want to harm anyone I have a relationship with – sexual or otherwise,” he told KUOW in an email. “Consent has been the foundation of every sexual relationship I have, and violence has never been a part of those relationships. That’s not what I am as someone who respects women.”

The outlet said it interviewed 20 people for the story. That group consisted of seven women who were in relationships with Stringfellows and did not take any abuse – although four of those women said they had to endure unwanted biting and controlling behavior from the musician.

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Auer and drummer Frankie Siragusa, who joined the band six years ago, told KUOW that he left the band in August because he believed Stringfellow’s accusers. The story described Stringfellow’s female behavior over the years as habitual and famous – though often dismissed as something akin to locker room banter.

The Pozzies were a true Seattle success story. Auer and Stringfellow met at Bellingham High School, began playing as an acoustic duo in 1986, and released their first album in 1988 while living in a University District home. He signed a major-label deal in 1989 with the same label that had signed Nirvana, but offered a sound that was an antidote to grunge.

They rose to some fame in the mid-1990s, landing on soundtracks and selling shows on the indie-rock circuit for several years. The band sold out to the Seattle crowd as recently as January and July. Both Auer and Stringfellow helped revive Big Star in the 1990s and 2000s, and Stringfellow was invited to join REM’s touring band.

There were plans to run more live shows and release an album in 2022 that have now been postponed, and the band’s legacy becomes more complicated as fans process the news.

“I had a ton of tour posters that were hung on my walls, and I had a lot of posy stuff from the tour in my house,” Siragusa told KUOW. “I took them all down.”

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