Guided By Voices drumkit

We reported last week that longtime Guided By Voices drummer Kevin Fennell had put his drum kit up on eBay for the easy one time payment of fifty-five thousand dollars. Yesterday the band released a statement via their management, distancing themselves from Fennell:

“For the record, the band Guided By Voices has nothing to do with the sale of Kevin Fennell’s drums. He is acting on his own and is no longer in the band.”

It was unclear whether he had quit the band, or was fired (before or after the auction).

The auction for the drums, which were used in the recording of Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes (the two best albums they ever made) ended last night with no bids. And now things are getting ugly.

From the Facebook page for the auction:

So this project was supposed to be all easy breezy. Put a little money in Kevin’s pocket so he could do nice things like set up a college nest egg for his two daughters, give him a chance to take a nice road trip and hangout with the super cool person who might could love his drums as much as he does. It’s taken a bit of a turn…He has now resigned from the band. I hesitate to post the following email conversation between him and Pollard but Kevin feels that the truth of it is important. For the life of us, we cannot figure out why anyone would take exception to him selling something he owns. It is certainly a good example of how, often in our world, we can admire the art without admiring the artist. The content of the emails is in the comments below.

Here are those emails:

A new GBV album, Motivational Jumpsuit, is out next year.

[Photo by Erica Ott.]

Comments (27)
  1. If this isn’t a best-quality USDA-graded beef, I don’t know what is.

  2. Well that got outta hand… He really is a very amateur drummer. I know the low-fi, ramshackle thing was a kind of calling card, but he really held them back on a lot of their songs.

  3. In college several years ago, me and some buddies of mine met the (then?) manager for Ted Leo and we asked him who the biggest dick in the industry was. He immediately responded with “Bob Pollard.”

  4. Bands are so much like long-term relationships it’s scary:

    Breakup : Divorce
    Reunion Tour : Getting Back Together for the Kids
    “You’re an amateur, you play too fast!” : “You were NEVER good in bed!”

  5. I’ve been surprised to see in FB comments so much sympathy for the drummer. Pollard seems completely in the right and reasonable to me. The asking price was embarrassing, it was an embarrassment for the band name – they got embarrassing press over it.

    The email from Pollard just seems honest to me. The idea that the FB page and the drummer think they are somehow exposing Pollard with it seems strange to me. The fact that people are calling Pollard an ass over it seems even stranger – he’s just calling it honestly as far as I can see.

    • not to mention that bob CALLED him, only to be forced into an (ostensibly private) email exchange that was subsequently posted for all to see.

      • Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. It seems like, of all the band members, Kevin is the one who’s had the spottiest relationship with Bob over the years, so this doesn’t surprise me too much. I feel kind of bad for him because he was so sweet to me and my girlfriend after a GBV show last year.

  6. Yikes. Regardless of right and wrong, keep it in the family.

  7. Pollard might be a dick but he’s definitely not wrong…

  8. Seems like a relatively minor controversy dealt with in a relatively reasonable manner. Funny from both ends. Good thing it’s been leaked and published and we get to comment on it..

    to jump off from there, good thing there’s also so many cool camera surveillance cams out that i get to see petty shoplifters on my local news station non-stop. i can even revel in the shaudenfraude and stream “bonus” security cam footage of these *gasp criminals on their website for as long as i want to.

    maybe they should do a similar thing here, a kind of Stereogum-sip (play off gossip) knock-off where subscribers just get direct access to their fave thorny indie celebs’ inboxes. With all the thorny shit pre-starred so you can get right to the juuuuuiicy stuff.

  9. The J Mascis “who gives a fuck” story. Hilarious! Fennell is wrong. The end.

  10. I kind of feel bad for Kevin Fennell, but I shouldn’t as he showed no class posting a private conversation and one that Pollard had tried to make in person. I wish I hadn’t read this. I appreciated getting to see Kevin play at the reunion shows as I missed them in the 90s, but it is true that they would have been way tighter with Kevin March or Jim and every other point Pollard made was true and you can blame him for being angry if he feels personally embarrassed by this.

  11. What I want to know is how much Pollard will let the metal trash can used on My Valuable Hunting Knife go for?

  12. Now I wanna hear that J Mascis story

  13. i wus in a blink 182 cover band and we were LEGENDARY in the chicago northwest suburbs circa 2002. i tried 2 sell my Marshall amp for 300 bucks. i bought it for 500 so Trevor got a good deal. then i got kicked out of the band because i didn’t have an amp anymore. i guess what i’m sayin is i feel for kevin bro

  14. Why did Fennell feel the need to tell anyone about this? As dickish as he was in making the point, Pollard is right in his assessment. Who the fuck cares about this other than Fennell? If we had all heard he was no longer in the band I don’t we would have been tripping over ourselves to find out way. That whole thing should have stayed between them.

    I have a feeling this wasn’t really about the drums at all. It was probably the final action/comment/etc that broke the camel’s back. This seems like the kind of exchange between a person who irritates another person to the point they flip out, then posts the private email to make them look bad for it.

  15. Hey Kevin, “If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s The Fall” – Mark E. Smith

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