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Jerry Wick: Age 33
January 10, 2001
Hit and Run Bike Accident
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Jerry Wickowski
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Gaunt's lead singer killed on his bicycle

by Aaron Beck
Dispatch Pop Music Critic

Jerry Wick, guitarist and lead singer for the Columbus rock band Gaunt, was killed early yesterday morning. He was 33.

According to Columbus police, Wick was riding a bicycle north on N. 4th St. about 2:30 a.m. when a vehicle, thought to be white, struck him at E. Hudson Avenue. The driver left the scene. Wick died 20 minutes later.

Police think the front of the vehicle might have been damaged on its passenger side.

Though officials have said they're certain the body is Wick's, the Franklin County coroner's office said a positive identification will be made today by family members who are traveling from Parma, Ohio.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Columbus police at 614-645-4767.

According to Bela Koe-Krompecher of Used Kids Records, Wick had the day off Tuesday from his job at Dagwood's restaurant and spent it at the record store, his former place of employment. He left around 7 p.m. and spent the rest of the evening in Larry's, a bar north of Used Kids Records on High Street.

Koe-Krompecher said Wick was riding to his house northeast of Hudson Avenue when the accident happened.

In the '90s, if Gaunt wasn't touring somewhere in the country or in Europe, Wick could be seen in Used Kids. He was the one with wavy coal- black hair, in the black shirt with the collar or the black T-shirt.

Like many, Bruce McGuire met Wick via Used Kids. McGuire, a representative for 11 1/2 years with Warner Bros. Records, caught a Gaunt/New Bomb Turks show in Minneapolis. He signed the band to the label in 1997 after Gaunt had made a name in America and Europe.

The band had released loads of singles on various independent labels, contributed to several compilations, and released EPs and records on the independent labels Amphetamine Reptile and Thrill Jockey.

"They were electrifying,'' McGuire said from Minneapolis last night. "They were totally real. They always just went out and did it.''

Craig Regala released Gaunt's first single in 1991 on his label, Datapanik. "Jerry always wanted to be successful. He realized he was a speck like everyone else, but he wanted to make a mark of some kind. And he did.''

Eric Davidson, New Bomb Turks lead singer, shared a campus apartment for a year with Wick. The Turks and Gaunt toured the country and Europe together, sharing vans and motel rooms.

"Jerry would want to talk about Studs Terkel and Nietzsche for eight hours in a van, which is OK for some people, but not for most,'' Davidson said. "Even though he might have not finished any Studs Terkel book ever, he at least knew those first three chapters well.

"If you could take the generic, angry, nihilistic punk-rock attitude, but put it in an undergrad kind of intellectualized manner, Jerry was a pretty good example.''

Wick attended the Turks' concert last Saturday in the High Five nightclub on High Street. Davidson said Wick still was mulling over the production quality of Bricks and Blackouts, which was released in 1998.

The record, with a sound not as ragged and raw as previous Gaunt albums, failed to generate much interest. Gaunt broke up when Warner Bros. dropped the band.

Davidson said Wick climbed onstage to sing a song, and the crowd "went wild.''

"Usually, afterward, Jerry would be complaining about his singing or something, but that night he just seemed really happy.''

Dispatch Police Reporter Dean Narciso contributed to this story.

abeck@dispatch.com

   
Gaunt Singer/Guitarist Dead At 33

By Joe D'Angelo reports

Jerry Wick, singer/guitarist for Columbus, Ohio, punk quartet Gaunt, was killed early Wednesday morning in an apparent hit-and-run accident, according to the Columbus Dispatch. He was 33.

Columbus police told the Dispatch that Wick was riding a bicycle around 2:30 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle; he died 20 minutes later.

Gaunt, whose core members were Wick and guitarist Jovan Karcic, were an integral part of a mid-'90s Ohio post-punk scene that included fellow statesmen New Bomb Turks and the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments.

Beginning with their 1993 debut EP, Whitey the Man, Gaunt released several singles, EPs, and albums for indie labels Thrill Jockey and the now-defunct Amphetamine Reptile. The group disbanded soon after Warner Bros. released their major-label debut, Bricks & Blackouts, in 1998.

In 1996, Wick made several solo releases under the moniker Cocaine Sniffing Triumph.

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From Guant site: http://www.wbr.com/gaunt/cmp/bio.html 

History:
The year was 1991, and the Columbus, Ohio, music scene was just a tad less well known than it is today. The university town was beginning to see bands like Appalachian Death Ride, Greenhorn and The Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments (in their infancy), and Gaunt was as green as bread mold. Its introduction to the world was recorded no less than three weeks after its inception in 1991. The seven-inch was a split single with drinking buddies (and then relative unknowns) New Bomb Turks. The audio fidelity along with the songwriting was still in its embryonic stages and thus began Gaunt's ambitious climb...ahem...to the middle.

After a smattering of compilation and seven-inch appearances, Chicago-based Thrill Jockey Records became the home for the fair-haired boys from Ohio. As the label's first signing, the band produced two EP's, two full-lengths, a ten-inch and a single, and penned such sing-along hits as "Fuck The Rich Kids" and" Superman," bringing their speedy high-octane rock to the college airwaves. In addition, the band did a one-off affair titled Yeah, Me Too which was graciously released by the thick-necked, yet tenderhearted, dock-workers at Amphetamine Reptile Records in Minneapolis. And, of course, Gaunt peppered their fans with the occasional seven-inch release just to prove that they, too, could clog the vinyl bins at independent record stores around the world. Somewhere along the way (experts point to late '95-early '96), the band paid more attention, learned how to write better songs and made them sound like they weren't recorded on a boom box.

Add to this, amidst the flurry of writing, touring, recording and just bellying up to the bar at happy hour, Gaunt made its entrance into the world of television jingles by writing the theme song to MTV's Buzzkill. This show, of course, became well known for humiliating unsuspecting victims for the sake of Nielsen ratings.

      
 

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