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
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
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
"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
"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.