The Posies: Band to End due to Sexual Accusations Against Co-Founder Ken Stringfellow

Stringfellow’s longtime band partner, Jon Auer, quit the group after learning of the charges, as did the Posies’ newer third member.

Stringfellow “categorically” denies the three women’s allegations.

The Posies Break Up After Sexual

The Posies, a Seattle band that found alternative radio and MTV success in the 1990s, has split up after allegations of sexual misconduct were made by multiple women against co-founder Ken Stringfellow.

This led to his on-and-off musical partner of the last 35 years, Jon Auer, to quitting the band.

Stringfellow’s alleged misconduct was laid out in investigative story, published on KUOW, Seattle’s NPR station, which said its  reporters had interviewed 20 people and reviewed dozens of medical records, emails and texts to verify certain details of the disturbing stories recounted by three women.

“I left the Posies very quickly,” Auer told KUOW in an email, “after hearing from [a friend quoted in the story] about what happened to her,” in conversations that lasted for nine hours. “What she described to me was super disturbing,” Auer continued, “and it made my position immediately clear. I confronted Ken about it on a phone call on Aug, 4, 2021, and canceled our upcoming shows, and flat-out told him that I wouldn’t be working with him anymore.

A nearly finished album the Posies had recorded — which would have been their first since 2016 — was being shelved.

The group’s third member, Frankie Siragusa, who joined six years ago, had earlier announced he was leaving, before the women’s stories went public.

He confirmed to KUOW that the women’s stories about Stringfellow was his reason for quitting, with reporters writing that the drummer “no longer wanted to be associated with his long-time hero.” They quoted Siragusa as saying, “I had a ton of tour posters hung up and framed on my walls, and lots of Posies stuff from tours on display in my house. I took them all down.” (Siragusa is pictured above between Stringfellow, left, and Auer, right.)

Said the KUOW article, “The 3 women who accuse Stringfellow of sexual misconduct became acquainted this summer and decided to tell their stories, with their names on the record. They said they felt compelled to share in the hopes that others may recognize signs of abuse in their own relationships, and that slowly, as these stories are told, the scales tip more toward justice.”

Stringfellow, 52, responded to the women’s allegations to KUOW by “categorically” denying them describing the allegedly non-consensual bathroom incident and other incidents as mutually willing encounters.

He said he has an open relationship with his wife that allows for multiple partners. “As a family, we view sexual assault as a very serious issue,” he and his wife said in a joint statement to KUOW. “As an ethically non-monogamous married couple, we are particularly attuned to the importance of consent and communication in relationships. … Over the years, Ken has had consensual and respectful sexual relationships with other women, including the women making the allegations. Our commitment to each other made room for him to do that.”

Stringfellow told reporters, ““I have never been into anything kinky, into anything rough. I experienced extreme violence firsthand as a teen. I’m sensitive to aggression, and it’s not something I can be around. I am not down with violence. I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever. …. Consent has been the foundation of every sexual relationship I’ve had, and violence has never been a part of any of those relationships. It simply is not who I am as a person who respects women.”

Stringfellow’s ex-wife, Kim Warnick, a musician with the bands Visqueen and the Fastbacks, was quoted in the KUOW story as saying that “while he never put a hand on me… it was horrible, what I had to deal with because of all his infidelities. Never ever marry a man for his voice.”

The group’s last album came out in 2016 and it’s not immediately clear whether they’d signed a deal for the now-canceled follow-up.

The Posies came to prominence representing a more melodic but still aggressive side of the Seattle scene that also produced Nirvana, Soundgarden and other bands. Stringfellow and Auer met in high school and began writing and recording together shortly after graduating, with both frontmen equally adept at lead vocals and songwriting, in the rare modern example of a Lennon-McCartney situation that worked, at length.