Spelling Bee Outs "Joe Sly," Alleged Undercover Cop Posing as Punk Fan

Categories: DIY, WTF

Check out the emails from "Joe" below, they are hilarious (click to enlarge):

Joe Sly boston punk zombie.jpg
Courtesy Spelling Bee

"I looked at the name, I looked at the picture, and thought, 'This is it, this is our fault,'" says Suen. "We read it over and were like, 'Wow, we are stupid.'"

Let's stop and take a moment to dissect this awesome artifact, which Suen screen grabbed and posted to her Facebook wall. What punk is this stoked for St. Patrick's Day or refers to a DIY show as a "concert"?

Not to be discouraged, the show was relocated to a venue about 20 minutes away. When Joe Sly popped up again to lament the show's cancellation, Suen confirmed that it was off.

"They emailed us again, I said, 'Oh no, yeah, it's cancelled, fuck off,'" she says.

Spelling Bee played at the new venue without incident.

"It was really great. They never caught on to us," she says.

Slate wrote a long post on this trend here. Apparently, things have gotten particularly hairy for DIY shows in Boston since the passage of a new nuisance ordinance, but Suen and Hess both say they've heard rumors the crackdown is courtesy of bar owners who think the shows threaten their business.

The bandmates understand the concerns about DIY shows -- there are safety issues and fears of underage drinking. But to their mind those worries are overblown.

"You'd be shocked and amazed at how self-policing these types of things are," says Hess. "These shows are so about the music and nothing else. The idea that the cops view this as this total gathering of debauchery is completely ludicrous to me."

So is Joe Sly really an undercover officer? RFT Music called the Boston police to find out, we'll update when they get back to us. Joe Sly's Google+ account (very punk) has gone dark but the email address bostonbeatgang@gmail.com still works -- we sent him an email and we'll post a response if we get one. Though if anyone is still checking this account they are likely being inundated with crazy spam. From the comments on Suen's Facebook page:

Mabel Suen Facebook grab.JPG

"This shit would never fly in St. Louis. The St. Louis police have a lot more things to worry about than busting up our shows," says Hess. "I would imagine that the Boston police could like, be out there actually protecting and serving rather than being grumpy old men ruining our good time."

Update: Evidence that Joe Sly is fake is mounting. Gawker just pointed out that the avatar Joe uses is one of the first images that comes up when you Google "punk rocker." 'A' for effort, guys.

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.

See also:
-Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good
-The Ten Biggest Concert Buzzkills: An Illustrated Guide
-The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever
-The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

Follow RFT Music on Twitter or Facebook. But go with Twitter. Facebook blows.

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Aleta Joellen
Aleta Joellen

You've posted this story 3 times already... slow news week?


Seems like a big assumption.  There doesn't seem be any evidence that this dude is a cop


in the meantime, violent crime is up in that neighborhood (Allston-Brighton). I guess the cops are too busy making sure that those devious punk rockers aren't putting on illegal shows. 


Except St. Louis cops have totally broken into the basement of Bonerville at a show my band has played, with their guns drawn, telling everyone to get on the ground. They then proceeded to round everyone up, take us outside onto the corner, ask for everyone's ID's and ask if we were part of a "gang," such as "the Bloods or Occupy."



The Bonerville incident (hehe) was isolated and seemingly connected to recent police raids on "Occupy Houses." Boston is under fire daily with cops who surveillance punk houses and event listings regularly. Some of our friends were treated like garbage that night, but our nonsense here isn't at all the level of what our contemporaries in Boston are dealing with. 


@Joseph_Hess I'm fairly aware of what's going on with surveillance on the lofts in Allston. My friends who run spaces have told me of cops raiding lofts (which are also generally their live-in spaces) for any musical equipment and trying to use it as evidence for eviction, but at the same time leaving college party lofts untouched. I was just sayin' that cops are clueless and aggressive everywhere, especially if given sanction by the city.


@nicallred12xu This has been going on for well over a decade. I left Boston 10 years ago and my friends' spaces were being aggressively targeted the entire time I was there. (Shitty) business as usual for BPD.

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