A current member of Slapwater wrote me today to explain why Carl Hunt was dismissed from the popular party band after 40 years. "Simply put, Carl Hunt was dismissed from his job for unacceptable actions," wrote Shelton Parson, 24-year bassist for the group.
Read my news story about the Carl Hunt-Slapwater split here.
Later in his statement, which appears in full below, he elaborated. "Without getting into specifics, the fact is, Carl’s choice in making abusive statements and threatening actions led to his dismissal - End of story!"
In a later phone conversation, Parson said a particular incident in December in Newport News led to the firing. At that time, Hunt had to be physically pulled away from someone, Parson said. The incident was witnessed by most members of the band.
Parson declined to go into more detail.
"I'm interested in putting this thing to bed," Parson told me. "It's not good for business. It's not good for our friends or fans ... We've been building something for 40 years. We don't need something as trival as this to tear it down."
Here's his full, unedited message:
From: Shelton Parson
Re: Slapwater Article – 4/13/2012
Slapwater remains strong and committed to the 40-year tradition:
I am the longest tenured remaining member of the band. Here is my response to your 4/13/12 article about Slapwater.
It is unfortunate that unsubstantiated information, with the potential for negative fall-out, supplied by misinformed individuals, can become so news-worthy. It is also very obvious that this story is incomplete, the facts were not been presented and the article does not present the truth. Simply put, Carl Hunt was dismissed from his job for unacceptable actions. Yes, he was a longtime band member, but an employee and never the owner or boss of the band.
Here are the facts that were omitted:
- Who’s the Boss – George Hunt III is the Boss/Band Owner.
Upon the death of the band leader, Kenny Hunt, a meeting was held at his residence where Carl Hunt, Carl and Kenny’s father, Kenny’s son and most of the other band members at that time were in attendance. The results of discussions of that meeting were;
- The band would continue as it had in the past.
- All equipment would be itemized and Kenny’s son would receive a fair price for his rightfully inherited equipment.
- George Hunt, III was the agreed upon band leader.
- At that time Carl paid Kenny’s son for the band truck. However, George Hunt III purchased it from Carl some time later.
- After over 24 years in the band, I have only received band payments and tax documents from Kenneth Hunt and George Hunt, III.
- Actions & Consequences - As I stated before Carl was dismissed from his position for his own actions. Without getting into specifics, the fact is Carl’s choice in making abusive statements and threatening actions lead to his dismissal - End of story! I have prepared a deposition which, if necessary, is available and will be submitted in legal support of George Hunt, III and Slapwater. I will also formally invite all of the remaining band members who were on the scene that night (most of the 13 members) to do the same or sign a statement of agreement with my deposition.
These facts clearly define Carl’s role as a band member. I can understand his disappointment to being dismissed after so many years, but actions bare consequences. I appreciate all of those who have missed Carl. I appreciate all who contributed to the initial article, especially those who share concern, but admitted not being privy to the facts. There is no feud and there is no Slapwater split. Slapwater is rocking and stronger than ever!