So here’s what the public announcement was with regards to Jon’s departure:
at first, the band— and by that, I mean the remaining members who had an internet presence— told the fan base that "Jon has been let go of Steam Powered Giraffe", for reasons of time commitment problems and contribution problems. The news elicited a range of responses from the fanbase from sadness to fear to wistfulness to hopefulness to derision to despair. Some long term fans (including their second-longest fan, and also the head of their fan base) from San Diego who had watched the bots since their starter days left the Cavlacadium within the next few days/weeks (one left immediately), hinting that they knew something others didn’t about the reason for the change in the band’s composition. Some fans stayed behind a while, and a debate started over whether or not foul play had happened, and whether or not this was like what had happened with Erin Burke (Upgrade).
It was suggested in the official stuff that the breakup was mutual, the Jon agreed to it, that the band had been trying to fix things out for a couple of years. Yet… the people leaving were doing so angrily and with a lot of fireworks; not ndicative of mutuality at all.
Many wandered where Jon’s voice was in all of this, and several Cavalcadians, tired of the drama llama, posted publicly that until Jon released a statement, they would believe what they’d heard so far (from the Bennetts) and not listen to rumor mongerers and dramaists (those whistleblowers leaving the fan base). They stated that, unless the person discounting what the Bennetts said was Jon himself, they wouldn’t listen, because no one else could possibly know what was going on.
Then, a person who used to fill in at SPG posted an ebay listing of their SPG jumpsuit for sale. In the description:
"My reason for leaving the band: The Jon got fired and Jon Sprague happens to be one of my best friends… It’s that simple.”
Turns out, this isn’t the only post like that. if you do some digging of your own, you’ll find a few dozen more hinting at some underbelly problems. I’ll try to find them all for you and mark them with “likes” so you can find them easily, but it’s hard to— many of those who posted things like that got silenced, they were told they were spreading hate and drama, and to take what SPG said at face value, because why would they lie?
So a lot of the posts are “URL not found” now. That’s why things look so homogenous on the tumblr fandom, I suppose— a lot of the dissenters got hate asks and such, so they took down their posts.
But the backlash against Jon’s firing seems to go deeper than just some people looking to stir up drama. The Sprague Family released a post, actually, that offers some more insight into that side, and why everyone would be so fired up:
(This is also linked in the “likes” section of this blog)
The post was marked in three places as “Please feel free to repost in its entirety on any social media platform”. I recommend you go and read it for yourself, therefore, but the skinny of it is:
In the message, it mentions the inconsistencies, discrepancies, and half-truths in the public explanation of Jon’s “being let go”, saying they await the full and truthful story from all the members of Steam Powered Giraffe, Chris, David and Jon, as well as from the other members under contract. This in and of itself is different from the story that SPG put out, because SPG consistently talks of how David and Bunny are co-owners of the company, to the exclusion of Jon Sprague. Moreover, it says that the “letting go” was definitely not mutually felt by Jon, the Sprague family, or the fans now sensing that something didn’t feel right.
But moreover, it also has an explanation for why Jon has been silent online so far; it says he is staying afloat of the fan responses and trying to determine what to say.
It wasn’t too long after this that SPG said that since Jon hasn’t put out a statement yet, he must not want to, and that if he did at this point it would only be due to pressure and that would be sad. This actually did more to add pressure than release it, as it kept the one side of the story that had been told so far upheld as the only side, that any other side released would be out of pressure; so it wouldn’t be coming from a place of authenticity but desperation. This is likely why Jon has been silent so far: not knowing what to say, wanting it to be heard when it was, and wanting to let everyone move on because of love for the vision he helped create…
But the main reason the SD fanbase is stirred up seems more due to the WAY the situation was handled than THAT it went down, because, as that side of the story goes, Jon wasn’t just fired, he was fired without knowing it was coming.
SPG let him play his last show in Dallas [edit, it wasn’t Austin, thank you coolral] without knowing it was his last show.
They in fact told him he was “let go of Steam Powered Giraffe” when they got back to San Diego and were unloading the equipment. And because Jon is the easygoing type, he didn’t argue with it and stepped down, kept out of the way; and apparently this was misperceived by SPG as the “mutuality” part of the split. But Jon is not the kind to fight back, because in the end, as the Sprague letter mentions, he and all the Spragues still wish SPG the best in the future endeavors, and want them to be successful, however they think will be best to reach it. But they also just want to make sure the truth comes out, the same way I do.
Point is, the whistleblower fans who left the fan base in droves weren’t just drama mongerers looking for the next fight— they had very real, publicly posted reasons for believeing as they did that foul play had occurred around Jon’s “being let go” (firing) from SPG, and that you don’t hear too many of them around anymore because they’ve been silenced and hated and told to stop stirring up drama where there is none. I’m hoping, by putting out what I’ve been able to glean as the real story, that I’m giving a bit of truth to this situation, not drama. I’m always willing to hear what youhave to say ont he matter; I just want the truth known.