Lucky Boys Confusion Guitarist Joe Sell Left Us Too Soon

Lucky Boys Confusion Guitarist Joe Sell Left Us Too Soon
RIP Joe Sell of Lucky Boys Confusion


Music news has been pretty heavy the past couple weeks — MCA’s passing, Tom Gabel’s surprising news and now this unexpected event.

I’m not going to go into a long rant about what LBC has meant to me — hopefully they’ll keep playing shows.

Joe Sell was an incredibly talented musician and remained a nice guy the whole time. Kids of my age group were the first flocks of fans — watching them jam shows at Gameworks and in church basements — and when we went off to college, I took the helm of the Peoria-area street team. Joe was always on AIM (hah, old school) ready to chat, interested to see what I was doing with all those boxes of CDs they sent (I was literally duck-taping promotional singles for “Fred Astaire” to dorm room doors). When I left college my younger sister and her friends became LBC fans, as did my youngest sister and her group after that. We all grew up right down Route 59 from those cats, and Sell and LBC represented our ilk well.

In aiming to keep this brief I’ll just post a couple of links and relay a story I told in the comments at this blog before.

Story time: I was chilling with Joe on my sister’s porch in Peoria one time (after an excellent riverfront show). He actually came over and started mixing the best Jager drinks (with Sprite? I never remember). Eventually Joe wanted to go to a party and I said, “Main Street here [next to Bradley U.] is party central. You can probably walk thru any one of those doors across the way and into a good time.” So Joe and the merch guy amble into the house across the street and are promptly kicked out. They stroll two doors down and find a party (we hear cheers. They recognize him). Twenty minutes later the house across the street STARTS BLASTING LUCKY BOYS. After we stop laughing, some dude walks out of the house to smoke and we yell “YOU JUST KICKED JOE SELL OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!” You could have clicked a pic and used the look on his face in promotional posters for a horror flick. I think he dropped his smoke.

Everybody got to the party eventually. And, of course, Joe picked up a guitar and lead the place in sing-alongs that rang off the buildings far into the night.

Those are my memories of Joe: super nice, brilliant, fun and ready to put all his energy towards joyful tasks.

[ Here’s a Daily Herald article with some quotes from friends and fam and a nice obit. ]

{ A Sun Times article discusses Joe, the band and their 15 year anniversary plans. }

( Tribune has similar good stuff and quotes, personal history. ) made the following official statement:

“We are saddened & devastated to hear the news of our bandmember, friend & brother Joe Sell’s passing this morning. The five of us have toured, recorded & performed as one for the last fifteen years. More importantly, we’ve all grown up together. There simply are no words right now.

We send our truest condolences to the entire Sell family & ask on their behalf that everyone respects their privacy at this difficult time. 

The band has no further statement at this time & we thank you for your kind thoughts.

-The Lucky Boys Confusion family “

Visitation for Sell will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Grace Pointe Church, 1320 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville.

Keep yourself alive, brothers and sisters. Rock.

(Hahah… Was actually at this show, I think.. The battles were always great, but Joe always won.)


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  • Damn dude! Just heard this... How sad. So much life left in him too. Nice write up, I'll read more later...

  • In reply to radstarr:

    Completely unexpected. Joe was always out there for the fans. What an awesome dude.

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    Hey Dan,
    Just wanted to say thanks for bringing back such a great memory from the dark recesses of my mind...I was the "merch dude" in your story, and remember that night very well. I'm living out in Arizona now, and have been searching the internet in vain constantly for more news on my fallen friend. Every new story I read, and every picture I see, conjures up a new memory - but I vividly remember the night you're describing, going up into your room (or someone's room?) in that frat house to chill after getting kicked out, and then making out with a few random chicks in the basement when we were finally "granted" access to that party...remember that one stupid girl who tried to steal my "Lick Me" hat?!?!?!? - and it brings a smile to my face...thanks for that. Hope all's well - keep rockin', and have a nice, highball of bourbon in Joe's memory tonight :) ~Rizzo

  • In reply to RizzoLBC:

    Rizzo!! Sorry i didn't recall your name bro.. You and I even recognized each other from the early days before the party started.. You saw my long-ass hair and said "Hey, i know this dude." Heheh.. Then you forged every band member's autograph on my lil sister's birthday shirt (except for Joe's. That one remains real.. ). Props for that. That particular show/party stands out for me, as well.

    This blows my mind. I'm super-happy to hear from you, man. And yeah, I'm doing alright -- up to the same good stuff (rocking and writing). Days later i'm still sitting here watching LBC clips on Youtube. So many great memories of the guys rocking their asses off. It's sad.. But like MCA -- Joe gave us so much and taught us a few lessons on doing it right along the way. I'll never lose that.

    Raising my glass of vodka (wtf .. that'll do)... CHEERS.

    Hope Arizona is being good to you, too, brother.

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