Jonathan Poneman, co-founder of Sub Pop, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Jonathan Poneman, co-founder of Sub Pop, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

Were they in possession of nads, there are a number of diseases deserving of a swift kick to the nadal region. Given its gradual tendency to physically and sometimes mentally debilitate, as well as its relative prevalence, most people would probably include Parkinson’s on that list, but Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman, who was recently diagnosed, would prefer to take a different approach: give it a big ol’ hug, and accept the circumstances in which he now finds himself.

Initially reported by the Seattle Times, the now 53-year-old Poneman first began noticing symptoms of the disease around the onset of the 2010s. He describes a “lumbering slowness,” which his colleagues at Sub Pop noticed and would subsequently bring up to the label’s vice president, asking, “What’s wrong with JP?” A decision to confront what were undoubtedly signs of an ongoing ailment came in 2010, when an old friend and radiologist asked him about his health. Recent difficulties using his right hand immediately came to mind…

But forget about all that! How’s the caregiver to one of the indie world’s most influential record labels doing now? “Being an open heart and mindful. Anything that leads a human being to that kind of living can’t be all bad. In fact, it’s pretty good.” Poneman has since married Polish lady Magdalena Panak, whom he first met at a Mudhoney show more than 12 years ago.

He’s still going to shows, and his involvement with the label continues as well. As previously reported, July will mark Sub Pop’s 25th anniversary, and the associated free festival in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood — Silver Jubilee — will have a booth where people can donate to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.

“I accept that I have this disease, but that doesn’t give me the right to be passive,” Poneman said.

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