Fond Object’s Jeff Pettit Leaves Musical Legacy
Fond Object Records is a haven for a certain type of East Nashvillian. Someone who lives for vinyl punk recordings, expresses themselves through vintage clothes, and lives for the things they loved, unapologetically.
The Riverside Village shop, located at 1313 McGavock Pike, and its dedicated following lost their patron recently when the store’s cofounder, Jeff Pettit, passed away at age 46. And the neighborhood lost a staple. “Jeff moved here with the dream of opening his record store after only having been to Nashville once before,” Jem Cohen, who ran the store along with Pettit, says. “He came here from Austin with about 50,000 records . . . to start a store with me, and basically a community center is what it became. It was a store that was needed on this side of town. Something that specialized in punk and soundtrack and the weirder side. . . . We have our own little niche because of him.”
Fond Object grew to offer vintage clothes and provide an incubator space for local artists to display their work. In this way, Pettit’s store was much more than just a place to buy records. “I think it’s come to be the gathering place of the weirdos of town and the indie bands and people who want to listen to cool music,” Cohen says. “[But also] maybe sell their art, sell their clothes. It’s a community- driven business, people come from all over.”
Cohen says that Pettit passed away doing what he loved at the store and was in good spirits at the time. He was particularly excited that Fond Object’s new downtown location was on the upswing. Despite the loss, Cohen plans to continue fulfilling Pettit’s vision for the stores.
“It’s going to continue on in the way we built it together,” he says. “It’s going to take a little time to get it running at full steam again, but it will.”