While I still have yet to see Music Row dude-turned-documentarian Stephen C. Mitchell’s behind-the-scenes look into the rise of Kings of Leon, Talihina Sky — which begins airing on Showtime, Aug. 21 — the band’s recent and perhaps continuing trials and tribulations suggest a sequel may already be in order.
As you’ve probably heard, either here or elsewhere, a reportedly either intoxicated, ailing, shit-voice-stricken, hotter-than-sex-on-fire, or simply just exhausted KOL singer Caleb Followill pulled a perceived Palin on a shed show in Dallas Friday night, aborting the band’s performance about 40 minutes after it had begun. Followill’s bandmates — especially bassist and youngest brother Jared Followill — responded with a profusely attritional onstage apology, followed by a series of cryptic, foreboding Tweets and ultimately a press release announcing the cancellation of their current U.S. tour’s 29 remaining dates, citing “vocal issues and exhaustion." At press time, the band plans to resume touring on Sept. 28 in Canada.
Par for the course, music and gossip pundits alike are taking the “exhaustion” claim as a euphemism — speculating on any one of a host of rock clichés, from potential rehab stints to band break-ups to multi-million-dollar insurance woes and a conspiracy to erase the Dallas debacle from the Internet.
Here’s what people are saying:
Caleb Followill’s bandmates (i.e. brothers and cousin) have tried to make him go to rehab and he said "No, no no."
An US Weekly item posted yesterday quoted an unnamed KOL “insider” who claimed the Followills are “trying to get Caleb to go to rehab. ... [Because] he drinks like a fish.”
I’m not convinced. While the singer has seemingly seldom missed an opportunity to reference his alcohol intake, he and his brothers have always struck me more as pro-minded lushes when it comes their boozin’, not like pathological drunks who are one Jameson shot away from getting the shakes. And footage of Followill’s performance in Dallas is — while not exactly Springsteen at No Nukes — a pretty far cry from Amy Winehouse stumbling onstage in Belgrade, or Grace Slick in Germany. Hopefully for Followill’s sake, I won’t end up eating those words, but my guess: Dude hit a wall and the booze probably didn’t help. If it was the sole issue, he’d probably already be in rehab, as opposed to strolling through New York City with his new bride, as he was yesterday when he was dry-gulched by TMZ (See above).
Though this Rolling Stone post does suggest that the issues sparking the cancellation — whether they be exhaustion or something more — are serious enough to take a multi-million dollar financial hit, or at least impart a multi-million dollar hit on their insurance carrier, Lloyd’s of London. According to RS, the tour’s cancellation my end up sticking the British insurance company with a tab as high as $15 million in claims from promoters, venues, et al.
Also according to Rolling Stone — or YouTube, if you wanna get interactive with it —Kings of Leon’s management company, Vector Management, has been aggressively scrubbing YouTube of amateur clips capturing the Dallas show, claiming copyright infringement. While such videos do indeed infringe on copyrights, I’m not having any trouble finding fan-filmed videos of the band’s previous concert in Atlanta. Just sayin’.