Simple Minds Frontman Addresses Facebook Controversy

(Radio.com) Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr got some headlines (and raised some eyebrows) a few days ago when he took to his band's Facebook page to urge New York area fans to attend their Roseland Ballroom show this Thursday night (October 24). Kerr, who at the announcement of the tour also took to Facebook to tell fans "Should these shows be less than well attended, it is most unlikely that we will get another opportunity to return."

This week's message was: "Re: Thursday's upcoming show in NYC. Uh….maybe with a capacity of 3,300, that was a little adventurous, or putting it frankly, we still need to have a lot more people to turn up in order to make the kind of red hot atmosphere we all would want to ensure a great last night in North America – and a great way to end this fantastic series of dates. Therefore, if any of your friends 'are thinking of coming down,' try and get them to seal the deal and come down."

It was an uncommonly frank way to address the audience and the situation, so Radio.com got Kerr on the phone to discuss the tour, and what it means for the band's future in America. "It's been like, eleven years or something (since we played America)," Kerr said, "And there was lots of reasons for that. (But) We were playing everywhere else around the world. Our fans here were – rightfully – feeling gipped. I started to wonder, 'Will we ever get a chance to play America again?' And then when we got a chance, I thought, 'Well, this better work – or the promoters won't ask us back.'" He's quick to point out that his Facebook post from the summer wasn't a threat to fans, although some may have interpreted it that way.

"I said, 'If you can come to these shows, do come. Because kind of everything hinges on it.' It was more a rallying call than an ultimatum. I was telling it like it was. And lo and behold, people have come. People responded well to my rallying call. All the shows have sold out except the other night in New Jersey, which was 85% (sold out)."

So what happened with the Roseland Ballroom? "I think the promoters were a little too advernturous, doing two gigs in a 50 mile radius," referencing the fact that the New Jersey show, at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, isn't too far from Manhattan. "I think we would have sold out Roseland, but having done a couple thousand in New Jersey the other night, that may have been a bit much. So I had no qualms getting on Facebook and asking fans to give their friends a 'nudge.' I didn't do it in a desperate way, and I think the fans appreciate the candor." more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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