Kings of Leon's woes: Can a band's troubles stop the music for you?


Image Credit: Lego

Over the past few years, the biggest problem for Kings of Leon and their fans, besides some pesky pigeons, was having songs that were too catchy and too popular. There wasn’t a time when you didn’t hear “Sex On Fire” or “Use Somebody” on the radio, and for followers of the band of brothers (and cousins) that was just fine.

Of course, things aren’t so majestic in the Kings’ court lately. Besides a battle earlier this year with Glee creator Ryan Murphy, the Grammy-winning rockers have fallen on hard times, following lead singer Caleb Followill’s recent “unfit” performance in Dallas, Texas. The controversial July 29 show, in which Followill, claiming that he felt “hot,” wandered off stage and didn’t return. (KOL’s spokesperson released a statement that said Followill was “suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion.”) The band decided to cancel the rest of their tour, leaving fans with useless ticket stubs and concerns that KOL is falling apart right before their eyes. Bassist Jared Followill, Caleb’s brother and bandmate, tweeted that the whole thing made him “utterly depressed.” The feeling, for many, is mutual.

While the recent circumstances are disappointing and may give me pause about buying a concert ticket, it certainly hasn’t stopped me from listening to “On Call,” “Notion,” or “Radioactive” on my iPod. The band hasn’t yet reached Oasis territory, and KOL’s music hasn’t been ruined for me… yet.

Has controversy or childish rock star behavior ever impacted your enjoyment of a favorite band’s music? (Despite liking some of their tunes, I could never quite get on board with Hole because of Courtney Love.) Or does their music — and your devotion them — transcend all the other noise?

Read more:
Watch Kings of Leon’s frontman Caleb Followill’s performance at the Dallas concert here
Kings of Leon cancel remainder of their American tour following incident in Dallas
Elton John talks ‘Glee’ and Kings of Leon controversy: ‘Lighten up’

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • halligator

    Is Leaon Rusell going to find a new king?

  • Adam

    They’re awful. Wuss rock.

    • k

      You obviously haven’t heard Kings of Leon albums before. If I had to guess, the only songs you know of Kings of Leon are “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody”. For those of us who’ve been fans of this band since the beginning, we know this is normal. They fight with each other all time. Pretty bad fights with fists and blood, but they’re family so that tends to happen. Anyway, I’ll always listen to them. I just wish there music sounded like their earlier stuff.

      • MLakie

        “That tends to happen”? I don’t know what kind of family you came from but related or not, that’s no excuse for this band to disrespect their fans (new or old) by not making an effort to put on a good show for the people that are willing to pay to see them.

      • B

        You know, Oasis fans said the exact same thing…………..

      • samanha biggest king of loen fan

        That is true every family has fights and not good ones i have to agree on u there and
        They are not disrespecting there fans he felt hot and uncomfortable on the stage he had a breakdown so he had to go of coz he didn’t want the fans to see him breakdown and that is normal the brothers will b the same

    • samanha biggest king of loen fan

      They dont they are better then Hanson they suked what a dum song that they sang mmm bop how gay

  • Nathan

    Their music isn’t what it used to be anyway, no big deal if they call it quits.

  • Dave

    This is very sad, as the Kings are my favorite band of all time – I drove a thousand miles to see them headline Bonnaroo and the gang had so much energy. Each and every single one of them is so invested in what they do, but they are also invested in each other. As much as I’d love to see them continue to make music, I am profoundly glad to have seen them at, what I perceive, was their peak. Thank you Kings of Leon for what you’ve done and I hope you can do more.

    • john

      “Headline Bonnaroo”? Be serious, they were never that popular. I saw them at Bonnaroo in 2004 and realized that they were one hit wonders. From now on they should only play indoors where they’ll be safe from pigeon attacks and the sun.

      • Sara

        I’m not a huge fan of KoL, but I will step in and say that that did indeed headline Broo last year/2010. I listened from my tent as I was saving up my energy for the late-night Flaming Lips set, but they definitely got the pimp spot on Saturday night.

      • samanha biggest king of loen fan

        They are veery popular more popular then Hanson was

  • Ale

    I love Caleb i think he’s amazing, i would like see him make a solo album with Matt without that 2 brother…

  • Jon

    I have to admit, yes. I used to be into the band Barenaked Ladies (don’t judge), but I can’t really enjoy their fun and carefree music since the acrimonious split.

  • john

    Other than On Call I have yet to hear another song that I enjoyed. That, together with their absurd behavior: driven off stage by pigeons and too hot to play (what about the fans that are out in the hot sun without air conditioned dressing rooms) have convinced me that this band’s days are numbered.

  • Anon

    Oasis wannabes.

  • Travis Bickle

    I’m not sure if this is a serious question or just a reason to post about Kings implosion. Why should the personal peccadilloes of an artist affect whether you like their music? Does the fact that Mozart was a bit of a nutjob negate the indelible mark he left on the arts? Can’t “Billie Jean” be one of the greatest songs ever recorded by a child molester? The recent demise of Amy Winehouse proves it best; she may have been a complete an utter mess, but that doesn’t keep millions from enjoying the fantastic music she produced. On the flip side, Kings of Leon sucks because their music is bland McRock, not because their lead singer is a drunk.

    • Kevin

      I think it can change your opinion. Take Guns N Roses or Metallica. Are the songs still good? Sure. But it’s also really difficult to appreciate those bands the same way after Axl and Lars proved to be such d-bags.

      • Lyndsey

        You know, “Sweet Child of Mine” loses a lot of its beauty as a love song when you know Axl was beating up the girl he was writing about!! :-/

  • StewyFan

    I saw them last year and they were amazing. I was really looking forward to seeing them again. It depends on what is going on with a band before I judge. Caleb is obviously going through some personal issues, and I am not going to judge him for that. I hope he gets the help he needs so that they can get it together to make more music.

  • LOL

    How many times has this happened before with countless bands? Dude can’t handle fame. Let’s hope he lives through this

  • Chris

    @K says, “Pretty bad fights with fists and blood, but they’re family so that tends to happen.” No, K, most families don’t beat each other to a bloody pulp! That’s the kind of dysfunction that could only happen in a preacher’s family. They make great music though, so I hope they can work things out and that Caleb doesn’t end up killing himself. At least he’s 29-years old now, not that magic 27 where all the great young rockers die.

  • E-weezy

    To john: they headlines bonnaroo just last summer I was at the show it was jam packed at the main stage.

    • jumpedtheshark

      nobody “headlines” the roo. chances are there were two other ‘great’ bands playing at the same time. if you were a KOL fan, then yea! you were there, if not, you saw someone else at that time slot or 15 mins before/after their start time.oh, bands i’d put over KOL Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, the xx, the National

      • Sara

        Of course people headline Roo. Every night there’s one big act who NO ONE plays against. There was no one playing against KoL that night.

  • jumpedtheshark

    KOL are done. This band was washed up two years ago when they got all ‘mainstream’. now they are a bunch of soppy millionaires who don’t want to do any hard work. good riddance, roll it up. much much much better bands out there.

  • Kevin

    Their first two albums were great… raw and fun. Then they started trying too hard to become a radio band. They sold out and then self-combusted. It’s a shame, they really were pretty darn good when they first came onto the scene.

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