To hear Caleb Followill tell it, Kings of Leon‘s American tour has been cancelled so that he can rest his voice. To hear the rest of the band tell it—well, they’re not being specific, but they seemed angry with the outcome, judging from their reactions yesterday. The band’s management is being a bit more active in its pursuit of silence, making copyright claims on clips of Caleb’s meltdown [via @carr2n]. Their basis for the claims is the inclusion of the band’s music, which is why edits that include merely Caleb’s ad-libs have remained on YouTube, but the claims are suspiciously coincidental given the sheer volume of fan-shot Kings of Leon clips from other shows still available on the site.
As a naïve attempt to protect Caleb Followill’s privacy (and reputation), this is all sensible—perhaps standard operating procedure prior to the Internet. As a social media strategy, however, this is the worst possible course of action for the band and for Caleb. Fans are curious folks, and as long as an audience wants the story, people will try to get it (and in so doing, will have control over it). In the absence of hard evidence (or sometimes even in spite of it), speculation and circumstantial evidence will exist as fact in practice.
Case in point: an US Weekly story today cites an unnamed insider who says that the boys in the band “are trying to get Caleb to go to rehab” for alcohol abuse. A second source corroborated the story (though a third contradicted it). Caleb’s ad libs from the Dallas show about vomiting and getting more alcohol are the basis for this line of inquiry.
The band’s rep gave the magazine the “vocal rest” party line, as did Caleb himself when confronted by a paparazzo’s video camera in New York yesterday. In the TMZ clip, Followill cannily remains polite if brusque, brushing off a question about the best way to repair his voice by answering, “Not giving interviews.”
Despite the band’s apparent lack of savvy (see also: Jared Followill‘s joke on Twitter that the band was breaking up), their actions in response to Caleb’s struggles (whatever with) have been in step. Yesterday Jared tweeted, “Family has to come 1st,” and the band’s reaction seems to bear that out.
[Image: Getty Images]