Damon Albarn eating pizza circa 1995 | Photo by Kevin Cummins | Getty Images
This dude from Princeton really wants Blur to play the states and I totally agree
Earlier today, I got a very earnest voicemail from a Princeton man named Bennett John Kelly. He’d heard Blur’s new single “Go Out” in the mix on WXPN – it’s our Gotta Hear Song this week – and promptly called to excitedly outline his plan for getting the Britpop icons to play the states.
“I’m starting a social media campaign to Blur to come to America,” he tells us. “One of the Rolling Stone articles mentioned that if enough people campaigned to get them here then they’d listen.”
Certainly the divide between success in Europe and Britain versus success in the states is a wide one, and it often results in artists that are massive on a global scale only visiting select cities in the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, maybe Chicago and D.C.). In its 90s heyday, Blur was headlining football arenas and large-scale festivals in the UK, but never played anywhere bigger than the Electric Factory in Philly. On its last U.S. tour, for 2003’s oft-overlooked Think Tank, Blur came to the TLA and the show was, alas, not spectacularly attended.
So I totally get it. Artists that are stars in their home country come to the states, get bummed over the smaller turnouts and don’t return. It makes sense. But why does it have to be that way? Certainly Kelly is not the only passionate Blur fan in the Philadelphia region. Certainly he’s not the only one who saw footage of the band’s amazing 2009 Hyde Park reunion show and thought “Oh my god I want to be there.” Certainly we can collectively rally for them to visit the states – and maybe, you know, rather than playing two nights in Manhattan and three in Brooklyn, throwing a Philly gig on the itinerary instead.
So Kelly’s plan is a hashtag – #BlurForAmerica – and a web page that, right now, is simply a passionate, charming and kind of hysterical open letter to the band…butnot a ton else. This end of the campaign could use some work, for sure, though he makes a convincing argument:
I first heard Blur in a Bronx laundromat. Charmless Man played through my brother’s iPod and I was hooked, line and sinker. I spent hours alone with Tender and shed invisible tears for all the human race hearing You’re So Great the first time one sad afternoon in the library studying. I called in Boys & Girls to the local college station and nearly crashed my car when it came on next, “This one goes out to Ben, here ya go Ben!”
I read Seymour: An Introduction- “… he said he wasn’t sure he had ever got off Joe Jackson’s beautiful bicycle.” I readThe Thin Man and never suspected the lawyer. I met a family man in Florida from Colchester and how else do you suppose a Jerseyite like me knows Colchester?
Come play the States. I will quit my job bulldoze my house and run around naked.
I don’t doubt that he’s serious about this, though hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Read Kelly’s full letter here and listen to “Go Out” below. And feel free to start liberally sending out tweets with the #BlurForAmerica hashtag.