March 24, 2009
As Scottish rockers Primal Scream were finishing up a performance at the South By South-West festival in Austin, they probably did not expect the storm of criticism that was about to hit them like a Texas twister.
E Street guitarist Steve Van Zandt spoke in rather unkind terms about the group during a question and answer session that touched on the topic of bands from the U.K. and the difficulties they have making a name for themselves in the U.S. these days.
Van Zandt, also known for his role in the highly-acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos, cited Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie’s alleged drug addiction as the reason that the group refused an offer to join Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band on an upcoming tour consisting of 20 shows.
Van Zandt obviously thinks highly of Primal Scream’s creative ability, calling one of their albums “one of the greatest records in ten years", and seemed to badly want them to back Springsteen and Co. on tour. An opportunity which Van Zandt probably saw as a way for them to garner more recognition in the U.S. market, saying that they “could be the biggest band in the world.”
Having mentioned that he had tried to get Primal Scream to come over to the U.S. several times, Van Zandt had apparently reached the point where he felt strongly enough to publicly vent his frustrations over his failed attempts to lure the group over for some work in America.
In an ironic twist, it was the group’s manager that actually talked Van Zandt out of the notion of including his clients as a backing act on tour. The E Street guitarist seemed incredulous regarding their inability to do 20 shows, adding, “Come on, man. We do 20 shows a month.”
Now the waiting game begins. Will this be another public back-and-forth like we witnessed with the recently-reconciled Def Leppard-Poison spat, or might the boys from Primal Scream simply ignore it.
For more on this story, check out the Daily Record.