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The Cautionary Tale of Jered Threatin

This is a lesson on how in today's age of media, you can create fake buzz on social media, but the internet—and the marketplace—has a way of discovering the real truth.

Get your Threatin while you can...

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
— Andy Warhol

Today, we live in a world where fame is a hot commodity. It is no longer a question of what people will do to become famous. In reality, the more important question is what won't people do to gain notoriety.

Well, we have a new winner in this dubious category. His name is Jered Threatin. What he recently attempted to do with his now-aborted "European Tour" sounds like the makings of a script for an updated This Is Spinal Tap for the social media age!

Threatin may now well be even more famous—or infamous (depending on what your perception might be)—than if he really had been a legitimate rock and roll act. And yes, his story might just make a good movie, so in the end, Threatin may just have the last laugh—and get to deposit a big check from Hollywood for his story!

The Incredible Tale of Jered Threatin

Threatin's tour broke the world, but for all the wrong reasons...

I became aware of this incredible tale the way most of us get our news: Real, fake, curious, odd, tragic, Trump, and all—these days, on social media, of course! One of my 5,000 close personal friends on Facebook happened to share the link to an article from a website that no, I had never visited before: Metal Sucks. Now admittedly, the headline, L.A. Band Threatin Faked a Fanbase To Land a European Tour No One Attended, did catch my attention—and while I want you to read on with my article, I will guarantee that you will also read Vince Neilstein's entire article with your mouth wide open and saying, "Wow!" to yourself.

The original story from my new favorite website, Metal Sucks!

Now for those of you who want the condensed version—while the story has now been featured in the press on sites like The Guardian, and even on news shows on the BBC—the best, quick overview of what happened comes from... well, not your average newsman. Now again, this is not a source that you would rank up there with CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, or Fox News (well...), but Glenn Fricker on his music news/information show, "The Frickin' News" (get it?), provides you with basically all you need to know about Jered Threatin's European adventure.

Now, in a weird way, you do have to admire the "gumption" (that would be the more academic word, but I really think that "balls" is even more fitting here!) demonstrated by young Jered! He basically tried to pull-off a European tour for himself without a number of the critical elements it would take for an American band to succeed on such a venture, namely without real fans, without any real interest, and even without a real band! He claimed to have fans, but they were really paid likes on his Facebook page and paid views on his YouTube channel. His music videos included purported "live" concert footage, only the fans shown weren't enjoying shows from Threatin, but from other artists. He and his wife worked to book venues and promised promoters full audiences based on fake RSVPs to his Facebook events. In fact, every one expressing their interest in going to Threatin's shows in Europe happened to live in Brazil, as they were paid responses. He even convinced American musicians to join his European tour based on promises of big shows and big money, only to not see either of those things. In fact, the only folks who actually appeared at Threatin's European events were employees of the clubs, a few invited guests, and even just band members from opening acts who felt sorry for—and were more than just a bit curious about—this "band" that they had warmed up few, if anyone, to see as the headline act. There simply was not anything real about Threatin—only the curious fact that those who saw Jered Threatin sing at those European shows seemed to agree that he strangely seemed happy while playing to literally no fans!

Jered Threatin, the L.A.-based rocker who wanted to be a music star, but became a curiosity... and a punchline!

But Jered Threatin did have music. He did produce a music video for "Living is Dying," the lead song from his "band's" debut album. You can judge his work for yourself below.

Whatever you think about the whole Threatin affair, there is one thing it proves. Yes, the age-old adage that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" still holds! Of course, all the publicity from the "fake news, fake band, fake tour" has generated quite a bit of interest—OK, curiosity—in the band. And yes, as a sign of our times, Threatin's music video  now has generated over 1.2 million views on YouTube! As one video commenter wrote about Jered Threatin, "Maybe he’s laughing at us because now we’re all here watching his video and talking about him!"

Analysis

As this amazing footage of one of Threatin's live "shows" on the now disbanded tour shows, this is a story for our age. For all that we can hype anything today on social media—from rock bands to brands to politicians, there simply, in the end, needs to be a there, there! You can buy likes. You can fake attention. You can cleverly edit videos. You can do really amazing things today—much of which costs very little and can be done while sitting on your sofa. Yes, we live in a world where with just a credit card, everyone can be world-famous for 15 minutes. However, you do need to be able to produce in the end. The tale of young Jered Threatin is a reminder to us of that fact, whether we are talking about performing on a stage, singing in an arena, or having an online presence. It also applies in the jobs we might get with a "puffed-up" resume and lots of LinkedIn endorsements—just saying!

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