There was a time when the best thing that could happen to a British band trying to make it big was to have their songs banned by the BBC.
The ensuing controversy and the sight of a 45 or LP in the record shop with a sticker plastered on it saying “BANNED ON THE BBC” would be enough to ensure a spot on the charts. A story in the London Free Press today brought that phenomenon to mind.
“Controversial author Mark Steyn” TM was scheduled to speak at the London Convention Centre on Monday, November 1st. Depending on who you believe the location for that gig was either cancelled due to concerns from local Muslisms or over concerns about protestors interrupting the event.
Either way organizer Andrew Lawton found another city run venue to host his event and as Jonathan Sher reports in the Freeps today, ticket sales are going well.
They will come next week to London from as far away as Detroit, Cleveland and perhaps even sunny California, to hear a conservative commentator shut out of one public venue only to find another.
Mark Steyn will speak Monday at Centennial Hall but already buzz about his appearance has led to 800 requests for tickets, said the event’s organizer.
“We even have one woman and her husband who say they’re flying in from Santa Barbara (California) just for this speech,” said Andrew Lawton, of strictlyright.com, the organization bringing Steyn to London.
Lawton expects to sell all 1,000 seats on Centennial’s main floor and hopes to fill some of the balcony, too.
“We’re going to have no trouble filling the venue,” he said Thursday.
I expect to hear Steyn myself tonight with far less controversy as he speaks at a dinner to honour my Sun Media colleague Ezra Levant.