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See Radiohead for free? Mais non, say the French

Thomyorke_l

Thomyorke_lHow much do the French love Radiohead (pictured)? Not enough to exercise their right to rock, it seems: According to the UK Sun, the band offered up 50 free tickets to their recent Paris show — if fans were willing to bike over to the band’s record label office to pick them up. The paper quotes an unnamed source as saying, “Radiohead are using their current world tour to highlight their commitment to green issues. They advise all concertgoers to use public transport and are doing all they can to make their carbon footprint as small as possible.” But it seems the French are unwilling to jump on their bicycles unless they’re trying to catch up to Lance Armstrong. The result? An empty row of seats at the front of the house. Sacre bleu!

As my PW colleague Gary Susman notes, a band can make a lot more money these days by touring than selling records — especially when said band has already given its most recent album to fans for free — but touring is very environmentally unfriendly, more so when your band schleps gadgets like these around the world (in all fairness, LED lights do use less power than traditional stage lights). But Radiohead has made a much greater effort that most to offset their carbon footprint, notably so when they played a guest spot on Conan from a studio in London.

Had it been Jerry Lewis — a requisite joke here, I think — would the French have gone for it? What’s a green-minded band to do?

Originally posted June 19 2008 — 5:17 PM EDT

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