Kings of Leon
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- For kings of the medieval Kingdom of León, you might try Spain. For other uses, see King Leo (disambiguation).
The Kings of Leon are the heads of state of Tennessee, belonging to the House of Fallowill of Leon County. The Kings are brothers (one is a cousin), although that deep inside Tennessee, virtually everyone is related.
Unsurprisingly, the Kings were the three sons of a United Pentecostal Church preacher and spent their youths being driven through the Southern United States in a purple 1988 Oldsmobile, staying at campgrounds during the run of their father's lucrative revivals. Rolling Stone magazine says, "While Ivan preached at churches and tent revivals, the boys were occasionally enlisted to bang on some drums." In fact, Nathan plays virtuoso brimstone, while Jared plays with fire.
In 1997, as happens so often in the evangelical community, the boys' parents divorced and turned to bestiality, and the boys embraced the rock'n'roll culture they had been told for their entire lives was the spawn of Satan. They moved to Nashville in 1999 and began to acquire traits of royalty.
Only three short years later, Nathan and Caleb had attracted interest from a number of music labels that wished to colonize that part of Middle Tennessee. Nathan told Billboard, however, that the boys insisted to RCA that they didn't want the corporate influence but that RCA should just mail them checks at frequent intervals. Instead, they "kidnapped" their cousin Matthew, locked themselves in the basement except when Mom would send down a pizza, and plied Matthew with an ounce of marijuana until he too was hooked on the drug-addled rock'n'roll lifestyle.
At this point, the Kings were ready to break out of the basement and try their young hands at statecraft. Most of their works achieved instant acclaim, notably in places well outside the United States. For example, a 2008 work entitled Only by the Night, while it was not even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, did fare well in the BRIT Awards. About the Brits, Nathan stated, "England is really the first place we broke...the fans have been the craziest for the longest." A follow-on work that year, Sex on Fire, united their social-work future with their holy-roller past and got glowing reviews. The Kings peaked at Number 1 in both England and Ireland, while Tennesseeans were more lukewarm about going under the brothers' dominion. Free website downloads and issuance of platinum did not sway local subjects.
The Kings persevered — in 2009, proving their independence from the company that was sending regular royalty checks and instead starting their own music label.
Installation as joint monarchs
Finally, success overtook the Kings. On July 27, 2011, appealing to Tennessee voters from a stage in Dallas, Texas, Caleb appeared to be heavily intoxicated and slurred incomprehensibly, often rambling about nothing. Tennesseeans, weary of decades of tobacco politics and Al Gore, were enthralled — their passing frustration at not being able to understand him submerged in relief over not having to do so. Caleb left the stage, claiming he was going to vomit and then drink a beer (the most popular Tennessee home remedy for nausea), but never returned to the gathering. The appearance was abruptly ended but the public grew hungry for more of the Kings.
In the year that followed, the Kings staged more public appearances, thanks to the twin wonders of Stunt Doubles and Animatronics.
In 2012, Tennessee offered the Fallowill brothers the position of royal monarch, one King for each of the constitutionally recognized regions of East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. (The Fallowill cousin serves in all three royal courts, as a sort of circuit jester.) The Tennessee legislature still meets but is merely symbolic, conducting legislative hearings and hand-wringing about its own apportionment, how to divvy up the money from tobacco taxes, whether to keep counting African Americans as three-fifths of a person, and if so, which three-fifths.
Policy under the Kings was originally a mix of Southern rock and blues, but has gradually become more inclusive, encompassing "arena rock" as the Kings have ordered more arenas built for it.