Two San Francisco radio stations have banned Lorde’s song Royals due to its association with their hometown’s baseball rivals. As the San Francisco Giants head into a World Series against the Kansas City Royals, 104.5 KFOG and 96.5 KOIT have vowed to keep their adversary’s makeshift anthem off the city’s airwaves.
“No offence, Lorde, but for the duration of the World Series, KFOG Radio will be a Royals-free zone,” the station wrote on Facebook. KOIT’s decision followed a torrent of complaints from their listeners. Critics claimed that by playing Royals KOIT was backing the wrong team to take home baseball’s biggest prize, according to Fox 4 News. “Our listeners told us to do it, so we did it,” declared programme director Brian Figula. “As of 4pm today we’ve removed Lorde’s Royals from the our playlist until the end of the World Series. Go Giants, beat the Royals!”
Although the Grammy-winning track doesn’t praise the Royals players, baseball did have a crucial role in its conception. The 2013 single, which topped the charts in more than 10 countries, was inspired by the Kansas City sports team. Lorde came up with the lyric after seeing a photograph of Royals hall-of-famer George Brett wearing a team jersey in an issue of National Geographic. As Lorde told VH1: “[He was] this dude just signing baseballs … and his shirt said: ‘Royals’. It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
Lorde met the third baseman earlier this year. With the World Series due to begin on Tuesday, supporters hope she will return to Missouri to perform at one of the games. When the team won their last contest, on 15 October, “they lit cigars as the speakers blared [Royals],” the Kansas City Star reported.
Although the ban in San Francisco only spans the next two weeks, some have wondered whether the embargo could end up with an indefinite extension. If the Royals go on to win their best-of-seven series against the Giants, will their namesake song ever be heard in San Francisco again?
This article was written by Sean Michaels, for theguardian.com on Monday 20th October 2014 12.04 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010