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The Cribs turned down MySpace Records signing after Tom said he’d make everyone friends with them

By | Published on Tuesday 9 February 2021

The Cribs

Tom from MySpace once tried to sign The Cribs. Which, if nothing else, is a reminder that MySpace once had a spin-off record label. A label that was previously most famous for not closing down in 2010. And is now most famous for not signing The Cribs.

The band’s bassist Gary Jarman tells the NME: “Tom from MySpace was a massive Cribs fan and tried to sign us. He flew us to Los Angeles and made a huge pitch – it was global takeover stuff. And he wanted Ryan to teach him [the band’s 2004 debut single] ‘Another Number’ on guitar, so we have a covert video of that!”

Then came the clincher: “He said to us: ‘If you sign to MySpace, I’ll make it so that everybody who signs up is automatically friends with Tom and The Cribs'”.

Younger readers may not really remember MySpace. It was the Facebook of its day, before Facebook came along with a properly functioning website and took all of its users. Facebook, by the way, was the Instagram of its day. Oh, and Instagram was the TikTok of its day.

Anyway, when you signed up for a MySpace account, the company’s co-founder Tom Anderson was automatically everyone’s first friend and placed at number one in their top eight friends list.

Basically, imagine if when you signed up for Facebook, the first thing that happened was that it told everyone you were in a relationship with Mark Zuckerberg. It was sort of like that. It became as much of an internet joke as you’d expect.

So that’s basically why The Cribs didn’t sign to MySpace Records. The thought of every MySpace user being forced to be their friends. Ryan Jarman recalls: “We thought: That’s an awful idea! That’s a way to make people hate you!”

Whether they actually said that to Anderson isn’t clear. You probably can’t say it straight to the face of someone who has done exactly that, can you? Anyway, Tom left MySpace in 2009, after selling the company to Rupert Murdoch, who then watched its value rapidly tank. And that was quite fun.

A couple of years ago, we recorded a special episode of our Setlist podcast looking back at the rise and fall of MySpace and its impact on the music industry. Back then, we were amazed that the site was still online. Even more amazingly now though, it is STILL online. Take a look at The Cribs’ profile here.