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The Black Keys landed record deal with disastrous gig

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May 02, 2014 | 7:45am EDT

Rock duo The Black Keys were faced with a mass walkout at one of their early shows, but the disaster helped land them a record contract. The Lonely Boy hitmakers were invited to Mississippi in 2003 to meet with bosses at blues label Fat Possum Records after attracting attention with their debut album The Big Come Up. However, executives were still uncertain about signing the band and set them up with a gig at a local bar the same night as the meeting so they could see them in action. The duo was dismayed when the venue swiftly emptied as they played, but it turned out to be the exact reaction the label bosses were hoping for. Drummer Patrick Carney tells Mojo magazine, "We play the show, everyone walks out as we're playing. And they're (Fat Possum bosses) like, 'Man you just succeeded. That's the first Fat Possum test. If you can clear one of these bars we'll sign you'." The band went on to release their next two albums - Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory - on Fat Possum Records.

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