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Dude Raising $10 Million To Get Weezer To Retire Receives Death Threats

Why would anyone try to raise $10 million for the sole purpose of persuading Weezer to break up? In a telephone interview on Wednesday evening, James Burns, the architect of the Web-based fund-raising drive covered earlier on ArtsBeat, explained the motivation for what he admitted was a “silly” campaign.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Burns, a 29-year-old Seattle resident, said the project came from “just talking in a bar one night.”

“It just kind of blew my mind that people are still talking about Weezer,” Mr. Burns said, “when every Weezer fan that I know has thought they were terrible for a decade or more. Like, this one will be the next return to form, and it never is. It’s always Weezer’s equivalent of ‘St. Anger,’ ” the Metallica album.
Mr. Burns said he’d seen the response to his campaign from Patrick Wilson, the Weezer drummer, who wrote on his Twitter feed that the band would do a “deluxe breakup” for $20 million, or twice Mr. Burns’s stated goal.

“I wish more of Weezer’s fans would have the same sense of humor,” Mr. Burns said. “I’ve actually received death threats over this, believe it or not. Some people have told me they wish I would get AIDS. This whole campaign, I fully admit that it’s silly.”

Mr. Burns said he’ll receive his online donations only if he gets pledges totaling $10 million.

“Quite honestly, I’m not expecting to raise the whole 10 million,” he said. “I’m not really expecting it to happen. I would be thrilled if it got up to, like, 10,000.”

And how is the fund-raising coming so far?

“It’s coming slow,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who have been on Twitter saying, ‘Oh, this is a great cause, I’m totally going to pledge.’ And they haven’t. Which is fine. I’m not expecting to show up to a Weezer gig with a briefcase full of money.”