Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The day when Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos was arrested for spying

I’ve talked with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand many times and he’s a friendly, unassuming guy. So he must have been very freaked out on that day in Russia in June 2005 when he was detained on suspicion of being a spy.

The band had just played gigs in St. Petersburg and Moscow and were trying to fly to New York through Domodedovo Airport. As he was going through passport control, he was told that he’d been flagged on the US “no-fly” list because he was a “high-security risk” and was denied boarding.

So what happened? His passport listed him as Alex Huntley (which is his mother’s maiden name). Turns out that there was a guy named Alex Huntley, an ex-MI6 agent who went to jail under the UK’s Official Secrets Act.

It was a simple case of mistaken identity–but one that really freaked out Franz Ferdinand.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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