Friday, July 01, 2005


Let's turn our Live 8 focus briefly to Philadelphia, shall we, where artists are happily giving their time for free. Almost. It turns out that while they're not actually demanding a cash fee for doing their bit, they're not leaving the stage empty handed. In fact, they're going to pull down nearly twelve grand's worth of freebies:

Live 8 performers are playing for free, but local organizers plan to shower the celebrities with a Hugo Boss duffel bag loaded with high-fashion trinkets valued at about $3,000.

They'll also be able to add to their goodie bags with big-ticket items including Hugo Boss suits, valued at $800 to $1,000 each; XM satellite radios and subscriptions, $500; Gibson guitars, $2,000; Bertolucci watches, valued between $1,500 and $6,000; and other items.

In all, a celebrity could walk away with a bag of gifts worth as much as $12,000.

Twelve grand, eh? Not bad for a half hour or so of work; you might have thought that the enormous bounce in album sales worldwide would have been enough, but then there's no accounting for taste.

Now, we don't want to wheel out Bob Geldof's comments when he found Live8 tickets on Ebay again, but... supposedly helping to adjust the gross imbalances in wealth in our planet, but doing it in return for Hugo Boss suits and a three thousand pound watch - surely, that would be "filthy money made on the back of the poorest people on the planet", wouldn't it?

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