Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bono leaves a bad taste in your mouth

"It's actually, I think, more honest to say we're rock stars, we're havin' it large, we're havin' a great time and don't focus on charity too much -- that's private; justice is public."

Bono, in an interview with Dublin-based Sunday Independent newspaper, in June 05
In other words, the war on poverty should be fought with other people's money, so don't expect Bono to contribute any of his income to the cause. His public lobbying sessions with world leaders designed to raise awareness more than compensate for his lack of financial aid, thus justifying his own capitalistic enterprises and clever attempts to reduce his tax burden.
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- During the final concert of U2's world tour on Dec. 9, Bono, the Irish rock band's lead singer, launched into ``One,'' a song about a love affair gone sour. ``Did I disappoint you or leave a bad taste in your mouth?'' he sang to 47,000 U2 fans at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

At Bono's command, some of the fans held aloft their cell phones and sent text messages of support to ONE, the U.S.-based group that's lobbying the U.S. government to donate an additional 1 percent of the federal budget to ending poverty.

Bono made the same tie-in for the lobbying group during most of the 131 concerts on the Vertigo tour, which began in March 2005 and was seen by 4.6 million fans in Europe, North America and Asia. They sent about 500,000 text messages of support to ONE, according to the group.

While Bono was making his appeal, U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time, according to Billboard magazine. No. 1 is the Rolling Stones' current tour, which by the end of 2006 had received $425 million.

Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funneled through companies that are mostly registered in Ireland and structured to minimize taxes. ``U2 are arch-capitalists -- arch-capitalists -- but it looks as if they're not,'' says Jim Aiken, a music promoter who helped stage U2 concerts in Ireland during the 1980s and 1990s.
Go read the whole article, as it is a nice summary of the many hypocritical faces of Bono.

"U2 were never dumb in business," Bono says in "Bono on Bono." "We don't sit around thinking about world peace all day." In that respect, his extensive lobbying efforts are best viewed as marketing activities designed to boost record sales.

C/P: Dust my Broom

1 Comment:

Libby Van Dyke said...

If every working adult in the western world gave just one dollar every year to Bono, he could fund raise year round for the third world and not waste precious time in the entertainment business.