Shock and awe and disappointment and the expected knee-jerk anti-Semitism greeted our photographic confirmation of the rock 'n' roll and rap stars whoring and pimping for easy money playing a daddy warbucks' little rich girl’s bat mitzvah bash.
But as we'd explained, pop stars have been quietly pocketing big bucks for playing private parties for years.
Brett Hudson, formerly of the Hudson Brothers (along with Bill & Aerosmith collaborator/producer Mark), recalls being offered up as a “birthday present” after performing at a Sweet Sixteen party for a Mafioso’s daughter in the group’s Seventies heyday.
Of all the gigs he played, that’s one Brett remembers most fondly.
(Now Brett’s producing big movies, like the hilarious ‘Cloud 9,’ out on DVD January 3rd.)
In June, Forbes offered moguls tips on booking pop stars for parties (this could be where Brooks got the idea).
The menu included Bon Jovi ($850,000 to $1 million), the Beastie Boys ($500,000 to $600,000) and Modest Mouse ($100,000).
The Rolling Stones charged $7 million to do 40 minutes at Texas billionaire David Bonderman's 60th birthday at the Vegas Hard Rock in 2002. Robin Williams and John Mellencamp opened.
In 2003, Elton John was charging between £300,000 and £1 million to play private parties (he did about a half-dozen a year).
Sting got $500,000 to wail at a Bill Gates bash in 2004.
And Paul McCartney reportedly got $1 million to perform at a birthday party for TV executive Wendy Whitworth (a nice twist for the ones who didn’t know that was the “Beatles for Sale” album cover posted yesterday).
“Every performance contract has a production rider, which spells out the nuts and bolts required: staging, lights, sound equipment and the rest. For ‘one-off’ private gigs that are not coordinated within a tour schedule, bands typically prefer to rent sound equipment rather than transport their own… Every band needs a green room…and dressing rooms-- and chances are your master bedroom won't cut it. Then there are the catering necessities… for both band and their crew. And don't forget… parking for all the semis and catering trucks…
“Want to assure you and your friends get to hang out with the band? A ‘meet and greet’ will have to be spelled out in the contract ahead of time. Hoping for an invite to hop up on stage and join the band for a song? Better put that in the contract, too…
"Then there's insurance. John Roskopf, senior director of Tave Risk Management in Northbrook, Ill., recommends adding a $20 million personal umbrella to the typical $500,000 to $1 million homeowners' liability. 'If a child falls off the stage and hits his head, you can go through $3 million to $4 million pretty quickly.' You may want to look into a special-events policy. 'All it takes is for the lead singer to toss a Champagne bottle into the crowd to ruin everything.'"
For Beatles, Aerosmith and related stories about various media sell-outs and stars, check out Tabloid Baby.
(photos copyright tb)