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.Socialism means trying to extract money from someone else.
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.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Posted by Steve Bartin at 7:31 AM