And there were Jumbotrons. Did we mention the Jumbotrons?
The party cost an estimated $10 million, including the price of corporate jets to ferry the performers to and from. Also on the bill were The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh performing with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks; DJ AM (Nicole Richie's fiance); rap diva Ciara and, sadly perhaps (except that he received an estimated $250,000 for the job), Kenny G blowing on his soprano sax as more than 300 guests strolled and chatted into their pre-dinner cocktails.
"Hey, that guy looks like Kenny G," a disbelieving grownup was overheard remarking, though the 150 kids in attendance seemed more impressed by their $1,000 gift bags, complete with digital cameras and the latest video iPod.
I will leave the pooh-poohing to those idealists who believe that defense contractors have souls, or rock stars shame. That said, I do feel the need to wonder aloud the obvious question: would a 13 year-old girl have any interest in the majority of these performers? No, wait, I meant the other obvious question: do the majority of these performers need the money? Besides Joe Walsh? I mean, okay, it's obvious he's got a lot of neurological damage to repair, and those black market stem cells don't come cheap.
Granted, if a millionaire defense contractor called me up during a time of war and offered me seven figures to play a bat mitzvah, AND I could use the open bar, AND I could hit on foxy Jewish suburban moms, then hell yes I'm performing, I'm performing with koalas on a trapeze, I'm performing in the sexual sense of the word, if necessary. But I am me. All that I own and all that I am, and this includes my kidneys, doesn't equal what Nicks put up her nose on July 8, 1978.
No judgment here. It merely interests me that, for example, Henley and Nicks, a pair of people all over two of the hugest-selling albums ever, would leave the hot tub in Telluride and backyard Chinese garden in Taos (respectively) to shlep to Manhattan for, let's just pretend, $750K. I know even they can't be infinitely rich. Nor can the others mentioned. Infinite is big. But can it be worth it? I mean, really? What if someone shouts for "Leather and Lace"? Then is it worth it?
No doubt I underestimate the expenses of the Boomer rock star lifestyle. That Chinese garden doesn't grow itself. I like the idea of multi-millionaires serving other multi-millionaires. "Follow the money." The rest, as the wise ones say, is commentary.