It is already a big deal to ask people to buy a song for charity purpose, everyone is solicited so often that everything wears off after a certain amount of time… but Bob Geldof, who has made a career out of these band-live aids, is asking something quite bold and ridiculous. If you have purchased ‘Band Aid 30’s Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, the single to fight the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Geldof wants you to delete the song and purchase it again:
‘We need to sell 300% more than we did than [in 1984] to even begin to make up the cash figure,’ said Geldof on BBC Radio 1. ‘That worries me … Even if you already have it, delete, download again.’
Is he crazy? This is outrageous, just make another song but don’t ask people to buy twice the same song! They already did that in 1984! Plus, the single has already sold very well – 312,000 copies sold in a week – but Geldof claims that the modest price (99 cents) prevents the campaign to male an impact: we are indeed very far below the £8 million made by the original 1984 Band Aid, simply because the single was sold at the whopping price of £3.50 at the time. But Geldof apparently never use iTunes, it is not that simple! According to the Guardian, ‘The average user of iTunes can purchase, delete and repurchase a track for no additional cost.’ So Geldof won’t make a penny of this! Of course, it’s always possible to send a new download as a gift for another user, but who wants to send such a gift? It’s tacky…
The physical edition of the song will sold on December 8th at £3.99 so there is still some hope to catch up,… or not. People are really tired to be asked for money by rich privileged people. How much is Bob Geldof worth? £32 million according to a 2012 article in the UK Sunday Times! That’s very rich, plus the performers for Band Aid 30’s included Ed Sheeran, Bono, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Bastille, Chris Martin, Guy Garvey, Roger Taylor, Sinéad O’Connor and Sam Smith…. All very wealthy people, couldn’t they have dug into their respective pocket and reached £8 million in a flash? Bono is worth $600 for god’s sake,… just the money he got from Apple for U2’s latest album would cover the price tag many times! What a masquerade!
Geldof’s charity prowess was the subject of this 2012 Sunday Times interview, and when the journalist asked him about his tax status, this didn’t go very well: ‘I pay all my taxes. My time? Is that not a tax? I employ 500 people [through his production companies]. I have created business for the UK government. I have given my ideas. I have given half my life to this.’ Isn’t this too far away from Jay Z’s ‘my presence is charity’? Incredible, his time is tax? What about mine????
But there’s more to the story, first there was apparently some drama during the recording, as one Direction’s Liam Payne declared ‘We actually managed to get in the recording booth first so we were done in like an hour so we left. I missed all the drama.’ Whatever drama occurred, divas there were.
Then, Geldof was heavily criticized for the lyrics of the song, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ sounds like another stupid line said by a patronizing white guy who ignores that Christianity is the number one religion in these regions… thanks to other white guys!… and even Africans, I should say especially Africans, are mad at Geldof’s action. The musician, Fuse ODG, admitted he withdrew because he was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the song’s lyrics, and the best example I could find comes from this African website This Is Africa, which has published an open letter to Geldof, in 5 main points, and the best point is #3:
‘There is already an Ebola song produced in Africa by Africans which is a million times better than your song you probably didn’t know that because you don’t really know anything about Africa do you?’
Rich musicians have to stop regarding Africa as the helpless target of their narcissism… Geldof appears as a multi-millionaire tax dodger, with a Bono complex and Jay Z’s pedantry! So good luck at re-selling this song.
Here is the African song:
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