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Not With The Band: A Proof That Stars With Inflated-Egos Are Capable of Nice Gestures

Tyler & Kanye are best friends now

We all know that rock, pop and rap breed super egos, a lot of superstars have a huge one and, astonishingly, get away with it! From Bono, to Axl Rose, Prince, Kanye West, the Gallagher brothers, Madonna, Gene Simmons, Sting, Jay-Z, the list of rock-pop-rap celebs who think they are the hottest shit is very long and the outrageous examples of these stars in action are filling the pages of many music blogs. But this week, I learnt a few things that may give me some hope in human nature even among its most desperate cases.

First of all, Coldplay’s Chris Martin gave a surprise and super intimate show at the Hotel Café, and it wasn’t even advertised anymore afterwards, meaning he did not do it as a publicity stunt. The Hotel Café is super small for a rock-arena god like Martin, and he played a few of his greatest hits (‘Clocks’, ‘Viva la Vida’, ‘Yellow’, ‘The Scientist’), as well as a few covers, ‘Earth Angel’, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’, Bob Dylan’s ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’. The happy people who were there to see the band ‘Among Savages’, actually got to see solo Martin on guitar and piano for only $10! The venue kept it super secret, as there was no crowd outside, no riot to get in, nobody knew about it! Hard to believe such a thing is still possible in this Twitter-Facebook age, but it actually is! Martin said it was a warm-up show for an upcoming benefit for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson Charity. He didn’t have to do this, he could have rehearsed anywhere or could have made people pay big money for such an intimate show. Thus, it was a nice treat for people who weren’t even aware of the surprise when they entered the club, and from the reports I have read online, it seems that Chris Martin had left his ego at the door.

Last weekend was Odd Future’s annual carnival in the park outside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and people got another big surprise beside the usual line-up with Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, MellowHype, Mac Miller, Trash Talk,… Kanye West made an unexpected apparition for two songs (‘New Slaves’ and ‘Late’) at Tyler the Creator’s greatest joy… I have a hard time to understand this friendship, the supposedly anti-establishment rap guy bromancing the established rap guy, but I would never pretend to understand anything with rap music and rap world. After all, Tyler used to say that Kanye was ‘as gay as Michael Jackson’ and it was funny, but since Kanye declared he liked Tyler, everything changed! Anyway, Kanye West did a nice thing for the Odd Future gang by showing up at their Carnival, unless I hear later on that he got big money for it! In any case, he got big publicity.

Then there is Gene Simmons, the Kiss man known for an ego of monstrous proportions, there are numerous examples of it everywhere, and I have always had a hard time to even read anything about him and his inflated head. I understand everything he has ever said is quite calculated — before being a rocker he is a businessman — and he knows exactly what demographic is going to give him money; he has this bad-mouth-tough-guy image and he is saying what these people want to hear from him, but it is still unbearable. However, I recently discover the guy has a soft spot, as he has sponsored 140 children in Zambia through Childfund for years, and has even spent some time with them,… I had no idea! Honestly who would have thought that this self-centered guy was in fact interested by humanitarian action? Sure his trip in Africa will be filmed for his A&E reality series, nothing is totally free for Simmons, but it was way more than I would have ever expected from the Kiss’ bassist.

So what now? I am not saying these rock stars don’t have big egos, they still do, but they are nevertheless capable of nice gestures sometimes, even though their actions are often calculated. Still, this was an attempt to show up a nice side of some narcissistic people I still can’t stand, and I am still looking for something nice to say about Bono and Prince.

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