Thursday 13 December 2012

Rock stars turn out for superstorm Sandy benefit concert

More than $30m (£18.6m) was raised for those affected by superstorm Sandy at the 12:12:12 benefit gig in New York.

Rock royalty The Rolling Stones, The Who, Michael Stipe, Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters played at Madison Square Garden.

The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, joined Sir Paul McCartney on stage to perform.

The storm caused the deaths of 120 people when it hit the Caribbean and US in October.

After the show, Grohl spoke about teaming up with Sir Paul for the new track Cut Me Some Slack.

Speaking to Billboard, Grohl said: "It's funny because I think people were expecting us to do a Beatles song or a Nirvana song but when I first called Paul to see if he would jam with us, none of us wanted to do a Beatles song or a Nirvana song.

"We wanted to do a new song, so we wrote and recorded a new song in a day and it's heavy as..."

Joining forces

The concert was also streamed online, aired on radio and was shown in theatres worldwide, raising more than $30m (£18.6m) for the Robin Hood Foundation in ticket sales alone.

About 13,000 tickets to the gig were sold ranging from £100-£1,500.

Celebrities including Kristen Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Devito were also on hand to take donations during the telethon.

The night of collaborations was started with Bruce Springsteen inviting Jon Bon Jovi on stage to perform Born To Run, repaying the favour later to sing Who Says You Can't Go Home.

Roger Waters played a set of Pink Floyd material and was joined by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder for Comfortably Numb.

Former REM frontman Michael Stipe joined Coldplay's Chris Martin on stage to sing his old band's 1991 Grammy award-winning song Losing My Religion.

Martin said: "I know you really wanted One Direction, but it's way past their bedtime. That's why you get one-quarter of Coldplay."

When the Rolling Stones took to the stage, performing You've Got Me Rockin and Jumping Jack Flash, Mick Jagger commented: "This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden. If it rains in London, you've got to come and help us."

The Who performed Quadrophenia track Bellboy, with a video of the late Keith Moon singing on it, and other tracks including See Me Feel Me, Pinball Wizard and Baba O'Riley.

Actor Steve Buscemi and comedian Adam Sandler also took to the stage.

The star-studded benefit show was closed by Alicia Keys singing her hometown anthem Empire State of Mind at 1:19am after the show went on for nearly six hours.

Damage caused by the superstorm which hit the East Coast of the US in late October has been put at $82bn (£50.8).

The death toll has been placed at 120, after the storm carved a path through the Caribbean later hitting New York and its surrounding areas, leaving millions without heat or electricity.

Source: BBC

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