You may not have noticed but there was a benefit concert in Boston last week for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. There are some seriously upset members of the public that the “Boston Strong” concert wasn’t televised with the donation telephone number or website address on the screen. To make things worse, one performer displayed one of the most pathetic acts of selfishness ever seen in these types of events.
The reason given by New England concert czar Don Law for not having the concert televised was because none of the local stations would join up to underwrite the cost to broadcast it which he estimated to be about $500,000. Law says he then had a corporate sponsor that back out at the last minute. That conflicts with Law’s original explanation that logistics with the arena were the major reasons it wasn’t on TV—lighting and sound and such.
In any event, the result was that the show could only be seen on a webstream that constantly cut out, making “buffering” a message now hated by all Bostonians. The concert could be heard on SiriusXM radio.
Law was widely praised for quickly putting the event together, gathering a great lineup of talent all of whom performed for no fee. Law’s company, Live Nation New England handled what was a major logistical challenge. But not being able to see the concert unless you had a ticket to the TD Garden event made for frustrated “Boston Strong” people and seriously hurt donations.
As a comparison, the night before the Boston Strong concert there was the “Healing in the Heartland” show in Oklahoma City for the victims of the recent devastating tornados. It was available via a webstream and NBC-TV. It brought in a much needed $6 million. The 12-12-12 concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy last December raised tens of millions. The “Hope for Haiti” earthquake relief show in 2010 raised $58 million. The “Boston Strong” concert?—$1.5 million.
Make no mistake. I am not comparing the scale of these tragedies. There is nothing to be gained from comparing death tolls and the extent of the devastations or emotional pain inflicted. The point here is that if the Boston event was televised, they would have raised substantially more money. Many of the bombing victims of not only need extensive, multiple surgeries and different prosthetics, many, if not all, will need more help—possibly lifetime therapy. And then there are the families of those who died either at the scene or in the line of duty. No concert or amount of money can replace their loved ones.
The Boston concert was to benefit the “One Boston Fund” which has been doing great as far as donations and organization because the people of Boston, New England and indeed the entire country opened their hearts and their wallets to selflessly contribute. Then there’s comedian Dane Cook. And I use that term loosely. His participation was obviously solely an act of self-promotion.
It a stunning act of self-centeredness, Cook refused to let his short performance at the show even be streamed, neither the video nor audio. Those who could get the stream to work had to stare blankly at the computer while Cook was onstage.
Cook later tweeted, “Hey everyone sorry my set was not a part of the live stream or televised! I didn’t want any of the new material to hit the airwaves yet! I can’t wait to share it soon!” In other words, “This might be a benefit but making money for myself is more important than the victims of the Boston Marathon terrorist acts.”
What a greedy, selfish, self-interested bastard. There I said it. My only hope is that some decent cell phone video of Cook’s “new material” gets circulated all over the country. And absent that, I hope people will boycott his shows.
First of all, we’re talking about Dane Cook (he’s from Arlington but no longer a Bostonian in many eyes). He is a minor leaguer compared to acts like Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, New Kids On The Block (whose Donnie Wahlberg, now a big TV star, tweeted before the show, “We’re shipping up to Boston! Tomorrow we do it for our hometown! For the proud! For the heroic! For the strong!”) There were also comedians who are actually funny like Steven Wright and Lenny Clarke.
Not sure what Dane Cook’s act is like? Comedic genius Seth McFarlane wrote Cook into an episode of “Family Guy” like this (sorry for the YouTube quality):
Everyone has different tastes in entertainment. But for one performer to insist his material not leave the arena at a benefit concert is nothing short of pitiful and sad.