Musical legend Paul McCartney once famously sang that all you need is love – and judging by the small amount of money he took in exchange for performing at the recent opening ceremony, he must really love the Olympics.
When the iconic former Beatle appeared in Danny Boyle’s 4-hour opening extravaganza, he set aside his usual sky-high performance price. Instead, according to Britain’s NME music site, he received one British pound, or $1.57 in American money.
Why the minuscule monetary arrangement? McCartney agreed to perform his 1968 classic “Hey Jude” and “The End” (the last song ever recorded by The Beatles) essentially for free, but a nominal fee had to be charged to make the Olympics contracts binding. Although they don’t generate the same sort of millions in appearance fees that Sir Paul takes in nightly, other opening ceremony bands including Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Underworld, Emeil Sande and Frank Turner also agreed to receive the same pittance of an amount.
Sande tells the UK’s London Standard: “I got paid �1 for my work. It’s there in print and I know because I signed the contract myself. Mind you, I haven’t received anything yet. When I do, though, that �1 will be truly special. Part of what made the whole event so special was the volunteers who were paid nothing and even paid for their own accommodation. It shows how important art is.”
After the ceremonies, McCartney didn’t seem too worried about his financial situation, saying “It was terrific, great, really cool. It was a trip and very exciting. It was a great opening ceremony.”
McCartney also made the rare move of personally tweeting from his Twitter account on the night of the performance, even joking about an opening video that showed The Queen and James Bond jumping out of a helicopter on their way to the event.
“Thanks for the great response guys! Tonight was terrific, great, really cool,” McCartney tweets. “It was a trip and very exciting. It was a great opening ceremony! Didn’t realize Her Majesty was such a good parachutist!”
McCartney revealed that there were discussions before the opening ceremony about whether lip-synching would help with the performance of the songs — “There was some talk of maybe being to playback but we decided against it and went live, live, live!”
In semi-related news, the Arctic Monkeys’ cover of the The Beatles’ “Come Together” that was featured in Friday’s ceremony is racing up the singles chart and is generating significant download activity on iTunes.