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Richie Sambora said he “had to hold back tears” when he visited New Jersey and saw the devastation. “My mom’s house (in Point Pleasant, N.J.) got trashed. They had to evacuate her. She’s living with me until we fix it up.”
Most of the acts performed about four tunes. McCartney performed for 40 minutes and The Who were onstage for 30. They weaved Sandy into their set, showing pictures of storm devastation on video screens during “Pinball Wizard.” Pete Townshend made a quick revision to the lyrics of “Baba O’Riley,” changing “teenage wasteland” to “Sandy wasteland.”
Joel performed one of the last century’s favorites, “New York State of Mind.” Joel’s “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” sounded prescient, with new Sandy-fueled lyrics smoothly fitting in. He was also the only artist to mark the season, working in a little of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Kanye West’s performance gave the crowd a different sound, as the music lineup was heavily weighted toward classic rock, which has the type of fans able to afford a show for which ticket prices ranged from $150 to $2,500. Even with those prices, people with tickets have been offering them for more on broker sites such as StubHub, an attempt at profiteering that producers fumed was “despicable.”
Proceeds will go to the Robin Hood Foundation, which said it raised $30 million from ticket sales and sponsors ahead of the concert. The organization also stressed that the earnings will get to those who need assistance.
“We will make sure that that money goes out right away to the most affected (places) in New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut,” David Saltzman, the organization’s executive director, said backstage. “The money that we raised from this concert will be distributed in the days, weeks and months, not years.”
Robin Hood is working through existing organizations that “know what to do and know their communities,” he said. Saltzman added that Fuse TV, which is owned by Madison Square Garden, was giving its YouTube revenues earned from airing the concert to the victims, and that StubHub has donated $860,000 from fees from those selling tickets.
The sold-out “12-12-12” concert was being shown on 37 television stations in the United States and more than 200 others worldwide. It was to be streamed on 30 websites, including YouTube and Yahoo. The theaters showing it included 27 in the New York region.
AP Writer John Carucci contributed to this report.
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