Friday, December 02, 2005

We Gon' Party Like It's Yo' 13th Birthday!

From GNN, through Crooks and Liars:
David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, spared no expense for his 13-year old daughter’s entry into adulthood. The girl and 300 of her closest BFFs were entertained recently in New York’s Rainbow Room by Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Kenny G, Aerosmith and, believe it or not, 50 Cent.... It was hosted by Tom Petty. The reported cost: $10 million. ...

First off, what 13-year old is a fan of Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac and, for God’s sake, Kenny G? Who was this party really for? Second, and more importantly, where does a guy get $10 million to blow on a Bat Mitzvah? Well, it appears, from you, the American taxpayer. According to United for a Fair Economy, Brooks and Co. have made a tidy profit outfitting our nation’s fighting men and women in body armor that allegedly couldn’t take a hit from a 9mm round:

David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, earned $70 million in 2004, 13,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. Brooks also sold company stock worth about $186 million last year, spooking investors who drove DHB’s share price from more than $22 to as low as $6.50 [DHB was trading at $4.20 Wednesday]. In May 2005, the U.S. Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised about their effectiveness. By that time, Brooks had pocketed over $250 million in war windfalls.
Well, I didn't think it would happen, but I've finally found a David Brooks who's even more clueless than this one.

David H. Brooks -- a name that should be pronounced like "Jesus H. Christ!" -- must have balls as big as church bells. The problems with his company's not-exactly-bulletproof vests have been well publicized and so have the massive profit/profiteering he's made off the faulty merchandise. You'd think with all that publicity swirling around him, he'd probably be a little subtler about the profligate spending. (Of course you'd think that. You'd also probably think only a moron would spend $10 million on crap music like Kenny G and Don Henley.)


Studiodave said...

I could write a book on all the questions / issues this raises.

Family values - that's right sweety spend $10 million. We could rebuild 5% of the ninth ward in New Orleans, but you are 13 after all!

InanimateCarbonRod said...

What kind of father would let his 13 year old daughter get within 100 yards of 50 Cent? Is she going to have the slumber party at Michael Jackson's house?

ORF said...

Eff that. Did you guys see this piece in the Times?? (Two things before I post this in: One, FUCK the NYTimes Select. And two, this isn't the full article, but it's the important part. I've been DYING to post about this stupid brat, but I can't b/c I have an odd connection to the fam.) Ok, here goes:

"JA RULE stopped by a party at Shaquille O'Neal's mansion in Miami Beach the Friday night before last as a favor to the host, who asked him to grab a microphone and rock the house to surprise his guests. He obliged, he told friends, but for only two numbers. Ja Rule, the platinum-selling rapper accustomed to Madison Square Garden, could not afford to strain his vocal cords. He had an important gig the next night. He was playing a Miami steakhouse. The occasion was a bat mitzvah.

The next night he displayed considerably more fire, performing for more than an hour in front of 215 friends and relatives of Amber Ridinger, 13, sometimes barking out their names as he rapped. But that wasn't all. As he closed out the set, another superstar, Ashanti, joined him onstage for three numbers. As they performed, Amber stood onstage with them, in a $27,000 Dolce & Gabbana dress, waving to the crowd, particularly her deep-pocketed parents, Loren and J. R. Ridinger, the founder of an Internet marketing company.

The Ridingers, who recounted the evening in an interview, proudly acknowledge that their booking two pop stars for a party that would typically call for a kitschy cover band wearing ill-fitting tuxedos was a social achievement, even in Miami money circles. In this case the stars worked free as friends of the family, the Ridingers said. But for the mega-rich, Mr. Ridinger said, a superstar's fees should be no deterrent.

''If people can afford to do it, it certainly does make a party special,'' Mr. Ridinger said. ''It brings an electricity to it you otherwise couldn't create.''

The concept is not hypothetical. Disco throwback acts like KC and the Sunshine Band, young stars like Beyoncé Knowles and Christina Aguilera, and even legacy acts like Elton John, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney have all taken part in an increasingly common star-for-hire side business, quietly signing to play the occasional but very lucrative private party, be it a wedding or a birthday bash.

''It's definitely a growing trend,'' said Erik Marshall, a partner at Hank Lane Music and Productions, a company that recruits stars to perform at private and corporate events in New York. He said he has handled events involving Neil Sedaka, the B-52's, Blues Traveler and Billy Joel.

''You used to hear about it maybe once a year, even as recently as five years ago,'' he said. Now, he added, his company handles more than 20 such gigs a year. The stars command fees that can range from $25,000 to more than $1 million, event planners and music industry people say. And the entertainers almost always insist on one other thing: that the public not find out.

Before committing to a private date most stars or their representatives carefully read the guest list and demand a clause in the contract forbidding publicity: no press, no cameras, no video. The secrecy, say people involved in these functions, stems in part from the stars' insecurity. They worry that cashing a six-figure check for a couple of hours of rocking out for Aunt Alice or Cousin Bobby will make them look like sellouts -- or, maybe worse, wedding singers. The last thing they want is to be associated in the gossip pages with an event that smacks of elitist excess.

''You don't want it to seem like you're doing it for all the wrong reasons,'' said David Tutera, a party planner in New York, who has been involved in parties with music stars.

Thrillhous said...

orf, that sucks! What is wrong with these people? F. Scott Fitzgerald must be spinning in his grave.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

If you ask these people to pay their fair share of taxes, they will all pack up and leave the country. Hey, wait a minute...

S.W. Anderson said...

I'll say the same thing about this kid's $10M bash as I've said repeatedly about George W. Bush: A fool and our money are soon parted.