ABBA refuses $1 billion to reunite.
April 12, 2002 9:09 AM   Subscribe

ABBA refuses $1 billion to reunite. Either they are staggeringly wealthy or the depth of their hatred for each other vastly exceeds my ability to comprehend. In all honesty, how can you say no to a billion dollars? What would you do for that kind of money? What wouldn't you do?
posted by Sinner (48 comments total)
 
I'd listen to ABBA's whole catalog in one sitting.
posted by dchase at 9:10 AM on April 12, 2002


And while we're at it, who are the marketers who did the math here and somehow found sufficient demand to justify an initial $1 billion outlay?
posted by Sinner at 9:11 AM on April 12, 2002


I'd use the money to buy access to news that was from within the past two years.
posted by anildash at 9:15 AM on April 12, 2002


I can't believe it lisa marie is getting married again, absolutely shocking.
posted by johnnyboy at 9:17 AM on April 12, 2002


Holy crap, how did you even find that article? It is over two years old. Gosh, think how much that billion dollars would be in 2002 dollars...

Oh my God, Maude is going to die?!?
posted by donkeymon at 9:18 AM on April 12, 2002


What would you do for that kind of money?

(a) Would you commit murder?

(b) Would you kill someone you didn't know?

(c) Would you kill someone you did know?

(d) Would you go to jail for, say, 20 years?

(e) Would you subject yourself to torture? Say, a week's worth of standard, Vietnam-era prison-camp torture or South American dictator "interrogation"?

(f) Would you bet your life on something against the billion? Say, a billion dollars versus your life in a single hand of poker?

This could get interesting.

My answers: (a) Don't know, maybe, it would depend on who picked the person and whether or not they were deserving of this sort of attention; (b) Maybe; (c) Depends on the person; (d) probably; (e) almost certainly; (f) probably not.

Oh my God, Maude is going to die?!?

:( I still want to play!
posted by UncleFes at 9:19 AM on April 12, 2002


I think they are already stinking rich and don't really care.

In related news, Ace of Base has been offered 5% of the door to play the Holiday Inn out on the interstate.

And, if you're interested, I would gladly cut off my pinky toe, grind it up in a fruity and delicious smoothie and drink it for a billion dollars.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:19 AM on April 12, 2002


LOL, Fark and MeFi are starting to look strangely similar...
posted by Hugh2d2 at 9:20 AM on April 12, 2002


I'd also drink Kafkaesque's pinky-toe smoothy - with dong_resin, clavdivs and Stavrosthewonderchicken's pinky toes thrown in for good measure.
posted by UncleFes at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2002


I wouldn't see Mamma Mia for $1000.
posted by pigasus at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2002


anildash: I'd use the money to buy access to news that was from within the past two years.

Oof. I hereby consider myself outsnarked. A friend emailed me the link and although I searched for it here, I didn't check the date. Matt, please delete if you feel it necessary.... community at large, my apologies.

(At the same time, though, news or not, a BILLION dollars?!)
posted by Sinner at 9:23 AM on April 12, 2002


"And once more, the Earth is safe for humanity!"
posted by ilsa at 9:30 AM on April 12, 2002


what about my pinky fes?
i would do a lot of stuff for a billion dollars, but i wouldnt' kiss the million dollar man.
posted by goneill at 9:32 AM on April 12, 2002


It's only an advertisement trick. No company / bank group would invest one billion dollar on a group singers. See the recent fiasco with Mariah Carey or whatever her name was. She was liquidated quickly much to the enjoyment of the investors. One can stand only a certain amount of her voice.

I'd invest half a billion on Hendrix :) but that's 99% sure return on investment.
posted by elpapacito at 9:34 AM on April 12, 2002


story is 2 years Old!!
posted by LouieCypher at 9:38 AM on April 12, 2002


Unclefes: I'll play.

(a) Would you commit murder?

Depends on the person. I'd like to say no, but realistically? I just can't imagine.

(b) Would you kill someone you didn't know?

Same as above

(c) Would you kill someone you did know?

Probably not. Although if I were willing to do (a), then all bets are off anyway.

(d) Would you go to jail for, say, 20 years?

Great question. I don't think I would. For five, yes.

(e) Would you subject yourself to torture? Say, a week's worth of standard, Vietnam-era prison-camp torture or South American dictator "interrogation"?

Yes.

(f) Would you bet your life on something against the billion? Say, a billion dollars versus your life in a single hand of poker?

No. I'm a terrible poker player, and the risk/reward is just too high.
posted by Sinner at 9:41 AM on April 12, 2002


One final attempt to keep this thread worthwhile: is there anything you normally would not have done that you chose to do for a sizeable amount of money? Any amazing offers you've turned down?
posted by Sinner at 9:44 AM on April 12, 2002


(b) Would you kill someone you didn't know?

There was a twilight zone about this: the "stranger" was the last person to accept the money...
posted by plaino at 9:48 AM on April 12, 2002


"Fark and MeFi are starting to look strangely similar"

How dare those Farkers imitate MeFi!!!
posted by mischief at 10:12 AM on April 12, 2002


I figure that once someone has a few million in the bank, they're pretty much set. So sure, maybe no superyachts, but a few million will fund a long, comfortable life.

And as for killing someone... Sure it's a lot of money, but one's comfort level can only go so high. Is a billion dollars that much different than a million? Not to me. Would you kill someone for a million? I wouldn't.

Jail? A month... three, max.

Torture? Half a day, max, nothing that would cause permanent damage.

Bet life vs money? If I were feeling depressed and somewhat suicidal anyway, probably. But then if I won the money, I'd probably do something silly in my depressed state like give it to the first person I met on the street...

But yeah, there's a lot I wouldn't do for a billion dollars. Basically, my life is relatively comfortable as is. If I were in a really bad position, though, my answers would probably be much different.
posted by whatnotever at 10:13 AM on April 12, 2002


So, let me see here, thats a lot of people willing to subject themselves to torture. I have a tiger cage all set up and ready to go. Just email me and we'll try to set up a schedule.

Can you put this on MeFi Events, Matt?
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:37 AM on April 12, 2002


About the only thing I wouldn't do for money is intentionally hurt someone I love. Other than that, I'm an amoral scuzzbag with a high pain threshold and an appreciation for finely crafted violence.
posted by alumshubby at 10:41 AM on April 12, 2002


Any amazing offers you've turned down?

Here's an oddity: Two jobs in a row, when I resigned, my bosses attempted to induce me to stay by offering to arrange "dates" with beautiful women. The first job, it was an actress whose name you'd know, the second, it was the bosses' daughter.

I turned down both, and I'm not sorry.

And "dates" is in quotes strictly to add a level of interesting ambiguity.
posted by luser at 10:46 AM on April 12, 2002


elpapacito - Mariah Carey was liquidated? Was it for her insolence?
posted by NortonDC at 10:48 AM on April 12, 2002


My theory: some kind soul is paying them more not to get back together.
posted by electro at 10:49 AM on April 12, 2002


[joke]
Fellow at the bar goes up to a beautiful woman. "I've been watching you all night. You're very beautiful, and I want to make a proposition - don't immediately say no, just think about it: would you go home and sleep with me right now for a million dollars?"
She thinks. She thinks some more. Finally, she says "Well, I suppose I would. That's a lot of money."
Fellow says "Great! Would you do it for $100?"
"Only one hundred dollars?!? What do you think I am!?!"
"We've established that - now we're just haggling over the price."
[/joke]
posted by yhbc at 10:52 AM on April 12, 2002


I would do anything that didn't physical prevent me from enjoying my billion dollars after I was done.
posted by uftheory at 11:05 AM on April 12, 2002


I smell a little bullshit.

First, $1 billion for 100 concerts for four people? That's $2.5 million a night for each of them. OK, maybe some of the tour dates a multiple-night stands, but that's maximum 4 or so in even the biggest cities.

The highest-grossing concert tour of 1999 (North America only) was the Rolling Stones, at $65 million. Springsteen and E Street came in second at $61M (but the highest average gross of $3.4M). This tour would have to at least equal that. Mamma Mia is doing extraordinarily well, but it doesn't cater to a mass audience.

I don't suppose the numbers are impossible given that but they seem extremely unlikely to me.
posted by dhartung at 11:06 AM on April 12, 2002


I want to resign from luser's job.
posted by bittennails at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2002


Fellow at the bar--If I recall correctly, yhbc, it was George Bernard Shaw at a dinner, speaking to the woman seated next to him...
posted by y2karl at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2002


I'd register a domain with NetSol :)
posted by mkelley at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2002


I don't think that's the whole story. I think the billion dollars would be given to the band/management group and they'd have to use that to pay for all the concert expenses (much the same way an advance for a record is used to pay for the recording time and equipment). It would probably cost a lot of money to arrange/perform/advertise/travel 100 concert dates around the world.

The backers would get all the gate receipts (obviously), t-shirt sales, poster sales, record sales ("live album"), video sales, advertising rights ("ABBA Reunion : brought to you by Coors Light") and any other way they can milk the "event". I could see where they might get their money back on this sort of investment, especially if marketed properly ($50 tickets for 30,000/show, $35 shirts, $15 posters, $30 videos, $35 double-cd album, $10million advertising rights).

Obviously, the band/management would be held to a very strict contract about performance/appearance/effort in order to ensure the backers had a chance to earn their money.
posted by grum@work at 11:25 AM on April 12, 2002


"now we're just haggling over the price."

Well, I see you're probably right, y2karl - the line is ususally attributed to GBS, but it's most likely apocryphal. Anyone know for sure if he really said it, or if it's just an older joke than I thought?
posted by yhbc at 11:35 AM on April 12, 2002


twilight zone episode was great.
do you have the money k?
posted by goneill at 11:36 AM on April 12, 2002


No, but I've got some great torture ideas.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:55 AM on April 12, 2002


retronewsfilter.com ?
posted by panopticon at 12:01 PM on April 12, 2002


what about my pinky fes?

Even without the billion, my dear.

Well, I wouldn't grind it up and drink it, but I'd certainly nibble it a little :)

No, but I've got some great torture ideas.

Why do I get the feeling that they're mostly psychological torture?
posted by UncleFes at 12:07 PM on April 12, 2002


Gallagher may or may not be involved.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:14 PM on April 12, 2002


So long as it's Kelly Gallagher, you got yourself a billion dollar deal.
posted by UncleFes at 12:17 PM on April 12, 2002


Do we have to pay you k?

And who is this Gallagher?
posted by goneill at 12:34 PM on April 12, 2002


UncleFes, you have excellent taste when it comes to the Gallaghers.
posted by riffola at 12:50 PM on April 12, 2002


That's really weird, but that story was on our local news yesterday.
posted by iscavenger at 12:55 PM on April 12, 2002


For $1B, I would dress up as any/each member of ABBA and put on the show myself. "Dress up" does NOT imply surgical correction, however. I have standards, ya know. Having said that, I can think of damn few recording artists/groups that are worth that kind of dough -- but I'd rate ABBA up in that small group. Along with the Rat Pack, may they rest in peace.
posted by davidmsc at 2:34 PM on April 12, 2002


Art Bell loves 'em, too--there's your grassy knoll in Roswell angle. It doesn't say much for Abba though, considering his tastes in music. Strictly 79s dreck.
I only listened for the commercials, honest.
posted by y2karl at 2:44 PM on April 12, 2002


is not 'abba' hebrew for father?

Art Bell: "death threat line.....your, ah, on the air.

Caller: "Hi Art"

(caller could be the ghost of 'Milwaukee Phil')
posted by clavdivs at 3:53 PM on April 12, 2002


February 2, 2000

This comes up again? This made the rounds long ago. Lets see, if I remember correctly a lot of people agreed that ABBA could smell bullshit as well as the rest of us.
posted by skallas at 6:41 AM on April 13, 2002


"Here's an oddity: Two jobs in a row, when I resigned, my bosses attempted to induce me to stay by offering to arrange "dates" with beautiful women. The first job, it was an actress whose name you'd know, the second, it was the bosses' daughter. "

Who was the "actress" ? Gary Coleman?
posted by mecran01 at 7:05 AM on April 13, 2002


(d) Would you go to jail for, say, 20 years?
Most likely not - with inflation, a billion may end up being a lot less.
posted by GirlFriday at 5:34 AM on April 14, 2002


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