When the Rolling Stones Played at a Billionaire’s Birthday Party

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stonesrsn014 crop1Yes, you could theoretically have your favorite classic rock band and even the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band play your birthday party. It’s all a matter of money.

On November 16, 2002, billionaire venture capitalist David Bonderman held his 60th birthday party at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. [Bonderman was actually born on Nov. 27, 1942.] The headlining act in the venue’s “The Joint” showroom playing a private show for some 500 of his friends: the Rolling Stones. In the midst of their 40 Licks tour, the Stones played a 17-song set just slightly shorter than the 21 songs they were performing on the tour.

They opened with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and played such favorites as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Start Me Up” and “Honky Tonk Women” before finishing  with “Brown Sugar.” (“Happy Birthday” does not appear on the setlist.)

Opening the show was John Mellencamp. Robin Williams served as emcee and kept the partygoers entertained in between sets and at a private dinner before the show.

Details are unclear. But the bash cost a reported $7 million. It’s a safe bet that even if it was the full party cost, at least half of that went to Jagger, Richards, Watts & Wood. Not bad pay for playing an hour-and-a-half set, right?

Related: 10 private concerts by top recording artists

What does one do for an encore? When Bonderman hit 70 in 2012, this time the headliner he hired for his party at the Wynn resort in Vegas was Paul McCartney. John Fogerty was the opener, and Williams was back again for the comedy portion of the evening.

Of course when your net worth runs into the billions, hey, hiring the Stones and a Beatle is little more than chump change.

Related: Stones perform private concert prior to start of 2021 tour

Best Classic Bands Staff

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