Mo Money, Mo Problems
“Let me tell you how it will be, There’s one for you, nineteen for me, ’cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman, should five per cent appear too small be thankful I don’t take it all, ’cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman” The Beatles infamous lament on the seminal 1966 album ‘Revolver‘ was a result of George Harrison exasperation with the ridiculous 95% he was being forced to cough up to the Taxman. While Harrison‘s protest remains commendable- and has since gone on to become an anthem to the tedium of dealing with administration and “sticking it to the man”- it has to be said that to be subjected to this supertax The Fab Four had to qualify for the topmost earners in the UK; not bad going for 4 lads from Mersyside. The truth is our expectations are that once an artist reaches a certain level of financial independence there is no way they’re going to squander it. Indeed, carrying on with The Beatles example, Paul McCartney is habitually listed in amongst the top global earners… not just for entertainers but everyone. And he is not the sole superstar with enough dough to finance several football teams. Bono owns shares in facebook for christ sake! Still celebrities are not immune to having to file their taxes yet unlike “normal” people their huge income varies greatly from year to year complicating matters. Despite working in an industry where the illusion of wealth is vital you would be surprised at how many of your favourite musicians need to look for debt consolidation. It is one of the industries biggest gripe that for every P. Diddy, Elton John or Jay-Z raking in the money there are literally thousands of struggling musicians out there. What is becoming clearer is that struggling to get to the end of the month is no longer limited to the ones who have yet to reach music peak potential but touches on big household names. Michael Jackson is perhaps the biggest example that comes to mind. The man with the world’s biggest selling album of all time in the shape of ‘Thriller‘ ended his days with debt in his name frantically rehearsing for one more tour to shore up his finaces. Of course the fact that Jackson has a “billionaire spending habit for only a millionaire’s spending budget” likely led to this situation but he is far from the sole superstar to mess up his finances. The list reads like a who is who with the likes of Mich Fleetwood, Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, David Crosby having all filed for bankrupcy at one point or another. I guess when The Notorious B.I.G was saying “Mo Money, Mo Problems” this may have been what he was referring to.