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London Olympics: Paul McCartney plays for pocket change

July 31, 2012|By David Wharton
  • Paul McCartney performs for a pittance at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on Friday.
Paul McCartney performs for a pittance at the opening ceremony of the London… (Christophe Simon / AFP /…)

LONDON---The 2012 London Olympics may have spent $42 million to stage its massively theatrical opening ceremony, but hardly any of that money went to the man who closed the evening with a rendition of "Hey Jude."

Paul McCartney performed for an unprincely sum of 1 pound — about $1.50 — at Olympic Stadium on Friday night.

The former Beatle and other musicians in the Danny Boyle-directed extravaganza, such as Mike Oldfield and Emeli Sandé, offered to play for free but were paid a pittance for contractual purposes.

That meant they sang for less than 1/20 of the cost of the least expensive seat in the house that night.

"Mind you, I haven't received anything yet," Sandé told the Telegraph. "When I do, though, that 1 pound will be truly special."

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