To appreciate the awkwardness of the teaming of the Rolling Stones and Ameriquest, the sponsor of the band’s newly launched tour, look no further than the commercials currently hyping the concerts. The financial institution wanted the Stones to appear in the spots, but they refused, even as they cashed the company’s checks. So Ameriquest had to settle for shots of their pinstriped mortgage specialists trying to get attention for their sales pitch against background footage of the geriatric rockers, before the Ameriquest reps are “surfed” toward the stage by concertgoers. While many of Ameriquest’s target consumers might not appreciate the liberal sentiment of the group’s new anti-Bush tirade, “Sweet Neo Con,” they probably share more of the acquisitive tastes of bandleader Mick Jagger than they realize. The former London School of Economics dropout, who would have been three years ahead of LSE alum Maurice Saatchi, has long been conspicuously absent from the kinds of pro bono efforts that fellow rockers embrace. He prefers to save his performances for his favorite charity—his bank account. At least he makes no pretense of strong social views. Paul McCartney, on the other hand, is glad to accept the sponsorship of Lexus with its leather-interiored cars, much to the chagrin of his children, who, like him, are vegetarian animal-rights advocates. (McCartney defends the decision by saying Lexus is creating a special leather-free vehicle for him to use during his U.S. tour, which kicks off Sept. 16 in Miami.) At least McCartney is in good company. Fellow Lexus liberals include outspoken vegetarians Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman, who are shilling for Lexus’ new RX 400h, which the company trumpets as the first luxury hybrid SUV.
—Posted by Noreen O’Leary
Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images/Newscom