Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If a tree falls in the Himalayas, does it make a sound? Yes, if MTV producers are following you.


In response to my previous post on the Love Hope Strength Foundation, I received some comments. Here's part of what an anonymous commenter wrote:

They raised $250,000 for a Nepalese cancer hospital.

Fixx Fan Carrie (who did identify herself) added the following:

So do you believe that this trek would have been less futile if it were undertaken by some of the more "popular" bands of today? More power to them if it were, though I question how many of today's pop stars would have the fitness that the participating band members have in their 50's.

And Jake Norton made the following comment at Independent Sources:

As you so deftly note, most people - at least in the west - are aware of cancer. The concert, and the Love Hope Strength Foundation, raised huge sums to turn the Bhaktapur Cancer Relief Hospital in Kathmandu into a world class cancer center which can provide treatment to those who cannot afford it....Cynicism is a great thing, and I am one, too, at times, but please be sure to get the whole story - not just the blip off Reuters and the wires - before passing judgment on the work of dedicated people.

So I took some time from my nightly wallow to investigate the claims of the anonymous commenter. Here's part of an article from October 21:

A cancer awareness group and an international team of musicians claim to have staged the world's highest concert - on the slopes of Mount Everest.

The U.S.-based Love Hope Strength Foundation said on its website the "Everest Rocks" concert was held Sunday at 5,650 metres. Earlier, the group said it intended registering the performance with Guinness World Records.

Six musicians from the United States and Britain performed at the concert - Mike Peters of the British band The Alarm, Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats, Cy Curnin and Jamie West of the Fixx, Glen Tillbrook of the Squeeze and Nick Harper....

Before leaving for the mountain, organizers told The Associated Press that money raised from the performance would be used to buy equipment for the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital near Kathmandu.

More about the hospital:

Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital (previously Bhaktapur Cancer Care Centre) is the only charitable cancer hospital in Nepal. Located at Bhaktapur, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Kathmandu, the hospital serves the people of Kathmandu Valley and many more from rest of Nepal for cancer related illnesses. The hospital is run by a total staff of 54 including nine doctors, six technicians, eighteen nurses and the budget to run is about Rs. 8 millions* a year....

* As of November 12, 2002 Nepal Rupees (Rs.) / U.S. Dollars ($) exchange rate:
$1 = Rs. 79.538
Rs. 8,000,000 = $108,697

And more on the aftermath:

A cancer awareness group and an international team of musicians returned from the Mount Everest area after performing what they said was the world's highest concert on land and raising an estimated US$250,000 (€175,000) for a local cancer hospital....

"The foundation got a strong message across. By going to Everest it gave us a loud voice ... to show people that cancer is not a death sentence like it was," Peters, from North Wales, told the Associated Press on Sunday in the capital, Katmandu.

And this message was helped, like product (red), by a number of sponsors:

The Epiphone Company, one of the premiere banjo and guitar manufacturers is part of the Gibson family of brands and headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson’s digital guitar represents the biggest advancement in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Gibson Guitar Corp’s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton and Wurlitzer. For more information on Epiphone go to www.epiphone.com. Epiphone, Performance is our Passion.

Marmot crafts professional quality outdoor gear, born from working mountain guides and instructors. Inspired by the alpinist spirit of adventure to search and achieve in a harsh world, our products are simple, appropriate, dependable and damn good looking. They work, and work hard. Count on it. Marmot. For life. Marmot is the official apparel sponsor for Everest Rocks. www.marmot.com

Crocs, Inc. is a rapidly growing designer, manufacturer and retailer of footwear for men, women and children under the Crocs™ brand. All Crocs™ brand shoes feature Crocs’ proprietary closed-cell resin, Croslite™. This material enables us to produce soft, comfortable, lightweight, superior-gripping, non-marking and odor-resistant shoes. These unique elements make Crocs™ footwear ideal for casual wear, as well as for professional and recreational uses such as boating, hiking, hospitality and gardening. www.crocs.com

Driven by their mission to discover and develop innovative medicine for improving human health, Cephalon specializes in medications to treat and manage neurological diseases, sleep disorders, cancer, pain and addiction. Cephalon is a supporting sponsor of Everest Rocks. www.cephalon.com

iTunes will be a crucial tool for LHS as we build our Army of Musicians. Songs are being created around the world which are available for download. 100% of the proceeds benefit LHS. www.itunes.com

(Love Hope) Strength - BUY IT!
(featuring Mike Peters, Billy Duffy, Slim Jim Phantom, Dave Wakeling)
Blue Sky Thinking (Nick Harper) - BUY IT!

Highgear is a leading outdoor equipment brand specializing in altimeters, digital compasses, and unique camping accessories. As a supporting sponsor and gear sponsor, Highgear is assisting the Everest Rocks team by supplying them with The Loft, a heart rate monitor and altimeter watch that will aid in the vital training process. www.highgear.com

Outside is dedicated to covering the people, activities, gear, art, and politics of the world outside. They are assisting LHS by spreading awareness and support amongst the Outdoor community. www.outsidemagazine.com

Through the production of normobaric hypoxic (oxygen reduced) air, Hypoxico can simulate altitudes of up to 21,000ft/6,400m. As a result, athletes, fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals worldwide can take advantage of the benefits associated with altitude training while at sea-level. Hypoxico has partnered with LHS to get our team safely to Everest Base Camp. www.hypoxico.com

Oregon Scientific offers a wide range of products, from youth and learning electronics to sensor-free weather stations and sports and fitness. Its devices couple innovative technology with fluid design, and feature advanced liquid-crystal displays (LCD). Love Hope Strength is proud to be shooting all music videos and Everest Rocks footage on Oregon Scientifics handheld waterproof Action Cam. www.oregonscientific.com

Nielsen-Kellerman Company designs, manufactures and distributes waterproof instruments for active lifestyles and technical applications, including Kestrel® Pocket Weather Meters, Interval® Timing Systems and NK Electronics for Rowing and Paddling. The Everest Rocks Team will rely upon the Kestrel 4500 to track conditions on Everest throughout their journey. www.kestrelweather.com

Red Robot is an entertainment marketing company that develops media properties and strategic partnerships between brands, distribution entities and creative talent. Red Robot has been an integral part in teaming LHS with innovative partners, sponsors, musicians and events. www.redrobot.com

SteriPEN™ is the only portable water purifier that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy waterborne microbes. We will carry SteriPEN’s to disinfect our water whilst in Nepal. www.steripen.com

Smith Optics is synonymous with innovative, durable, top-quality products in the eyewear and goggle market. The company is also recognized for its unparalleled team roster, which boasts some of the top names in biking, motocross, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding and wakeboarding. Our Everest team is proud to wear Smith Optics on our trek. www.smithoptics.com

Eagle Creek leads the market as an innovator and manufacturer of adventure travel gear, luggage and packing solutions for active, adventurous souls. We’re committed sharing our love and passion for travel with others, while making every journey a little easier. www.eaglecreek.com

LEKI is the world’s leading manufacturer of ski, hiking and trekking poles. www.leki.com

Gardiner & Theobald is one of the worlds leading property and construction consultancy firms. Although the practice has its main office in central London it also operates from a global network of 60 offices. With a proven track record that spans over 165 years since the foundation of the practice, Gardiner & Theobald has provided construction cost management advice on a full spectrum of construction projects and development schemes. www.gardiner.com

Fisher Space Pen makes the most dependable, reliable, and versatile pens in the world. They write underwater, upside down, and at Everest Base Camp! We are happy to capture every moment of the trip with the new Trekker Space Pen. www.spacepen.com

CamelBak® is the originator of the Hands-Free Hydration system and continues to deliver innovative, easy-to-use hydration products with the belief in the performance advantage that proper hydration can deliver in any situation. www.camelbak.com

The Art Guitar® painted image will last as long as the finish on your guitar because it has the same properties as the original paint… It is truly an original photographic quality painting on the guitar body, layered into the original finish and coating. Thanks to Art Guitar and Epiphone for collaborating on 10 one-of-a-kind limited edition Everest Rocks guitars. www.artguitar.com

Benoy is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning global company of architects; masterplanners; interior and graphic designers with offices currently across the UK, Far and Middle East. Benoy offers a rich and varied mix bringing together design integrity, international experience, local understanding and real personality covering the retail; commercial; hotels and resorts; leisure; airports and transportation and residential sectors. www.benoy.com

Passage Project for International Education, Ltd
Study abroad…Volunteer Vacations…Cultural Adventures in India - Tibet - Nepal. The owners and operators are a family of Americans and Nepalese who have long-established roots and connections in India, Nepal, and among the Tibetan exile communities. http://www.passageproject.org

Human Edge Tech


The Pratiman-Neema Memorial Foundation
(PNMF)is a non-profit organization that was established on April 5, 2003 for the purpose of enhancing the general welfare of the people and the communities in the district of Pyuthan.

Unlike product (red), most of these companies are ones that the general public usually doesn't encounter - namely because this group is targeting a very vertical market - mountain-climbing music lovers.

The world's highest concert was also one of its smallest, since the total party (including the musicians themselves) was comprised of 30 individuals. And if you think you have a hassle parking at Staples, think of what the people had to do to get to THIS concert - several hours of hiking a day for several days.

Though the thought of the Edge on a walkabout is rather amusing. And it could happen - LHS walks and plays everywhere:

Events since April’s launch of the Foundation include walks up the Empire State Building and Mt. Snowdon in north Wales (highest peak in the UK), plus a sea-level, flat NJ walk-a-thon. Concerts ended each effort and Everest was no different....[O]n their ninth day of hiking, the group of several dozen cancer survivors, MTV producers and musicians ascended to Kala Patthar, Nepal (”Everest Base Camp”) with instruments in hand. (Sherpas of course were invaluable). Guinness Records agrees....

I'm sorry, but it still sounds a little silly, with the MTV producers calling the Guinness people and the Sherpas acting as the highest roadies ever, at a concert for a couple of dozen people. It's great that it raised $250 grand, with the potential to raise more via the corporate sponsorships....

But despite what Carrie says, they would have made a lot more money if Paris Hilton had come along and sang her hit (whatever it was). And she'd probably pay for her own producers.

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