Returning to where they left off before the spontaneous eruption of teen spirit consumed them, Lance asked Madonna, “Do you know the Rage guys?”

“No. Just by reputation. I could make some enquiries, but I don’t see any real need to. Why?”

“They must know about the Saud Live Nation deal. So, why haven’t they made some kinda move?”

“They could all be broke, now. It’s not like that doesn’t happen in show business. You get very accustomed to living large, and next thing you know, you’re living in a car, like Sly Stone.”

Draining the rest of his beer, Lance said, “So, maybe they’re just hoping no one calls them on their hypocrisy.”

“Maybe. I don’t know. But we’ll find out.”

“What if they really are broke. Desperate. And they’re contractually locked into doing the tour with Live Nation?”

Madonna laughed, “I don’t see how they have any choice but to back out of the tour, at least through Live Nation, or force a showdown.”

“By saying they will play, but only after reforms are made”

Madonna nodded. “Once they get called on it, they’ll be destroyed. Even their hard core fans will yell, ‘Fuck you I won’t but what you sell me.’ But they can turn the tables, and become heroes, by playing hardball.”

“Live Nation could sue them.”

Once again, Madonna nodded, but she dismissed the idea, “Their contractual obligations to Live Nation won’t even enter into it. No way is Live Nation going to sue them. That’s a circus they can ill afford. It will simply galvanize the musical community against them, and shine a thousand spotlights on the human rigts record of the House of Saud. That results in a massive devaluation of the company, and a huge share sell off.”

“Rats deserting a sinking ship.”

Madonna held her rigt hand up, palm facing Lance, and he hushed himself. “Your idea about picking up those shares, at a rock bottom price, could come into play rigt there. What if someone were to pick those shares up, all of them, and tell Suad that they will sell the shares to them, at the same price they picked them up for, subject to Saud completing reforms?”

Lance worked it over in his head, and said, “So, if they release a list of political prisoners, they can purchase the shares, a chunk of them, at a low price, which will rise because of the reform?”

“Yes. They get the shares, and a certain group of artists announce that they are willing to work with Live Nation. So, the Saudis release a hundred political prisoners, and me, Rihanna, Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa announce that we will play Live Nation shows.”

“It’s fascinating. It’s applying profit motive to human rigts.”

“Money is the only thing some people understand. So, that’s the carrot, and here’s the stick. All sorts of contracts could stipulate that the House of Saud has to hand over their shares, without compensation, if they do not release the political prisoners, or whatever.”

“Hand them over to whom?” Lance wanted to know.

Laughing, Madonna answered, “Well, we could have all sorts of fun with that. The Israelis? The Iranians?”

Lance exploded in laughter. “Somehow, I don’t think the Saudis would sign a deal with that clause in it. At least not one that says they have to give their shares to the Israelis, or Iranians?”

“I’m just having some fun, letting my imagination run,” Madge smirked, resisting the temptation to finish the rhyme with the word son.

“It’s fun, for sure, but how much of it is plausible. Who would buy up all the available Live Nation stock, to start with? Do you have that kind of money?”

“No,” Madonna admitted, “but I know people who do. And one of them will find this very… compelling.”

Thinking for no more than a moment, Lance said, “I’m sure he would,” then asked, “But would he do it?”

The sexagenarian smiled a confident smile and answered, “I have a way of getting my way with Richard.”

Opting to take a pass on commenting on Madonna’s pussy power over Branson, Lance said, “He does seem to like new ideas. High risk, high reward.”

“That’s true, but this isn’t a new idea. Far from it. Age old and dead simple: be good and you get a cookie.” Lance communicated his lack of desire to argue Madge’s point with a shrug. And then Madonna hit the kid rigt mouth, “So, funny boy, tell me about Old Leather Pussy.”




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