Though there was tons to see onstage during the nearly 6-hour 12-12-12 Concert, which benefited the Robin Hood Relief Fund, there was plenty going on backstage amid a frenzy of set changes, rock legends and celebrity guests. Here are 12 highlights from the biggest concert of the year.
CONCERT FOR SANDY RELIEF
• PHOTOS: Live & Backstage Pics
• LIST: 12 Things You Didn't See
• TWEET: Best Celebrity Reactions
1. Before a single note was played, the 12-12-12 Concert had already raised about $36 million for The Robin Hood Relief Fund for Hurricane Sandy. Producer John Sykes, president of Clear Channel Entertainment, said the organizers won't know the full total of donations for several days, but already the concert was an even bigger success than the money raised for 2001's Concert For New York City, which he also co-produced with 12-12-12's Jim Dolan and Harvey Weinstein when he was president of VH1.
2. The idea for Sir-vana? All Paul's. "He's known Dave for awhile," Sykes said backstage. Indeed, Grohl played drums for McCartney at the 2009 Grammys, which sparked the idea for the former Beatle to reunite Grohl with Krist Novoselic (as well as former Foo Fighter Pat Smear) for "Cut Me Some Slack," apparently the lead single to the soundtrack for an upcoming film called "Sound City."
3. Surprise! Courtney Love is "not amused" by the new lineup. After voicing her disapproval of the reunion to TMZ, Love expanded upon her thoughts in a much more incoherent fashion on the Facebook page for grunge book "Everybody Loves Our Town." "But I won't cry this time," she typed in a five-post mini-rant, "I only care about his family and bean and that's the fucking fgids [sic] truth any penny I get back is going to into a charity that prevents mortgage fraud."
4. The lineup was intentionally overstuffed with rock legends. As Mick Jagger only half-joked onstage, "This has gotta be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled at Madison Square Garden." But that was always the point, said Sykes, in order to attract the wealthiest donors - boomers. Sykes said the producers had been talking to other, younger acts but had to stick with its current bill as the set began to push past the 5-hour timeframe.
5. Little Steven apologized for keeping things short and sweet. "We haven't played less than 3 hours. Ever." "Little" Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band apologized to reporters for the band's powerful opening set, which included recent hits like "Wrecking Ball" and "My City Of Ruin" and a riveting duet of "Born To Run" with Jon Bon Jovi. But for a cause as important as relief for Hurricane Sandy, they were happy to make an exception. "I'm proud of the music business in that we're always the first to help," he said.
6. Roger Waters is still mum on album plans. "What kind of themes would you most like to tackle on future albums?" a reporter asked the former Pink Floyd frontman, to which he replied, "That's way, way too difficult a question for this time of night. It was a good one, though."
7. Eddie Vedder: good kisser? "That was like a dream come true, to have Eddie come and sing 'Comfortably Numb,'" Waters said. "I think I actually stopped singing at one point to kiss him, which was weird."
8. Even rock legends need a little help remembering their biggest hits. During Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi's epic duet of "Born To Run," the song's lyrics were displayed on a giant teleprompter, karaoke-style, in the middle of the floor.
9. Richie Sambora recruited Alicia Keys to help him remember Seaside Heights. The New Jersey native used to stroll the boardwalk of the iconic Jersey Shore neighborhood and played its clubs as a young musician. "That whole boardwalk is gone now," he told reporters. He recently recorded a duet with Alicia Keys of his solo song "I Will Always Walk Beside You," and made it available for an exclusive charity download on his website RichieSambora.com.
10. Mama Sambora has moved in with her son for awhile. "My mom's house got trashed and she's living with me now," Sambora told reporters. "It's the tragedy of people who lost their homes and didn't have flood insurance - when is this gonna get rebuilt? It's more of a marathon than a [sprint], it's just gonna take time. I was talking to the governor [Chris Christie] backstage and I think he's doing a very good job."
11. On the phones to take your donations: Susan Sarandon, Stephen Colbert and… Sky Ferreira? The "Everything Is Embarrassing" singer was a surprise presence in the Samsung-sponsored phone banks, but was likely tapped to reach a more youthful donor group (see item #3.)
12. An "SNL" powwow… and Brian Williams? Moments before taking the stage to introduce the "very humble Kanye West," Chris Rock caught up with "Saturday Night Live" cast members of past and present Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Bobby Moynihan (a.k.a. "Drunk Uncle") and the "NBC Nightly News" host, who has flexed his funny bone on "SNL" several times as well as in cameos on "30 Rock" and Fallon's late-night talk show.