Insurance For The Kill – How Musicians Put A Value On Their Assets

According to the Daily Star, this week’s NME cover star, La Roux’s Elly Jackson, is considering getting her quiff insured. “Imagine if someone cut it off in the street,” she was quoted as saying, “that would be my career over”.

Now, having more brain cells than a lobotomised house-brick, I don’t believe everything I read in the Daily Star, otherwise I might be convinced that Jordan’s left implant is running for President of the EU, or that Michael Jackson is alive and well and working as Goofy at Disneyland Paris.

Nor am I convinced that gangs of vengeful hairdressers are likely to ambush Elly down a dark alley and shave her head as part of some outlandish Keep Hair Sensible campaign.

I wouldn’t be surprised though. Over the years many a pop star has taken out third party, fire and theft on their most unique attributes, presumably taking advantage of Iggy Pop’s staff discount.

Aside from the fact that there is NOTHING less rock’n’roll than insurance – the equivalent of checking you’ve still got the receipt for the TV before you lob it out the window – you can’t argue with Bruce Springsteen insuring his voice for $6million or Keith Richards putting a $1.6million price tag on his index finger.

There’s even good rhyme and reason behind David Lee Roth insuring his sperm for $1million, to be paid out if one of the wriggly wee buggers ever managed to ‘slip the net’ and impregnate one of his wannabe babymamas.

But Elly’s follicle flagrancy would fall into a more telling category: the star who values their own novelty.

In the ’70s, Tom Jones reportedly insured his chest hair for $7million, probably worried he might one day get stuck in a clipper factory during a power surge. That there was ever any fear that Jones’ man-mane might ever wilt when there’s enough testosterone coursing through it to stun a dozen Henry Rollinses is laughable in itself – at 69 his rib rug remains so lush that you half expect him to pull a couple of wrestling bears out of there.

But the implication is he’s nothing without his chest hair, the rug’s the real star, his career would be over if he ever went the shaven-chested way of the Scissor Sister. Could a successful singer value himself and his talent so low? It’s like Sacha Baron Cohen believing he’d be penniless if it wasn’t for his mankini.

Similarly, renowned feminist Dolly Parton insured her tits for $600,000, J.Lo is rumoured to have put an even greater price tag on her loss of income should her arse ever fall off and Mariah Carey insured her legs for $1billion – so high a figure, I can only presume, because so many decent music-lovers would dearly love to break them.

But the fact remains, if you as an artist can pin-point one single physical attribute about yourself the loss of which would leave your career as dead in the water as the last View album, you are nothing but a shallow hokum-peddler in the grand scheme of pop music and you should join the queue of fashion-over-talent clothes-horse one-trick-ponies at the foot of the set of gallows I’m currently constructing in my garden to dispatch the worthless fucking lot of you.

Not that that includes Elly of course, who I’d rather see shave off her hair to prove she can still be successful without it. It’s not even that unique a style, I manage to recreate it most mornings after 15 pints of Magners and sleeping in a pool of sick.

But there are some bands that should be considering insuring their prize assets. Radiohead should be insuring themselves against ever having their Mogadon spiked with uppers. Ian Brown should be putting a million-dollar price tag on his copy of Auto-Tune. Glasvegas should be insured against nosebleed pink ever becoming the new black. The Machine, The Diamonds and The Jing Jang Jong should all arrange a seven-figure compensation should their singers ever go solo. Can you sort all of those out a decent deal, Iggy?

What I’ve Been Listening To:
The Cribs – ‘Ignore The Ignorant’
Music Go Music – ‘Just Me’
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – ‘Come Saturday’