NOT OFF THE HOOK: Throughout the Band Aid/Live Aid buildup, organizer Bob Geldof promised that every penny raised would go to famine relief and not one cent to expenses. One result has been that although most of the relief effort’s production costs were picked up by sponsors or participants, Geldof still has a personal phone bill of £30,000 ($42,000). And that, he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, helped prompt him to rejoin his musical group, the Boomtown Rats, for a tour of Italy. “I’m in Italy to play concerts and earn some money to pay my phone bill and buy Christmas presents,” said Geldof. “After what I went through organizing Live Aid, this tour is like a vacation. I am afraid that people will only consider me for the £54 million sterling [$76 million] I was able to raise for the hungry and not accept me as a musician. The other problem is that everybody keeps asking me to organize other benefits. Instead I’d like to be forgotten a bit. Not because I’m modest, but for those £30,000 of phone bills.”

NEXT TIME WEAR YOUR NAME TAG: Faye Dunaway, last seen in the mini-series Christopher Columbus, showed up for a party following the New York premiere of Taylor Hackford’s film, White Nights. “I haven’t been visible enough,” remarked the Oscar-winning actress. No sooner said than an effusive man approached her, took her hand and said: “I feel so privileged to meet you. You are such a wonderful actress. I want to tell you how much I admire your work, Miss Streep.” Rather than let the star-crossed fan have it with a wire coat hanger, Dunaway took the mistaken identity in stride. “It’s not the first time it’s happened,” she said. “Once I was in New Orleans with Michael Caine and Jane Fonda. A man came up to us and asked, ‘Hey, which one of you is Troy Donahue?’ ”

DRIP DRIP DRIP: Gene Kelly, after being honored in Beverly Hills with the Friars Club Lifetime Achievement Award, remarked, “If I hear one more chorus of Singin’ in the Rain, I’ll scream. We did that number on the MGM lot and I’ve had a head cold ever since.”

IN ONE AND OUT THE OTHER: Since Cheryl Baxter lives on Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C.—her husband, Roger, is a captain—she had access to the arrival of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. She got to the landing site at 6:30 a.m. and was rewarded with a handshake from Prince Charles. Straining to find something novel to say to the Prince, Cheryl told him, “My husband has ears just like yours and I love them.” Charles, exhibiting royal cool, responded, “Oh, you say the loveliest things.” Looking back at the event, Cheryl is quick to add that “Roger’s ears stick out even more.”

THIS LAND’S NOT YOUR LAND: Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, was all set to go on a fact-finding tour of South Africa with a group called the Center for Development Policy. Three days before she was to leave, her request for a visa was refused by the government there. Huffs Travers: “Being denied a visa to South Africa is akin to being on Richard Nixon’s enemy list: an honor.”

NOT STRUNG OUT: Country guitarist Chet Atkins caused mouths to drop when he appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio show, which was being broadcast that week from Atlanta’s Symphony Hall. Said Atkins: “The first thing I want to tell you, Garrison, is that I’m off drugs.” Knowing that Atkins has a whistle-clean reputation, Keillor looked shocked. Finally Atkins ‘fessed up. “Actually I’ve been off drugs all my life,” he said. “But saying you just got off ’em has helped the careers of so many performers that I thought I’d give it a try.”

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