February 07, 2003 01:00 PM

Bill Clinton served as the opening act to the Rolling Stones at L.A.’s Staples Center Thursday night.

The former president, 56, hit no high notes on the saxophone (or on any instrument, for that matter) but said, “The reason this concert is important, is that the old energy economy that’s cheating us as a planet is very well organized, highly centralized, rich as can be and very well politically connected.

“And the new energy future is decentralized, entrepreneurial and needs people like you to say ‘Give me a clean car, give me solar shingles to put on my roof — give me a clean future.'”

The free concert for 12,000 fans (who won the tickets) was organized by the nonprofit activist group Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Stones followed Clinton’s advice to “stop the planet from burning up” with a set that included “Start Me Up,” “Street Fighting Man” and “You Got Me Rocking.”

In the audience, Reuters reports, were Leonardo DiCaprio, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, Mira Sorvino, Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera and director Rob Reiner, and all costs for the event were paid by Hollywood producer and Democratic fundraiser Steve Bing.

If that name rings a bell, there’s a good reason: He’s also the guy who fathered Elizabeth Hurley’s baby.

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