Full-on Bono

Rockers Coldplay make success a rush of aid to fair trade

On the Oxfam website (www.maketradefair.org), Martin anticipates the criticism and cynicism some may level against him for being yet another celebrity traveling to yet another lesser developed country hoping to make a difference: "I felt like a fourth-rate Bono," he writes. "Later on, I felt like a third-rate Bono, and hopefully, it will escalate until I feel like a full-on Bono."

Martin does not gloss over his naiveté about his trip to Haiti, either: "When I went to Haiti, I thought it was all going to be fun and beautiful places and witch doctors here and there, but it's not. It's a country that could be this jewel of the Caribbean... but it's being fucked by various people and trade laws. They get all their rice dumped on them by America. And then people wonder why they try to escape the country and go to someplace that's a little more affluent."

Coldplay's work toward fair trade makes the band's trip to Miami -- where so many have fled the conditions in Haiti -- especially pertinent. The band will also break new ground here by being the first to perform at the University of Miami's Convocation Center, a 7,000-seat multipurpose entertainment facility located on the Coral Gables campus.

Fair trade? Talk to Chris Martin's hand.
Fair trade? Talk to Chris Martin's hand.

When Martin stands still to sing, he pulls his body of Dickensian leanness toward the microphone stand as if the metal tube -- or the audience or just the thrill of fronting one of the most popular English-speaking bands on the globe right now -- were a woman he loved.

When asked if his fame has changed the way women relate to him, Martin starts off shy, then reveals: "I still look at myself and think, 'What a loser.' But then, some days -- some days -- I look at myself and think, 'Yeah! Let's go!'"

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