CNS News and the Wall Street Journal drew attention to this delightful and illuminating story about the 1970s Swedish pop sensation ABBA. The group’s outrageous disco-meets-space outfits were apparently chosen for tax reasons–if they were usable as ordinary street clothing, they could not be deducted from band members’ taxes.
The story brings to mind one of the more amusing anecdotes from Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide series, notably the second book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, in which an intergalactic heavy metal star, Hotblack Desiato, lead singer of Disaster Area, decides to spend a year dead for tax reasons.
A bodyguard still lugs his corpse to nightspots:
“Hi, Ford,” said Zaphod. “You speak to the big noise boy?”
Ford waggled his head noncommittally.
“Hotblack? I sort of spoke to him, yeah.”
“What’d he say?”
“Well, not a lot really. He’s…er…”
“He’s spending a year dead for tax reasons. I’ve got to sit down.”