Live Aid (1985)

TV Special   |    |  Documentary, Music


Live Aid (1985) Poster

The broadcast of the biggest benefit concert in history, organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.


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  • Freddie Mercury in Live Aid (1985)
  • Live Aid (1985)
  • Eric Clapton in Live Aid (1985)
  • Phil Collins in Live Aid (1985)
  • David Bowie in Live Aid (1985)
  • Mick Jagger and Tina Turner in Live Aid (1985)

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12 July 2005 | Theo Robertson
9
| It Was Twenty Years Ago Today ...
... Give or take a few hours of course but I still have vivid memories of this ultimate concert . As soon as it was announced I wished I could have attended it but as you can imagine tickets for the Wembly gig were somewhat difficult to get your hands on . I did hear via a friend of mine Rab Kincaid that his sister Vicki got a ticket and would be going to London on the 13th of July , I did feel some self sorrow because the previous Summer my sister acting as courier wanted to know if I wanted to go out with Vicki but I turned her down . She was a very nice girl with a highly developed body for a teenager but from the neck upwards she looked disturbingly like Celtic footballer star Maurice Johnstone with a mullet hairstyle . i wasn't and never will be the sort of guy who'd ever go out with a girl for ulterior motives but it did flash through my mind in the early Summer of 1985 that if I'd been going out with Vicki I might have been able to get a Live Aid concert ticket

Still not to worry it was going to be broadcast live on television and I was really looking forward to seeing my musical heroes U2 perform . I kept rubbing my hands wondering what their set list was going to be while I played their live LP Under A Blood Red Sky to death , I was really hoping they were going to perform I Will Follow . So on the day of the concert I was wishing the dross supporting acts like Status Quo , Howard Jones , Paul Young and Adam Ant ( Who played the title track of his new album ! ) would just go away and let Bono and the boys show the audience how it's done . At 5 O'clock the transmission alternatively switched from Wembley to JFK Staduim Philidelphia where we saw the Bryan Adams set . Jack Nicholson said we're going back to London to hear a band who aren'1t afraid to speak their mind and U2 came on to perform the appropriate Sunday Bloody Sunday . Unfortunately their second track was Bad a song I've never taken to and Bono spent so much time jumping into the audience to get a girl to dance with him that they had to scrap their third track Pride . In fact I thought their whole set was a major disappointment that I couldn't believe the positive feed back they got in the press later and there was no one more surprised than the band themselves !

Major disappointment aside I still stayed in to watch the rest of the concert most of which I watched on my sister's portable black and white TV and it wasn't until a few days later that I started digesting what a monumental event it was where Queen stole the show with their medley , where Bob Geldof swore live on air ( In those days bad language on television was still very rare ) , the dominance of British music that saw every act at Wembly hail from the British Isles and where a third of the acts at the American concert were also British , and the strange fact within a couple of years many of the acts at Wembly had disappeared from the charts altogether . But without doubt the abiding memory for me was the entire lack of cynicism . Artists went out of their way to give a concert while people went out of their way to put their hands in their pockets . Even if you want to be cynical then you can't deny that money was raised and it went to humanitarian Non Governmental Organisations ( NGOs ) that saved countless human lives . That was the difference between Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005

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