Friday, July 13, 2012


I was checking out my best friend's blog last week and he made some comment about needing to clean some other blogs off his "to watch" list due to inactivity.  Since it's been 53 weeks since I last updated this, I can only assume I fall into that camp.  Deservedly so.  That being the case, I'm making my triumphant return to the blogosphere this evening.
By chance, today happens to be the 27th anniversary of Live Aid.  It took place back in 1985, two days after I turned eleven.  I don't recall watching it the day of, although I certainly remember the hoopla.  It wasn't until I purchased the DVD of the show four or five years ago that I got to watch some of it.  With regret, I must confess that I have not yet sat down and watched all four discs start to finish and have no doubt missed plenty of great music.

As you're probably aware, Bob Geldof put together Band Aid as a means of raising funds to combat famine relief in Ethiopia back in the mid-80's after seeing a BBC report on the crisis.  After the success of "Do They Know It's Christmas" and the American response "We Are The World," Geldof became more ambitious and made plans for the largest concert event in history.

There were some definite highlights.  After over a decade of perfecting their own unique style of campy rock, Queen was the highlight of the show and Freddie Mercury demonstrated why he was the greatest frontman in the history of arena rock.

It's not on the DVD (I've checked) but this was one of the rare 80's reunions of the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin...with Phil Collins standing in on drums.

It was Geldof's party, so it was only appropriate that the Boomtown Rats got together to play "I Don't Like Mondays."

And if Queen stole the show, the other major highlight was U2 going from college radio darling to worldwide superstars with their fourteen minute set.

In the end, approximately $233 million dollars has been raised to date by the Live Aid concert and other sales associated with the event.  Between JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and London's Wembley Stadium, 172,000 fans saw the performance live, while it was estimated that 1.9 billion viewed the telecast.


Blogger PHSChemGuy said...


Robert Plant's hair was outstanding...I forget how awesome hair was in the 80's...his voice was not in great form that's an old, gravely mess now...

Freddie Mercury had that crowd - a huge crowd - absolutely in the palm of his hand...I would have loved to have seen them live...

I remember Elton John performing at both sites...but I also remember something about Phil Collins being there all day long...

Did the Boomtown Rats ever do anything else noteworthy than "I Don't Like Mondays"? Great song, and I wonder if it was a singular event...doesn't really look like the crowd was into it at all during their's a real downer of a performance, really...

U2 was absolutely lights out that day...nobody took bigger advantage of the moment than they did - with their lead singer Robin Williams apparently...

5:17 AM  
Blogger coachsullivan said...

I was mildly surprised about Plant. This is '85, so he's got at least a couple of songs on the chart with his Honeydrippers experiment so you wouldn't expect him to be all that much out of shape vocally. And let's stop for a polite golf clap for Phil Collins on drums. When you watch virtually any all-star performance from the 80's and 90's, especially if it involves Plant, McCartney, Sting, Clapton, or Knopfler it seems that Collins is their go-to drummer. He gets left off of most "all-time" lists and yet he's clearly who stars felt comfortable working with. Goosebumps.

Back to Collins. It was him, not Elton John, that performed in both London and Philadelphia that day. Took the Concorde over midway through the festivities. As the story goes, Cher was on his flight and had no idea Live Aid was taking place. She crashed the party with Collins and wound up onstage singing "We Are The World" for the American portion's conclusion.

No to the Boomtown Rats for any other hits of particular substance. Read the background on the song sometime. Geldof was at a television or radio station to do an interview and saw the reports come in about a teenage girl with a sniper rifle picking off small children on a school playground. When the police asked her why she did it her response was, "I don't like Mondays."

Has anyone this side of Billy Ray Cyrus circa 1992 ever rocked a mullet quite like Bono in this video? I mean, aside from your average run-of-the-mill Kentucky Wildcat fan?

7:15 AM  

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