Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DIFFICULTIES PRESERVING LIVE AID FOR THE FUTURE


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

 How do we preserve the memory of Live Aid if we weren't fortunate enough to be at one of the venues?


We have the memories of the performers and the people who watched at home.

But is is true that . . .

  • Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo--the band that opened the show in London on July 13, 1985--were known as Dr. Rossi and Dr. Parfitt because of the large quantity of drugs they carried?
  • Bob Geldof's wife Paula Yates stopped at a gas station on the way to the concert to buy flowers for Princess Diana?
  • Bob Geldof had to hitchhike home after the show because no cabs were available?
  • David Crosby was out on bail because of drug and weapons possession charges?
  • No band was to have more than twenty minutes on stage, so when the red five-minute warning light flashed during The Who's performance, Pete Townshend smashed the light and the band played an extra five minutes?
  • Elton John's performance ran over so Wham! didn't get to play?
  • A number of performers refused to participate or did so under duress because they felt bullied by Bob Geldof?
I hope any bad feelings left over from the concerts to benefit the starving people of Ethiopia have dissipated over the years. But what about preserving the performances from this historic occasion?

Yes, I've watched the four DVDs of the show, but they don't include all the performances. Some bands aren't included because of music rights issues or because they were unhappy with their performances and wouldn't allow them to be shown again.

The only people who have the complete concerts are those with aging videocassettes they recorded at home on that day because Bob Geldof considered the show a one-time only event. He asked all the broadcasters to eraser their tapes.

ABC dutifully obeyed Geldof, but in 2004 when Geldof finally realized the concert should be released, he learned that the BBC and MTV disobeyed him. They had the parts of the concert they broadcast, although the BBC recordings are said to be superior.

In spite of backstage drama, I hope the major lesson of July 13th, 1985, is that people can come together to raise money for a cause. We've seen many such examples since then, such as The Concert for New York after 9/11.

I've watched quite a few memorable performances on the DVDs, but I must say that the best is that of Queen. Many think that Queen gave the all-time greatest live performance ever. I swear Freddie Mercury must have been jolted with power that he sent into the ether to electrify the crowd and even the viewers at home.






We still miss you, Freddie.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Prince Charles asks Bob Geldof, Where are we?
Princess Diana wonders how she married such a dolt.

The crowd in Philadelphia 

The crowd in London

David Bowie

Elton John

Madonna was described as an up and coming singer.

Sir Paul

Tina Turner and Mick Jagger
She was 33. He was 103.
Queen steals the show.





Call Bono!
Someone stole this girl's shirt.
He must pull her over the barrier and dance with her.
Save us all, Bono!
P.S. I'm sorry I confused some of you. I did not attend either concert. I watched part of the show on TV. My strongest memory is of Paul McCartney starting to sing Let It Be, but his microphone didn't work for the first two minutes of the song.

And no, Shady, I am not the topless girl!

36 comments:

  1. Hi again, dear Janie!

    You weren't kidding when you told me there was much more backstage drama to reveal. As a former television producer I can imagine how challenging it was to stage a live event of this magnitude. Major stars with giant egos do not like to be "waved off" when their allotted time on stage has expired. Those run-overs do not surprise me in the least. As a news producer I had the same problem trying to get meteorologists and sports guys to obey their time cues, finish their blocks and avoid running over into news time.

    It seemed shortsighted for Geldof to request that broadcasters erase tapes of the event. 20 years earlier, the T.A.M.I. Show, hosted by Jan & Dean, was preserved for the ages and boomers are grateful.

    It was a common sight in the 80s to see one or more young women exposing her breasts at rock concerts for shock value. Today, the entertainers on stage are more likely to do it.

    Thank you for the flashbacks and the behind the scenes scuttlebutt, dear friend Janie. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. I keep my boobs covered when I go out, though I did show Garrison Keillor a little flash last winter. I'm sure Bob Geldof worked hard to get these concerts organized, but he was shortsighted about more than one aspect of the work. I can't imagine thinking no one would want to see the concerts, or at least clips from them, in the future.

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  2. So that last girl was so excited by raising money for Ethiopia that she just had to toss out her goodies for the cause? I also like that the Who iwas like, "you can't tell us when to stop...five more minutes ought to solidify our rebelliousness!" I mean, five minutes? If they went on for another 30 minutes, okay, they were feeling the energy, but five minutes is just being petulant.

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    1. Yes, definitely excited about raising money for Ethiopia. I wonder who was on stage when she did that. I love the word "petulant." Pete probably stomped on the light because he thought he was driving his car. He hit the brakes because the light turned red. Those guys were 115 in drug years.

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  3. Tina Turner--such a great musician in such a tiny body.

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    1. As a child, I left the room when Ike and Tina Turner came on TV. When Tina hit back and escaped from Ike, I quickly grew to love her. What I wouldn't do for those legs, that voice, and that ability to dance.

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  4. A remarkable gathering of talent.

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    1. You betcha, buddy. The people who refused to participate missed out.

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  5. Wow. You are so lucky you saw that. I remember when madonna looked like that and omg look at Bono's hair!

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    1. I don't remember Madonna looking like that. The first time I saw her she was humping a stage for TV cameras while she sang Like A Virgin, a song I still can't stand. Bono's hair is pretty funny.

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  6. Hi Janie - fantastic you were able to get to the Show - it must have been just amazing. Loved the whole thing and Freddie's performance ... and those pics .. great memories .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I was not there, Hilary. I watched parts of it on TV. If I had been there, I would write a post about it every day.

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  7. The inside story is excellent! Lucky you to have been there!

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    1. I'm sorry I confused my readers. I wasn't there. I found the inside tales and the photos on various Web sites.

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  8. That would've been something to see. Awesome photos!

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    1. I wish I had been there. Our friend Jennifer Williams Fields lived in Philly, but her parents wouldn't let her go!

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  9. OMG...that is way too many people for me! But I'm sure it was enjoyable for all those in attendance. You are right about Princess Diana....there must have been a better life for her. But now she has a lovely son as prince.

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    1. Now she has two beautiful grandchildren. She would have loved Charlotte and George so much. She taught the importance of public service to both her sons. Harry spent the summer working with the children's charities he sponsors in Africa. I think it's great that William uses his skills to work at a real job. Can you imagine needing a helicopter to get medical care and finding that William is your pilot?

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  10. Quite a lot of famous entertainers in that gathering!

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    1. Yes, in spite of those who refused to appear, it was an amazing group.

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  11. These are great memories but how sad that egos get in the way. They always do. Geldof was a bit stupid to think that way but youth will do that. Queen was great and that, to me, was the best. You know, there is a series that was on PBS done back in the 1970's called "Hollywood" narrated by James Mason. There are 13 episodes all about the Silent Film from "In the Beginning" to "The Directors", "Stuntmen", The Comedians" to the very end of the Silent era. Huge stars, for their day were interviewed and it is a thrill to watch. I have 12 of the episodes on VCR but they can't be found on DVD. Why? All the estates of these now dead stars, directors, cameramen, etc.. are all arguing and there has been no agreement. What a shame about egos

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    1. That's a shame, Birgit. I remember that series. PBS showed it again several years ago. I didn't know that it isn't available on DVD.

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  12. Let me say you're right on with Queen. I freaking love Queen.

    -andi

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  13. Honestly, I am not sure if I have seen any of the footage!(wanders off shamed...but with my shirt on)

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    1. Oh, c'mon, Andrea. You know you were the topless girl.

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  14. Amazing and wondrous. Thanks for the info, I hadn't heard about all the blips.

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  15. That was the concert of a lifetime!

    I wish I had seen Freddie Mercury perform live. He was something spectacular (the whole group was, really).

    But Bowie...YOW. I've seen him several times and he's awesome in concert, Sir Paul - seen him three times. Missed George Michael concert to see some guy...that I later married, so thanks, GM!

    Nothing compares to LIVE performance. The only way to make it better is to make it a charitable event!

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    1. I wish I'd seen Freddie. Every note out of his mouth was strong, pure, and true. Now Cherdo, you know I love you, but you saw David Bowie several times? I'm starting to love you a little less. I've seen Paul McCartney, but only once. It was the most exciting thing I've ever done.

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  16. Wow, so much backstage drama, though I'm not entirely surprised. They are musicians and half of them are entitled buttholes :)
    Seriously, seeing these videos of Queen, awesome! Freddy Mercury was the best. I wish I could've seen him live *sigh*

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    1. I, too, wish I'd seen Freddie Mercury live. When I see all the requirements that bands have for their dressing rooms when they go on the road, they often sound as if they are spoiled brats.

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  17. Replies
    1. Absolutely. Freddie stays with me always.

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  18. Reading your posts is making me angry at my parents all over again for not letting me go. I think I'm going to call my dad right now and tell him!

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    1. You do that, but don't show him the photo of the girl who took off her top!

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