Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ODDS AND ENDS AND LIVE AID

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We've established that hair bands and baggy clothes were the name of the game at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985, when rock stars joined together to raise funds for the starving people of Ethiopia. Now let's look at some high points of the two-venue concert (the focus was on London and Philadelphia, but other countries held concerts, too) that drew more viewers than any other TV special.

The concert began in London's Wembley Stadium at noon BST, which was 7 a.m. at Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium. The BBC broadcast the show, as did MTV. However, ABC took over during the evening and wanted to reserve some of the biggest acts for those hours. Thus, some bands that played in London earlier in the day didn't play on television in the U.S. until much later.

After concert goers entered Wembley Stadium, Prince Charles and Princess Diana arrived. The Coldstream Guards played "The Royal Salute" and "God Save The Queen." It was early enough in the royal couple's marriage that Diana didn't have that I'm-going-to-cry-at- any-minute-face, and Charles didn't appear to have sucked on a lemon.

He doesn't look very happy, though, does he?
That's the face of a man who'd rather go to the opera,
or tell his mistress that he wants to be her tampon.
Ignore Charles, and enjoy some trivia instead:

  • Queen's sound engineer made some sneaky changes to the system so Queen's performance would be louder than others.
  • U2's Bono tried to signal to security that a girl was being crushed against the barriers during their performance. When the guards failed to understand her plight, Bono jumped down from the stage to pull the girl to safety. He then danced with her.
  • Seven hours into the show organizer Bob Geldof was disappointed in the amount of money raised. He interrupted an announcer giving addresses where donations could be sent in the future by yelling "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!" Giving increased considerably.
  • Paul McCartney closed the show in London with "Let It Be" (although various artists gathered afterwards to sing "Do They Know It's Christmas?"--the single they had released earlier for charity), but his microphone failed. Audiences couldn't hear the first two minutes of the song.
  • The concert in JFK began at 8:51 a.m.
  • Phil Collins performed in London, then flew on the Concorde to the U.S. to perform again.
  • Both venues were dominated by white male performers. Michael Jackson allegedly tried to organize a boycott of the event because so few black performers were scheduled to appear. Stevie Wonder agreed to perform, changed his mind, and stated he would not be the token black.
  • Crosby, Stills, & Nash reunited for the concert. Ozzy Osbourne sang with Black Sabbath.
  • Teddy Pendergrass performed in public for the first time since he was paralyzed in a car accident during 1982.
  • Duran Duran played four songs and didn't perform together again until 2003. Simon Le Bon was so off key during "A View to Kill" that the press dubbed his performance "The Bum Note Heard Round the World."
  • A number of acts who agreed to appear dropped out because of disagreements with promoter Bill Graham.
  • Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood closed the show in the U.S., followed by "We Are the World."

Although no one would have accused Phil Collins of being in a hair band, he did have hair in 1985:


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




28 comments:

  1. I remember this but through the teenager filter. Thank you so much for all the tidbits. I had no idea about any of them. AWESOME!!!!

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    1. I think they're interesting, too. I didn't know most of them.

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  2. Fantastic blast from the past, Janie - in all the vivid details. I have a faint recollection hearing about the girl being crushed. My memory was more catastrophe, so I'm glad to know she got to dance with Bono. Awesome stuff. I wish I'd been there.

    Be well, and love to you.

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    1. She was obviously frightened and shaking with fear. I hope the fear turned to joy at Bono's kindness.

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  3. Thank you very much for listing all those interesting facts about the Live Aid concerts, dear Janie. I didn't realize there was so much drama going on behind the scenes. It's hard to believe the event took place more than 30 years ago.

    Happy Tuesday to you, dear friend!

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    1. Thank you! Sadly, far more drama occurred than I've listed here.

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  4. Great trivia, but an even greater picture of the princess with prince stick butt.

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    1. Joanne, you win the award for best comment of the day, and perhaps best comment of the week.

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  5. Replies
    1. Oh, yeah, go Bono. I love the shirt. I still have my shirt from the Paul McCartney concert in RFK Stadium. It's pretty fragile now.

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  6. Thank you for always having interesting facts to share. I learn something new each time, which I love. That was really kind of Bono and Queen were just the best.

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    1. I'll get to Queen. What a performance!

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  7. I loved your commentary about Prince Charles's face. I am still cracking up.

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    1. Prince Charles is a pretty easy target for teasing.

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  8. It's starting to come back to me, vaguely.

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    1. One more post and then you'll remember the entire concert.

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  9. Hi Ms Bug! Thing 1: Charles looks like he's taking a crap. Thing 2: I'd forgotten Phil had that screamin' mullet.

    Some things are better left forgotten!

    -andi

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    1. Agreed. I've almost forgotten my marriage.

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  10. Oh the memories and I remember Michael Jackson trying to stage the boycott-I wonder why since he wanted to be white. I didn't know that about Bono and good for him! Love that pic of the 2 royals and yes Charles looks like he would love to be anywhere else but there.

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    1. Did Michael Jackson truly want to be white, or did he maybe bleach his skin to try to control the patches of brown and white? I think he was also afraid of resembling his father. It seems kind of silly to complain that there weren't enough black performers and then refuse to perform. That meant fewer black performers.

      Love,
      Janie

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    2. No he did not have that disease (I can't recall the name). he actually was taking some hormones or something to lighten his skin. You are right about the dad issue. He did look like his dad and that was enough to set him off. He really needed therapy big time.

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    3. I looked it up, Birgit. His autopsy confirmed that he had vitiligo and a form of lupus. Lupus can also lead to pigmentation loss. He used skin bleach, but the question is whether he used it because he wanted to be white or if he had more white patches than brown and wanted to get rid of the brown. Before the vitiligo got really bad he wore make-up to even out his skin tone. His autopsy also revealed that he had a black tattoo on his "hairline" to help his wigs cover up that he was going bald. As for the plastic surgery, I suspect he wanted to avoid looking like his father and then became addicted to the changes. I learned more from his autopsy that I wanted to know.

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  11. What a huge mess !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It was a huge undertaking, the likes of which no one had tried before.

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  12. Hey, now I have a missing comment! I know I said something about Hands Across America yesterday (do you remember THAT one? I stood in the middle of 224 in Boardman, Ohio, to take part in that and sing the theme song...).

    Of course, I remember every stinkin' detail of Live Aid; I lived for that stuff.

    Thanks fer the memories, Janie-poo!

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    1. Did you write a comment on this post that disappeared? Your comment about Hands Across America is on yesterday's post. I once saw the "AIDS" quilt. I felt quite moved.

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  13. Janie, great post on all this memorabilia! I don't remember too much about the hype, but I'm sure that every concert has some drama, sometimes that no one knows about. And this one was the start of many huge performances by musicians. Have a great day!

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    1. I had no idea any of that crazy stuff happened. I learned it all online.

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