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?
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,
|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|
|Madonna was described as an up and coming singer.|
|Tina Turner and Mick Jagger|
She was 33. He was 103.
|Queen steals the show.|
Someone stole this girl's shirt.
He must pull her over the barrier and dance with her.
Save us all, Bono!
And no, Shady, I am not the topless girl!