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.
- 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,