Official Live Aid poster, artwork by Peter Blake
|Genre|| Pop |
|Dates||13 July 1985|
|Location(s)|| Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom |
John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Founded by|| Bob Geldof |
Live Aid was a dual-venue benefit concert held on Saturday 13 July 1985, and an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).
A benefit concert or charity concert is a type of musical benefit performance featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis.
Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof, is an Irish singer-songwriter, author, political activist and occasional actor. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement. The band had Number One hits with his compositions "Rat Trap" and "I Don't Like Mondays". Geldof co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?", one of the best-selling singles of all time, and starred in Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as "Pink".
James "Midge" Ure is a Scottish musician, singer-songwriter and producer. His stage name, Midge, is a phonetic reversal of Jim, the diminutive form of his given name.
On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast,nearly 40% of the world population.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
The 1985 Live Aid concert was conceived as a follow-on to the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" which was also the brainchild of Geldof and Ure. In October 1984, images of hundreds of thousands of people starving to death in Ethiopia were shown in the UK in Michael Buerk's BBC News reports on the 1984 famine.The BBC News crew were the first to document the famine, with Buerk's report on 23 October describing it as "a biblical famine in the 20th century" and "the closest thing to hell on Earth". The report shocked Britain, motivating its citizens to inundate relief agencies, such as Save the Children, with donations, and to bring the world's attention to the crisis in Ethiopia. Bob Geldof also saw the report, and called Midge Ure from Ultravox, and together they quickly co-wrote the song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in the hope of raising money for famine relief. Geldof then contacted colleagues in the music industry and persuaded them to record the single under the title 'Band Aid' for free. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released four days later. It stayed at number-one for five weeks in the UK, was Christmas number one, and became the fastest-selling single ever in Britain and raised £8 million, rather than the £70,000 Geldof and Ure had initially expected. Geldof then set his sights on staging a huge concert to raise further funds.
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every inhabited continent in the world has experienced a period of famine throughout history. In the 19th and 20th century, it was generally Southeast and South Asia, as well as Eastern and Central Europe that suffered the most deaths from famine. The numbers dying from famine began to fall sharply from the 2000s.
Ethiopia, Oromo: Itiyoophiyaa, Somali: Itoobiya, Hebrew: אתיופיה -officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, popularly known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent that covers a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate.
The idea to stage a charity concert to raise more funds for Ethiopia originally came from Boy George, the lead singer of Culture Club. George and Culture Club drummer Jon Moss had taken part in the recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and in December 1984 Culture Club were undertaking a tour of the UK, which culminated in six nights at Wembley Arena. On the final night at Wembley, Saturday 22 December 1984, an impromptu gathering of some of the other artists from Band Aid joined Culture Club on stage at the end of the concert for an encore of "Do They Know It's Christmas?". George was so overcome by the occasion he told Geldof that they should consider organising a benefit concert. Speaking to the UK music magazine Melody Maker at the beginning of January 1985, Geldof revealed his enthusiasm for George's idea, saying, "If George is organising it, you can tell him he can call me at any time and I'll do it. It's a logical progression from the record, but the point is you don't just talk about it, you go ahead and do it!"
Boy George is an English singer, songwriter, DJ and fashion designer. He is the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club. At the height of the band's fame, during the 1980s, they recorded global hit songs such as "Karma Chameleon", "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Time ". George is known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance. He was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
Culture Club are an English new wave group that formed in London in 1981. The band comprises Boy George, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss. They are considered one of the most representative and influential groups of the 1980s.
Jonathan Aubrey Moss is an English drummer, best known as a member of the 1980s pop group Culture Club. He has also played with other bands, including London, The Nips, The Damned and Adam & The Ants.
It was clear from the interview that Geldof had already had the idea to hold a dual venue concert and how the concerts should be structured:
The show should be as big as is humanly possible. There's no point just 5,000 fans turning up at Wembley; we need to have Wembley linked with Madison Square Gardens and the whole show to be televised worldwide. It would be great for Duran to play three or four numbers at Wembley and then flick to Madison Square where Springsteen would be playing. While he's on, the Wembley stage could be made ready for the next British act like the Thompsons or whoever. In that way lots of acts could be featured and the television rights, tickets and so on could raise a phenomenal amount of money. It's not an impossible idea, and certainly one worth exploiting.
The original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium in Wembley Park, London, which stood on the same site now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The demolition in 2003 of its famous Twin Towers upset many people worldwide. Debris from the stadium was used to make the Northala Fields in Northolt, London.
Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. It is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden"; the first two were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden (1925) further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.
Duran Duran are an English new wave and synth-pop band formed in Birmingham in 1978. The band grew from being alternative sensations in 1982 to mainstream pop stars by 1984. By the end of the decade, membership and music style changes challenged the band before a resurgence in the early 1990s. The group were a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the US. The band achieved 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide.
Among those involved in organising Live Aid were Harvey Goldsmith, who was responsible for the Wembley Stadium concert, and Bill Graham, who put together the American leg.
Harvey Goldsmith is an English performing arts promoter. He is best known as a promoter of rock concerts, charity concerts, television broadcasts for the Prince's Trust and more recently the Teenage Cancer Trust shows at the Royal Albert Hall.
Bill Graham was a German-American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash. On July 4, 1939 he was sent from Germany to France to escape the Nazis. At age 10 he settled in a foster home in the Bronx, New York. Graham graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and from City College with a business degree.
The concert grew in scope, as more acts were added on both sides of the Atlantic. Tony Verna, inventor of instant replay, was able to secure John F. Kennedy Stadium through his friendship with Philadelphia Mayor Goode and was able to procure, through his connections with ABC's prime time chief, John Hamlin, a three-hour prime time slot on the ABC Network and, in addition, was able to supplement the lengthy program through meetings that resulted in the addition of an ad-hoc network within the US, which covered 85 percent of TVs there. Verna designed the needed satellite schematic and became the Executive Director as well as the Co-Executive Producer along with Hal Uplinger. Uplinger came up with the idea to produce a four-hour video edit of Live Aid to distribute to those countries without the necessary satellite equipment to rebroadcast the live feed.
The concert began at 12:00 British Summer Time (BST) (7:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)) at Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom. It continued at John F. Kennedy Stadium (JFK) in the United States, starting at 13:51 BST (8:51 EDT). The UK's Wembley performances ended at 22:00 BST (17:00 EDT). The JFK performances and whole concert in the US ended at 04:05 BST 14 July (23:05 EDT). Thus, the concert continued for just over 16 hours, but since many artists' performances were conducted simultaneously in Wembley and JFK, the total concert's length was much longer.
Mick Jagger and David Bowie intended to perform an intercontinental duet, with Bowie in London and Jagger in Philadelphia. Problems of synchronisation meant the only remotely practical solution was to have one artist, likely Bowie at Wembley, mime along to prerecorded vocals broadcast as part of the live sound mix for Jagger's performance from Philadelphia. Veteran music engineer David Richards (Pink Floyd and Queen) was brought in to create footage and sound mixes Jagger and Bowie could perform to in their respective venues. The BBC would then have had to ensure those footage and sound mixes were in sync while also performing a live vision mix of the footage from both venues. The combined footage would then have had to be bounced back by satellite to the various broadcasters around the world. Due to the time lag (the signal would take several seconds to be broadcast twice across the Atlantic Ocean), Richards concluded there was no way for Jagger to hear or see Bowie's performance, meaning there could be no interaction between the artists, essentially defeating the whole point of the exercise. On top of this, both artists objected to the idea of miming at what was perceived as a historic event. Instead, Jagger and Bowie worked with Richards to create a video clip of the song they would have performed, a cover of "Dancing in the Street", which was shown on the screens of both stadiums and broadcast as part of many TV networks coverage.
Each of the two main parts of the concert ended with their particular continental all-star anti-hunger anthems, with Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" closing the UK concert, and USA for Africa's "We Are the World" closing the US concert (and thus the entire event itself).
Concert organizers have subsequently said they were particularly keen to ensure at least one surviving member of The Beatles, ideally Paul McCartney, took part in the concert as they felt that having an 'elder statesman' from British music would give it greater legitimacy in the eyes of the political leaders whose opinions the performers were trying to shape. McCartney agreed to perform and has said it was "the management" – his children – who persuaded him to take part. In the event, he was the last performer (aside from the Band Aid finale) to take to the stage and one of the few to be beset by technical difficulties; his microphone failed for the first two minutes of his piano performance of "Let It Be", making it difficult for television viewers and impossible for those in the stadium to hear him. He later joked by saying he had thought about changing the lyrics to "There will be some feedback, let it be".
Phil Collins performed at both Wembley Stadium and JFK, travelling by helicopter (piloted by UK TV personality Noel Edmonds) to Heathrow Airport, then by Concorde to New York, and by another helicopter to Philadelphia. Aside from his own set at both venues, he also played the drums for Eric Clapton, and played with the reuniting surviving members of Led Zeppelin at JFK. On the Concorde flight, Collins encountered actress and singer Cher, who was unaware of the concerts. Upon reaching the US, she attended the Philadelphia concert and can be seen performing as part of the concert's "We Are the World" finale.
Broadcaster Richard Skinner opened the Live Aid concert with the words:
It's twelve noon in London, seven AM in Philadelphia, and around the world it's time for Live Aid.
The concert was the most ambitious international satellite television venture that had ever been attempted at the time. In Europe, the TV feed was supplied by the BBC, whose broadcast was presented by Richard Skinner, Andy Kershaw, Mark Ellen, David Hepworth, Andy Batten-Foster, Steve Blacknell, Paul Gambaccini, Janice Long and Mike Smith and included numerous interviews and chats in between the various acts. The BBC's television sound feed was mono, as was all UK TV audio before NICAM was introduced, but the BBC Radio 1 feed was stereo and was simulcast in sync with the TV pictures. Unfortunately, in the rush to set up the transatlantic feeds, the sound feed from Philadelphia was sent to London via transatlantic cable, while the video feed was via satellite, which meant a lack of synchronisation on British television receivers. Due to the constant activities in both London and Philadelphia, the BBC producers omitted the reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young from their broadcast. The BBC, however, did supply a 'clean feed' to various television channels in Europe.
ABC was largely responsible for the US broadcast (although ABC themselves only telecast the final three hours of the concert from Philadelphia, hosted by Dick Clark, with the rest shown in syndication through Orbis Communications, acting on behalf of ABC). An entirely separate and simultaneous US feed was provided for cable viewers by MTV, whose broadcast was presented in stereo, and accessible as such for those with stereo televisions. At the time, before Multichannel television sound was enacted nationwide, very few televisions reproduced stereo signals and few television stations were able to broadcast in stereo. While the telecast was run commercial-free by the BBC, both the MTV and syndicated/ABC broadcasts included advertisements and interviews. As a result, many songs were omitted due to the commercial breaks, as these songs were played during these slots.
The biggest issue of the syndicated/ABC coverage is that the network had wanted to reserve some of the biggest acts that had played earlier in the day for certain points in the entire broadcast, particularly in the final three hours in prime time; thus, Orbis Communications had some sequences replaced by others, especially those portions of the concert that had acts from London and Philadelphia playing simultaneously. For example, while the London/Wembley finale was taking place at 22:00 (10:00 pm) London time, syndicated viewers saw segments that had been recorded earlier, so that ABC could show the UK finale during its prime-time portion. In 1995, VH1 and MuchMusic aired a re-edited ten-hour re-broadcast of the concert for its 10th Anniversary.
At one point midway through the concert, Billy Connolly announced he had just been informed that 95% of the television sets around the world were tuned to the event, though of course this cannot be verified.
The Live Aid concert in London was also the first time that the BBC outside broadcast sound equipment had been used for an event of such scale. In stark contrast to the mirrored sound systems commonly used by the rock band touring engineers, with two 40–48 channel mixing consoles at the Front of house, and another pair for monitors, the BBC sound engineers had to use multiple 12 channel desks. Some credit this as the point where the mainstream entertainment industry realised that the rock concert industry had overtaken them in technical expertise.
The Coldstream Guards band opened with the "Royal Salute", a brief version of the national anthem "God Save the Queen". Status Quo were the first act to appear and started their set with "Rockin' All Over the World", also playing "Caroline" and fan favourite "Don't Waste My Time"."Bob told me, 'It doesn't matter a fuck what you sound like, just so long as you're there,'" recalled guitarist and singer Francis Rossi. "Thanks for the fucking honesty, Sir Bob." This would be the band's last appearance with bassist and founder member Alan Lancaster and drummer Pete Kircher. Princess Diana and Prince Charles were among those in attendance as the concert commenced.
Bob Geldof performed with the rest of the Boomtown Rats, singing "I Don't Like Mondays". He stopped just after the line "The lesson today is how to die" to loud applause.He finished the song and left the crowd to sing the final words. Elvis Costello sang a version of The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love", which he introduced by asking the audience to "help [him] sing this old northern English folk song".
Queen's twenty-one minute performance, which began at 6:41 pm, was voted the greatest live performance in the history of rock, in a 2005 industry poll of more than 60 artists, journalists and music industry executives.Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury at times led the crowd in unison refrains, and his sustained note during the a cappella section came to be known as "The Note Heard Round the World". The band's six song set opened with a shortened version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and closed with "We Are the Champions". Mercury and fellow band member Brian May later sang the first song of the three-part Wembley event finale, "Is This the World We Created...?"
Other well-received performances on the day included those by U2 and David Bowie. The Guardian cited Live Aid as the event that made stars of U2.The band played a 14-minute rendition of "Bad", during which vocalist Bono jumped off the stage to join the crowd and dance with a girl. The length of "Bad" limited them to two songs; the third, "Pride (In the Name of Love)", had to be dropped. In July 2005, the girl with whom he danced said that he actually saved her life at the time. She was being crushed by people pushing forwards; Bono saw this, and gestured frantically at the ushers to help her. They did not understand what he was saying, and so he jumped down to help her himself. David Bowie's performance has been described by Rolling Stone as "arguably Bowie's last triumph of the 1980s".
The UK reception of the US feed failed several times and was dogged throughout the US concert by an intermittent regular buzzing on the audio from the US (see the John F. Kennedy Stadium section for more detail) and also failed during their relay of Japan's concert, which blacked out most of Off Course's song "Endless Nights".
In addition, the transatlantic broadcast from Wembley Stadium suffered technical problems and failed during The Who's performance of their opening song "My Generation", immediately after Roger Daltrey sang "Why don't you all fade ..." (the last word "Away" was cut off when a blown fuse caused the Wembley stage TV feed to temporarily fail).The broadcast eventually returned as the last verse of Pinball Wizard was played. John Entwistle's bass wouldn't work at the start, causing an awkward delay of over a minute before they could start playing. The band played with Kenney Jones on drums and it was their first performance since disbanding after a 1982 'farewell' tour. The Who's performance, including an at times chaotic but blistering version of "Won't Get Fooled Again", was described as "rough but right" by Rolling Stone, but they would not perform together again until the 1988 BPI Awards.
While performing "Let It Be" near the end of the show, the microphone mounted to Paul McCartney's piano failed for the first two minutes of the song, making it difficult for television viewers and the stadium audience to hear him.During this performance, the TV audience were better off, audio-wise, than the stadium audience, as the TV sound was picked up from other microphones near McCartney. The stadium audience, who could obviously not hear the electronic sound feed from these mikes, unless they had portable TV sets and radios, drowned out what little sound from Paul could be heard during this part of his performance. As a result, organiser and performer Bob Geldof, accompanied by earlier performers David Bowie, Alison Moyet and Pete Townshend returned to the stage to sing with him and back him up (as did the stadium audience despite not being able to hear much), by which time, Paul's microphone had been repaired.
At the conclusion of the Wembley performances, Bob Geldof was raised onto the shoulders of the Who's guitarist Pete Townshend and Paul McCartney.
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The host of the televised portion of the concert in Philadelphia was actor Jack Nicholson. The opening artist Joan Baez announced to the crowd, "this is your Woodstock, and it's long overdue," before leading the crowd in singing "Amazing Grace" and "We Are the World".
When Madonna got on stage, despite the 95 °F (35 °C) ambient temperature, she proclaimed "I'm not taking shit off today!" referring to the recent release of early nude photos of her in Playboy and Penthouse magazines.
During his opening number, "American Girl", Tom Petty flipped the middle finger to somebody off stage about one minute into song. Petty stated the song was a last-minute addition when the band realised that they would be the first act to play the American side of the concert after the London finale and "since this is, after all, JFK Stadium".
When Bob Dylan broke a guitar string, while playing with the Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, Wood took off his own guitar and gave it to Dylan. Wood was left standing on stage guitarless. After shrugging to the audience, he played air guitar, even mimicking the Who's Pete Townshend by swinging his arm in wide circles, until a stagehand brought him a replacement. The performance itself was included in the DVD, including the guitar switch and Wood talking to stage hands, but much of the footage used were close-ups of either Dylan or Richards.
During their duet on "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll", Mick Jagger ripped away part of Tina Turner's dress, leaving her to finish the song in what was, effectively, a leotard.
The JFK portion included reunions of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the original Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, the Beach Boys with Brian Wilson, and surviving members of Led Zeppelin, with Phil Collins and the Power Station (and former Chic) member Tony Thompson sharing duties on drums in place of the band's late drummer John Bonham (although they were not officially announced by their group name from the stage, but were announced as Led Zeppelin on the VH1 10th Anniversary re-broadcast in 1995).
Teddy Pendergrass made his first public appearance since his near-fatal car accident in 1982 which paralysed him. Pendergrass, along with Ashford & Simpson, performed "Reach Out and Touch".
Duran Duran performed a four-song set which was the final time the five original band members would publicly perform together until 2003. Their set saw a weak, off-key falsetto note hit by frontman Simon Le Bon during "A View to a Kill". The error was trumpeted by numerous media outlets as "The Bum Note Heard Round the World",in contrast to Freddie Mercury's "Note Heard Round the World" at Wembley. Le Bon later recalled that it was the most embarrassing moment of his career.
The UK TV feed from Philadelphia was dogged by an intermittent buzzing on the sound during Bryan Adams' turn on stage and continued less frequently throughout the rest of the UK reception of the American concert and both the audio and video feed failed entirely during that performance and during Simple Minds's performance.
Phil Collins, who had performed in the United Kingdom earlier in the day, began his solo set with the quip, "I was in England this afternoon. Funny old world, innit?" to cheers from the Philadelphia crowd.
Throughout the concerts, viewers were urged to donate money to the Live Aid cause. Three hundred phone lines were manned by the BBC, so that members of the public could make donations using their credit cards. The phone number and an address that viewers could send cheques to were repeated every twenty minutes.
Nearly seven hours into the concert in London, Bob Geldof enquired how much money had been raised so far; he was told about £1.2 million. He is said to have been sorely disappointed by the amount and marched to the BBC commentary position. Pumped up further by a performance by Queen which he later called "absolutely amazing", Geldof gave an interview in which he used the word "fuck". Conducting the interview, BBC presenter David Hepworth had attempted to provide a postal address to which potential donations could be sent; Geldof interrupted him in mid-flow and shouted "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers". Although the phrase "give us your fucking money" has passed into folklore, Geldof has stated that it was never uttered.Private Eye magazine made great humorous capital out of this outburst, emphasising Geldof's Irish accent which meant the profanities were heard as "fock" or "focking". After the outburst, donations increased to £300 per second.
Later in the evening, following David Bowie's set, a video shot by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was shown to the audiences in London and Philadelphia, as well as on televisions around the world (though neither US feed chose to show the film), showing starving and diseased Ethiopian children set to "Drive" by The Cars. (This would also be shown at the London Live 8 concert in 2005.) The rate of donations became faster in the immediate aftermath of the moving video. Geldof had previously refused to allow the video to be shown, due to time constraints, and had only relented when Bowie offered to drop the song "Five Years" from his set as a trade-off.
Geldof mentioned during the concert that the Republic of Ireland gave the most donations per capita, despite being in the midst of a serious economic recession at the time. The single largest donation came from Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was part of the ruling family of Dubai, who donated £1M in a phone conversation with Geldof. The next day, news reports stated that between £40 and £50 million had been raised. It is now estimated that around £150 million in total has been raised for famine relief as a direct result of the concerts.
Bruce Springsteen decided not to appear at Live Aid despite his huge global popularity in 1985. He later stated that he "simply did not realise how big the whole thing was going to be". He has since expressed regret at turning down Geldof's invitation to appear at the London concert, stating that he could have played a couple of acoustic songs had there been no slot available for a full band performance.
Michael Jackson declined to appear. Joan Baez claimed she'd heard rumors that Jackson and Stevie Wonder had boycotted the event due to "black superstar politics."However, Jackson's press agent Norman Winter released a statement at the time saying that Jackson was "working around the clock in the studio on a project that he's made a major commitment to," and consequently could not free up sufficient time to rehearse and perform at Live Aid. Winter added, "Michael is just about living in the studio, rehearsing and recording. I know, what could be more major than Live Aid, but Michael couldn't turn his back on his responsibility to the people he's working with. This affected employment for a lot of people." Jackson began filming Captain EO two days after Live Aid.
Prince also did not appear in person, but sent a pre-taped video of an acoustic version of "4 the Tears in Your Eyes", which was played during the concert in Philadelphia. The original version appears on the We Are the World album, while the video version was released in 1993 on Prince's compilation The Hits/The B-Sides . He wrote the song "Hello" about the criticism he got for turning it down. [ not in citation given ]
Billy Joel, Boy George, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Tears for Fears, Huey Lewis and the News and Paul Simon were all included in initial promotional material for the Philadelphia concert, but failed to appear. Boy George appeared at the London concert. Paul Simon and Huey Lewis initially accepted requests to play in Philadelphia but later issued press statements stating they had chosen not to appear after all, citing disagreements with promoter Bill Graham. The final poster for the Philadelphia show features the acts Peter, Paul and Mary and Rod Stewart (who also featured in the Philadelphia concert programme). Peter, Paul and Mary were to have joined Bob Dylan for a rendition of "Blowing In The Wind", having recorded a cover version in the 1960s – but Dylan called the organizers a few days before the show saying that he would play with Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards instead (Bill Wyman apparently told Geldof before not to approach the Stones because 'Keith doesn't give a fuck').Stewart was not touring at the time and was ultimately unable to put together a band in time for the concert, as was Billy Joel who actually did not like the idea of performing solo in front of such a big stadium audience. Geldof claimed, "Stevie Wonder eventually agreed to appear, but then he phoned me up and said, 'I am not going to be the token black on the show'".
Cliff Richard later stated he was unable to perform as he was committed to a gospel charity concert in Birmingham, although Geldof indicated he had no recollection of asking him.
Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears remarked that Bob Geldof "gave us so much gip for not turning up at Live Aid. He made us feel very guilty; all those millions of people dying, it was all our fault. I felt terrible. I tell you, I know how Hitler must have felt." The group made up for their absence by donating the proceeds from several shows of their world tour that year, and also contributed a re-recording of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (entitled "Everybody Wants to Run the World") for Geldof's Sport Aid charity event in 1986. The single reached the Top 5 in the UK, even though the band's original version had been a hit only a year earlier.
Cat Stevens wrote a song for the concert, which he never got to perform. According to the official book released after the event, he arrived at Wembley Stadium on the day without prior warning, and Geldof was simply unable to fit him into the schedule.
Liza Minnelli, Yoko Ono, and Cyndi Lauper were tapped to present at JFK Stadium, but backed out. Lauper did appear in a commercial for the "Live Aid Book" that aired during the concert.
A reunited Deep Purple were also due to appear from Switzerland via satellite, but pulled out after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore refused to take part.Eurythmics were scheduled to play Wembley but cancelled after Annie Lennox suffered serious throat problems. Deep Purple (minus Blackmore, who left the band in 1993) appeared at Geldof's Live 8 sequel 20 years later, performing at the Toronto leg of the event while Lennox appeared at the London and Edinburgh Live 8 concerts.
Frank Zappa was invited to perform, but refused because he believed that the money raised by Live Aid did not address the core problems facing the developing world and instead aided the developed world by providing ways to get drugs, calling the concert "the biggest cocaine money laundering scheme of all time".
A sighting of George Harrison arriving Wednesday night at Heathrow Airport led to widespread speculation that a reunion of the three living Beatles was in the works. Approached by Geldof to join Paul McCartney for "Let It Be", he responded, "Paul didn't ask me to sing on it (Let It Be) ten years ago, why would he want me now?"Frustrated by a bombardment of Beatles reunion questions, Geldof said: "It's just something you have to answer. I find it silly that with all these acts and the real purpose of the concert that the one thing people suddenly get caught up over is, 'Are the Beatles going to reform?' Who cares? Besides, they can't reform – or haven't people read the papers the last five years?" (a reference to the death of John Lennon).
Bill Graham is said to have turned down Foreigner and Yes because there was no free space on the bill for them.
British rock band Marillion, riding high in the UK charts that summer with their Misplaced Childhood album and "Kayleigh" single, missed out on an invitation to perform at Wembley because their manager had deemed it not worthwhile for singer Fish to participate in the "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single. Fish was quoted: "When it came to the bill for the concert we were passed over, I think because I'd turned down being on the Christmas song"
Participating in the "Do They Know It's Christmas?" finale at Wembley were Justin Hayward and John Lodge from The Moody Blues, Stewart Copeland from The Police and the members of Big Country. In Philadelphia, Lionel Richie, Harry Belafonte, Dionne Warwick, Melissa Manchester, Sheena Easton and Cher all showed up at the JFK Stadium finale performing "We Are The World".
Diana Ross, Van Halen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Talking Heads and Donna Summer also turned down requests to appear. Depeche Mode, among the most successful English bands of the time, were not invited. However, Alan Wilder, a Depeche Mode member at the time, said: "I doubt very much that we would have accepted the invitation, had we been asked. My personal view is that giving to charity should be a totally private gesture, out of which no personal gain should be made. Inevitably, nearly all the artists who took part in Live Aid achieved a considerable rise in record sales and being the cynic I am, I wonder just how much of the profit gained from those sales actually ended up going to Ethiopia." UB40 lead singer Ali Campbell admitted that his band was also ignored by Geldof while planning the list of musical acts of the British leg of the event: "We weren't asked to do Live Aid because Uncle Bob didn't like our music much. It was a great gig, but I thought it was a bit dodgy not having any black acts on the bill when it was raising money for Africa."
Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton expressed regrets about the band not being asked to perform: "That was a tragic, tragic decision. It could've been and it should've been the turning point for Phil (Lynott). And I think that really did Phil in quite a lot, that we were never asked to play. I mean Phil, he had a few problems at the time, but at the end of the day, if he would've been asked to play Live Aid, that would've been a goal for him to clean himself up to do that gig. We were all very upset of the fact that we weren't asked to do it because Phil knew Geldof and Midge Ure very well indeed. I was surprised that we weren't asked to do that. I don't think Phil ever forgave Bob."
Neil Peart, drummer of Canadian rock band Rush said: "Geddy was involved with the Northern Lights charity record here in Canada, although Rush weren't invited to participate in the Live Aid event – mainly because if you look at the guest list, it was very much an 'in-crowd' situation. We were 'out' by then. We didn't refuse to take part because of any principles. Mind you, I wouldn't have been happy being part of this scenario. Those stars should have shut up and just given over their money if they were genuine. I recall that Tears For Fears, who made a musical and artistic decision to pull out of the concert, were subsequently accused by Geldof of killing children in Africa – what a shockingly irresponsible and stupid attitude to take. But I have nothing bad whatsoever to say about Bob Geldof; he sacrificed his health, his career, everything for something he believed in. But others around him got involved for their own reasons. Some of those involved in Northern Lights were actually quoted as saying that their managers told them to get down to the recording sessions because it would be a good career move!"
"I tried to pitch into Live Aid," recalled Roger Waters, "They asked me to put Pink Floyd back together for it and I said no, but I'd bring my new band to play. They didn't want that. But that's alright. I went along on my own. "
Bob Dylan's performance generated controversy after he said "I hope that some of the money ... maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe ... one or two million, maybe ... and use it, say, to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks. ... "He is often misquoted, as on the Farm Aid website, as saying: "Wouldn't it be great if we did something for our own farmers right here in America?". In his autobiography, Is That It? (published in 1986), Geldof was critical of the remark, saying "He displayed a complete lack of understanding of the issues raised by Live Aid. ... Live Aid was about people losing their lives. There is a radical difference between losing your livelihood and losing your life. It did instigate Farm Aid, which was a good thing in itself, but it was a crass, stupid, and nationalistic thing to say." Although Dylan's comments were criticised, his remark inspired fellow musicians Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to organize the Farm Aid charity, which held its first concert in September 1985. The concert raised over $9 million for America's family farmers and became an annual event.
Geldof was not happy about the Hooters being added as the opening band in Philadelphia. He felt pressured into it by Graham and local promoter Larry Magid. Magid, promoting the concert through Electric Factory Concerts, argued that the band was popular in Philadelphia; their first major label album Nervous Night had been released almost three months earlier and had been a hit. In an interview for Rolling Stone , Geldof asked: "Who the fuck are the Hooters?"Conversely, in December 2004, Geldof appeared on the bill with the Hooters in Germany as their opening act.
Adam Ant subsequently criticised the event and expressed regrets about playing it, saying, "I was asked by Bob to promote this concert. They had no idea they could sell it out. Then in Bob's book he said, 'Adam was over the hill so I let him have one number.' ... Doing that show was the biggest fucking mistake in the world. Knighthoods were made, Bono got it made, and it was a waste of fucking time. It was the end of rock 'n' roll."Geldof stated in his autobiography that Miles Copeland, manager of Adam Ant and Sting, asked Geldof if he'd thought of asking Ant after Geldof contacted him to get Sting to appear: "I hadn't. I thought he was a bit passe. But then so were the Boomtown Rats, and each represented a certain piece of pop history, so I agreed. I also thought that might entice him to encourage Sting, or perhaps all three of the Police."
BBC coverage co-host Andy Kershaw criticised the event in his autobiography No Off Switch, stating, "Musically, Live Aid was to be entirely predictable and boring. As they were wheeled out – or rather bullied by Geldof into playing – it became clear that this was another parade of the same old rock aristocracy in a concert for Africa, organised by someone who, while advertising his concern for, and sympathy with, the continent didn't see fit to celebrate or dignify the place by including on the Live Aid bill a single African performer." Kershaw also described the attitude of Geldof and his showbusiness associates as "irritating, shallow, sanctimonious and self-satisfied".
Led Zeppelin performed for the first time since the death of their drummer John Bonham in 1980. Two drummers filled in for Bonham, including Phil Collins, who had played on singer Robert Plant's first two solo albums. The performance was criticised for Plant's hoarse voice, Jimmy Page's out-of-tune guitar, a lack of rehearsal, and poorly functioning monitors. Plant described the performance as "a fucking atrocity for us. ... It made us look like loonies".
Page later criticised Collins' performance, saying: "Robert told me Phil Collins wanted to play with us. I told him that was all right if he knows the numbers. But at the end of the day, he didn't know anything. We played 'Whole Lotta Love', and he was just there bashing away cluelessly and grinning. I thought that was really a joke."However, Collins said: "It was a disaster, really. Robert wasn't match-fit with his voice and Jimmy was out of it, dribbling. It wasn't my fault it was crap. ... If I could have walked off, I would have. But then we'd all be talking about why Phil Collins walked off Live Aid – so I just stuck it out. ... I thought it was just going to be low-key and we'd all get together and have a play. ... But something happened between that conversation and the day – it became a Led Zeppelin reunion. I turned up and I was a square peg in a round hole. Robert was happy to see me, but Jimmy wasn't."
Due to their "sub-standard" performance, Led Zeppelin have blocked broadcasts of the performance and withheld permission for it to be included on the DVD release.Philadelphia named it "one of the worst rock-and-roll reunions of all time", with Victor Fiorillo writing: "I'd like to be able to blame all of the awfulness on anaemic Phil Collins, who sat in on drums, and Page himself later fingered the Genesis drummer for screwing up the set. But Collins was just the beginning of the bad. Go ahead. Watch and remember. It really was that terrible."
In 1986 Spin published an exposé on the realities of Live Aid's actions in Ethiopia. They claimed that Geldof deliberately ignored warnings from Médecins Sans Frontières, who had complained directly to Geldof even before Live Aid, about the role of the Ethiopian Government under Derg leader Mengistu Haile Mariam in causing the famine and that by working with Mengistu directly, much of the relief funds intended for victims were in fact siphoned off to purchase arms from the Soviet Union, thereby exacerbating the situation even more. Geldof responded by deriding both the articles and Médecins Sans Frontières, who had been expelled from the country, and reportedly saying, "I'll shake hands with the Devil on my left and on my right to get to the people we are meant to help".According to the BBC World Service, a certain proportion of the funds were siphoned off to buy arms for the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front. This coalition battled at the time against Derg. The Band Aid Trust complained to the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit regarding the specific allegations in the BBC World Service documentary, and their complaint was upheld.
Arguing that Live Aid accomplished good ends while inadvertently causing harm at the same time, David Rieff gave a presentation of similar concerns in The Guardian at the time of Live 8.Tim Russert, in an interview on Meet the Press shortly after O'Reilly's comments, addressed these concerns to Bono. Bono responded that corruption, not disease or famine, was the greatest threat to Africa, agreeing with the belief that foreign relief organisations should decide how the money is spent. On the other hand, Bono said that it was better to spill some funds into nefarious quarters for the sake of those who needed it, than to stifle aid because of possible theft.
|12:00||Coldstream Guards||"God Save the Queen" (First six bars only)|
|12:01||Status Quo||"Rockin' All Over the World"|
"Don't Waste My Time"
|12:19||The Style Council||"You're the Best Thing"|
"Big Boss Groove"
"Walls Come Tumbling Down!"
|12:44||The Boomtown Rats||"I Don't Like Mondays"|
"Drag Me Down"
"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"
|13:01||Adam Ant||"Vive Le Rock"|
|13:17||Ultravox||"Reap the Wild Wind"|
"Dancing with Tears in My Eyes"
"One Small Day"
|13:46||Spandau Ballet||"Only When You Leave"|
|14:07||Elvis Costello||"All You Need Is Love"|
|14:22||Nik Kershaw||"Wide Boy"|
"Wouldn't It Be Good"
|14:53||Sade||"Why Can't We Live Together"|
"Your Love Is King"
"Is It a Crime"
|15:18|| Sting |
"Driven to Tears" (Sting)
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" (Phil Collins)
"Message in a Bottle" (Sting)
"In the Air Tonight" (Phil Collins)
"Long Long Way to Go" (both)
"Every Breath You Take" (both)
|15:49||Howard Jones||"Hide and Seek"|
|16:08||Bryan Ferry (w/ David Gilmour as backing guitarist)||"Sensation"|
"Boys And Girls"
"Slave to Love"
|16:40||Paul Young||"Do They Know It's Christmas?" (intro)|
"Come Back and Stay"
"That's the Way Love Is" (with Alison Moyet)
"Every Time You Go Away"
|17:19||U2||"Sunday Bloody Sunday"|
"Bad" (w/ snippets of "Satellite of Love", "Ruby Tuesday", "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Walk on the Wild Side")
|18:00||Dire Straits||"Money for Nothing" (with Sting)|
"Sultans of Swing"
"Radio Ga Ga"
"Hammer to Fall"
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
"We Will Rock You"
"We Are the Champions"
|19:23||David Bowie||"TVC 15"|
|19:59||The Who||"My Generation"|
"Love, Reign o'er Me"
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
|20:50||Elton John||"I'm Still Standing"|
"Bennie and the Jets"
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (with Kiki Dee)
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (with Wham!)
"Can I Get a Witness"
|21:48|| Freddie Mercury |
|"Is This the World We Created...?"|
|21:51|| Paul McCartney |
(w/ David Bowie, Bob Geldof, Alison Moyet and Pete Townshend)
|"Let It Be"|
|21:57||Band Aid||"Do They Know It's Christmas?"|
|8:51||Bernard Watson||"All I Really Want to Do"|
|9:01||Joan Baez||"Amazing Grace"|
"We Are the World"
|9:10||The Hooters||"And We Danced"|
"All You Zombies"
|9:32||Four Tops||"Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)"|
"It's the Same Old Song"
"Reach Out I'll Be There"
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)"
|9:45||Billy Ocean||"Caribbean Queen"|
|9:55||Black Sabbath||"Children of the Grave"|
|10:12||Run–D.M.C.||"Jam Master Jay"|
"King Of Rock"
|10:27||Rick Springfield||"Love Somebody"|
"State of the Heart"
|10:47||REO Speedwagon||"Can't Fight This Feeling"|
"Roll With the Changes"
|11:12||Crosby, Stills and Nash||"Southern Cross"|
"Teach Your Children"
"Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"
|11:29||Judas Priest||"Living After Midnight"|
"The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)"
"You've Got Another Thing Comin'"
|12:01||Bryan Adams||"Kids Wanna Rock"|
"Summer of '69"
"Tears Are Not Enough"
"Cuts Like a Knife"
|12:39||The Beach Boys||"California Girls"|
"Help Me, Rhonda"
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
|13:26|| George Thorogood and the Destroyers |
(w/ Bo Diddley and Albert Collins)
|"Who Do You Love?" (w/ Bo Diddley)|
"The Sky Is Crying"
"Madison Blues" (w/ Albert Collins)
|14:05||Simple Minds||"Ghost Dancing"|
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
"Promised You a Miracle"
|14:41||Pretenders||"Time the Avenger"|
"Message of Love"
"Stop Your Sobbing"
"Back on the Chain Gang"
"Middle of the Road"
|15:21|| Santana |
(w/ Pat Metheny)
"By the Pool"
|15:57|| Ashford & Simpson |
(w/ Teddy Pendergrass)
"Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" (w/ Teddy Pendergrass)
|16:27|| Madonna |
(w/ Thompson Twins and Nile Rodgers)
"Into the Groove"
"Love Makes The World Go Round" (w/ Thompson Twins and Nile Rodgers)
|17:02||Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers||"American Girl"|
|17:39||The Cars||"You Might Think"|
"Just What I Needed"
|18:06||Neil Young||"Sugar Mountain"|
"The Needle and the Damage Done"
"Nothing Is Perfect (In God's Perfect Plan)"
|18:42||The Power Station||"Murderess"|
"Get It On"
|19:21|| Thompson Twins |
(w/ Madonna, Steve Stevens and Nile Rodgers)
|"Hold Me Now"|
"Revolution" (w/ Madonna, Steve Stevens and Nile Rodgers)
|19:38||Eric Clapton||"White Room"|
|20:00||Phil Collins||"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"|
"In the Air Tonight"
|20:10||Led Zeppelin||"Rock and Roll"|
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Stairway to Heaven"
|20:39||Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young||"Only Love Can Break Your Heart"|
"Daylight Again/Find The Cost of Freedom"
|20:46||Duran Duran||"A View to a Kill"|
"Union of the Snake"
"Save a Prayer"
|21:20||Patti LaBelle||"New Attitude"|
"Stir It Up"
"Over the Rainbow"
"Why Can't I Get It Over"
|21:50|| Hall & Oates |
(w/ Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin)
|"Out of Touch"|
"Get Ready" (w/ Eddie Kendricks)
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (w/ David Ruffin)
"The Way You Do the Things You Do"
"My Girl" (w/ Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin)
|22:15|| Mick Jagger |
Hall & Oates
(w/ Tina Turner)
|"Lonely At the Top"|
"Just Another Night"
"State Of Shock" (w/ Tina Turner)
"It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" (w/ Tina Turner)
|22:39|| Bob Dylan |
|"Ballad of Hollis Brown"|
"When the Ship Comes In"
"Blowin' in the Wind"
|22:55||USA for Africa||"We Are the World"|
|13:05|| Sydney, ||Oz for Africa||various (depends on the broadcaster)|
|Off Cause||"Endless Night"|
|Eikichi Yazawa||"Take It Time"|
|Meiko Nakahara||"Ro-Ro-Ro-Russian Roulette"|
|14:12|| Vienna, ||Austria für Afrika [ de ]||"Warum?"|
|14:40|| The Hague, |
(from the North Sea Jazz Festival)
|B.B. King||"When It All Comes Down"|
"Why I Sing the Blues"
"Don't Answer the Door"
"Rock Me Baby"
|15:10|| Belgrade, ||YU Rock Misija||"Za milion godina"|
|15:55|| Moscow, ||Autograph||"Golovokruzhenie"|
"Nam nuzhen mir"
|16:27|| Cologne, ||Band für Afrika [ de ]||"Nackt Im Wind"|
"Ein Jahr (Es geht voran)"
|21:19||studio||Kool & the Gang||"Stand Up and Sing"|
|2:11|| London, ||Cliff Richard||"A World of Difference"|
When organiser Bob Geldof was persuading artists to take part in the concert, he promised them that it would be a one-off event, never to be seen again. That was the reason why the concert was never recorded in its complete original form, and only secondary television broadcasts were recorded. Following Geldof's request, ABC even erased its own broadcast tapes. However, before the syndicated/ABC footage was erased, copies of it were donated to the Smithsonian Institution and have now been presumed lost. The ABC feed of the USA for Africa/"We Are The World" finale does exist in its entirety, complete with the network end credits, and can be found as a supplemental feature on the We Are The World: The Story Behind The Song DVD.
Meanwhile, MTV decided to keep recordings of its broadcast and eventually located more than 100 tapes of Live Aid in its archives, but many songs in these tapes were cut short by MTV's ad breaks and presenters (according to the BBC). [ citation needed ] Many performances from the US were not shown on the BBC, and recordings of these performances are missing. There were four separate Audio Trucks in Philadelphia provided by David Hewitt of Remote Recording Services. ABC had taken the decision that no multi track tape recordings would be allowed, so no remixing of the Philadelphia show was possible.The BBC also decided to erase fragments of the performance due to storage limitations, to pave the way for newer programmes.
An official four-disc DVD set of the Live Aid concerts was released on 8 November 2004. The European premiere celebrating the launch of the new DVD was given a limited cinematic release, including European screenings in London, Zurich, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin. It was screened in DTS surround sound and featured a compilation of the DVD box set.It contains 10-hour partial footage of the 16-hour length concert. The DVD was produced by Geldof's company, Woodcharm Ltd., and distributed by Warner Music Vision. The DVD has since been out of print and no longer available in stores.
The decision to finally release it was taken by Bob Geldof nearly 20 years after the original concerts, after he found a number of unlicensed copies of the concert on the Internet.There has been controversy over the DVD release because a decision had been taken for a substantial number of tracks not to be included in this edited version.
The most complete footage that exists is used from the BBC source, and this was the main source of the DVD. During production on the official DVD, MTV lent Woodcharm Ltd. their B-roll and alternate camera footage where MTV provided extra footage of the Philadelphia concert (where ABC had erased the tapes from the command of Bob Geldof), and those songs that were not littered with ads were used on the official DVD.
Working from the BBC and MTV footage, several degrees of dramatic license were taken, in order to release the concert on DVD. For example, many songs on the official DVD had their soundtracks altered, mainly in sequences where there were originally microphone problems. In one of those instances, Paul McCartney had re-recorded his failed vocals for "Let It Be" in a studio the day after the concert (14 July 1985) but it was never used until the release of the DVD. Also, in the US finale, the original 'USA for Africa' studio track for "We Are the World" was overlaid in places where the microphone was absent (consequently, it includes the vocals of Kenny Rogers and James Ingram, two artists who did not even take part in Live Aid).
Judicious decisions were also made on which acts would be included and which ones would not, due to either technical difficulties in the original performances, the absence of original footage, or for music rights reasons. For example, Rick Springfield, the Four Tops, the Hooters, the Power Station, Billy Ocean, Kool and the Gang and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were among those acts that were left off the DVD. Many of the artists' songs that were performed were also omitted. For example, Madonna performed three solo songs in the concert, but only two were included on the DVD ("Love Makes the World Go Round" was omitted). Phil Collins played "Against All Odds" and "In the Air Tonight" at both Wembley and JFK, but only the London performance of the former and the Philadelphia performance of the latter were included on the DVD. The JFK performance of "Against All Odds" was later included on Phil Collins' Finally ... The First Farewell Tour DVD. Tom Petty performed four songs, and only two were included on DVD. Patti LaBelle played 6 songs but only 2 songs were included.
There were also issues with the artists themselves. Two such performers were left off at their own request: Led Zeppelin and Santana. The former defended their decision not to be included on the grounds that their performance was 'sub-standard', but to lend their support, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant pledged to donate proceeds from the DVD release of Page & Plant:No Quarter to the campaign, and John Paul Jones pledged proceeds from his American tour with Mutual Admiration Society.
In 2007, Queen released a special edition of Queen Rock Montreal on Blu-ray and DVD formats containing their 1981 concert from The Forum in Montreal, Canada, and their complete Live Aid performance, along with Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing "Is This the World We Created...?" from the UK Live Aid finale, all re-mixed in DTS 5.1 sound by Justin Shirley-Smith—this marked the first Live Aid material officially released in a high-definition/Blu-ray format. Also included is their Live Aid rehearsal, and an interview with the band, from earlier in the week.
On its release, the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, decided the VAT collected on sales of the Live Aid DVD would be given back to the charity, which would raise an extra £5 for every DVD sold.
On 14 November 2004, it entered the UK Official Music Video Chart debuting at #1 and stayed at the top position for twelve consecutive weeks.
|Dutch Music DVDs Chart||2|
|Spanish Music DVD Chart (Promusicae)||8|
|UK Music Video Chart (OCC)||1|
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||30,000^|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||5,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Diamond||200,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Platinum||6,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||6× Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||10× Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
An audio copy of Live Aid was officially released by the Band Aid Trust label on 7 September 2018 on digital download, with a total of 87 tracks. Among the notable acts not included in the audio release, is the Queen performance.
Because the Live Aid broadcast was watched by 1.5 billion people,most of the footage was recorded on home consumer video recorders all around the world, in various qualities. Many of these recordings were in mono, because in the mid-1980s most home video machines could only record mono sound, and also because the European BBC TV broadcast was in mono. The US MTV broadcast, the ABC Radio Network and BBC Radio 1 simulcasts were stereo. These recordings circulated among collectors, and in recent years, have also appeared on the Internet in file sharing networks.
Since the official DVD release of Live Aid includes only partial footage of this event, unofficial distribution sources continue to be the only source of the most complete recordings of this event. The official DVD is the only authorised video release in which proceeds go directly to famine relief, the cause that the concert was originally intended to help.
The Wembley speaker system was provided by Hill Pro Audio. It consisted primarily of the Hill J-Series Mixing Consoles, Hill M3 Speaker System powered by the Hill 3000 amplifiers.In an interview with Studio Sound in December 1985, Malcolm Hill described the concept for the system in detail.
Clair Brothersand See Factor
Live Aid eventually raised $127 million in famine relief for African nations, and the publicity it generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa.
Many artists and performers at Live Aid gained prominence and positive commercial influence. For all the cultural, charitable, and technological significance of 1985's Live Aid, its most immediate impact was on the charts. In the UK, for example, No Jacket Required by Phil Collins and Madonna's Like a Virgin leapt back into the top ten. Queen's three year old Greatest Hits rose fifty-five places into the top twenty, followed by Freddie Mercury's Mr. Bad Guy. Every U2 album available at the time also returned to the chart.In 1986, Geldof would be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.
Queen's performance at Live Aid was recreated in the band's 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody .The background to the staging of the concert as a whole was dramatised in the 2010 television drama When Harvey Met Bob .
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was a benefit concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, England for an audience of 72,000. The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world, with an audience of up to one billion. The concert was a tribute to Queen's lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS on 24 November 1991. The show marked bassist John Deacon's final full-length concert with Queen. The profits from the concert were used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity organisation.
Band Aid is a charity supergroup featuring mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released in the UK on Monday 3 December. The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release. Three subsequent re-recordings of the song to raise further money for charity also topped the charts, first the Band Aid II version in 1989 and the Band Aid 20 version in 2004 and finally the Band Aid 30 version in 2014. The original was produced by Midge Ure. The 12" version was mixed by Trevor Horn.
No Jacket Required is the third solo studio album by English drummer and singer-songwriter Phil Collins. It was originally released on 18 February 1985 on Virgin, Atlantic, and WEA. It features guest backing vocalists, including Helen Terry, Peter Gabriel and Sting. Some of the songs, like "Don't Lose My Number" and "Sussudio", were based around improvisation. Other songs, like "Long Long Way to Go", had a political message. "One More Night", "Sussudio", "Don't Lose My Number" and "Take Me Home" were released as singles, with corresponding music videos. All four singles were top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with "Sussudio" and "One More Night" reaching number one. The three singles that were released in the UK all reached the top 20 on the UK charts.
The Boomtown Rats are an Irish rock band that had a series of Irish and UK hits between 1977 and 1985. The group is led by vocalist Bob Geldof. The other members of the original line-up were Garry Roberts, Johnnie Fingers (keyboards), Pete Briquette (bass), Gerry Cott and Simon Crowe (drums). The Boomtown Rats broke up in 1986, but reformed in 2013, without Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott.
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 by Band Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof and Ure and consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1984 and aided by considerable publicity it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one and stayed there for five weeks, becoming the Christmas number one of 1984. The record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing 3 million on the last day of 1984, on the way to displacing Wings's "Mull of Kintyre" as the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK. It held this title until 1997 when it was overtaken by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997", released in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales following her death. The original version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" has sold 3.8 million copies in the UK to date.
Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 conference and summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6–8 July 2005. Both events also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. Run in support of the aims of the UK's Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2 July and one on 6 July. On 7 July, the G8 leaders pledged to double 2004 levels of aid to poor nations from US$25 billion to US$50 billion by the year 2010. Half of the money was to go to Africa.
The main Live 8 concert was held at Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom on 2 July 2005. The event is also referred to as Live 8 London or Live 8 UK.
"Five Years" is a song written by David Bowie, recorded on 15 November 1971, and released as the opening track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in 1972.
"Invisible Touch" is the title track and first single from the 1986 album of the same name by the English rock band Genesis. The song is a group composition which featured lyrics written by drummer and singer Phil Collins.
"Rat Trap" is a single by The Boomtown Rats, which reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in November 1978, the first single by a punk or new wave act to do so. It was written by Bob Geldof, and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. It replaced "Summer Nights", a hit single for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John from the soundtrack of Grease, at number one in the UK chart after "Summer Nights" seven week reign at the top.
"I Don't Like Mondays" is a song by Irish group The Boomtown Rats. It was released in 1979 as the lead single from their third album, The Fine Art of Surfacing. The song was a number one single in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks during the summer of 1979, and ranks as the sixth biggest hit of the UK in 1979. Written by Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers, the piano ballad was the band's second single to reach number one on the UK charts.
The English rock band Queen was well known for its live musical acts. Diverse musical catalogues, large sound systems, lighting rigs, innovative pyrotechnics and extravagant costumes often gave shows a theatrical nature. Artists such as Bob Geldof, David Bowie, George Michael, Kurt Cobain, and Robbie Williams have expressed admiration for lead singer Freddie Mercury's stage presence.
Oz for Africa was an Australian concert held on 13 July 1985 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. It was broadcast locally and internationally as part of the worldwide Live Aid performances to raise money for famine relief in Africa. The concert featured 17 bands performing some of their best-known songs. All groups donated their services and the concert helped raise $10 million throughout Australia.
Live Earth was a one off event developed to combat climate change. The first series of benefit concerts were held on July 7, 2007. The concerts brought together more than 150 musical acts in eleven locations around the world which were broadcast to a mass global audience through televisions, radio, and streamed via the Internet.
On May 14, 1988, the Atlantic Records label held its 40th Anniversary Celebration by staging a non-stop concert lasting almost 13 hours starting at noon and ending just shortly before 1am the following morning at Madison Square Garden, New York. The event was dubbed "It's Only Rock And Roll".
The No Jacket Required World Tour was a concert tour by the English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, which occurred February–July 1985 in support of his 1985 album, No Jacket Required. The album had been a massive international success and the tour concluded with Collins performing "Against All Odds" and "In the Air Tonight" at both Live Aid concerts, in London and Philadelphia, on 13 July 1985. For the latter, Sting played guitar and sang backing vocals.
The Who performed only twice between their 1982 and 1989 tours, both short reunions that were nonetheless highly anticipated. The first took place in 1985 for the Live Aid concert and the second in 1988 for the BPI Awards. These were the last two occasions in which the band performed with Kenney Jones on drums.
The [Duran] Duran set was memorable for Simon Le Bon's off-key falsetto note that he hit during 'A View to a Kill', a blunder that echoed throughout the media as 'The Bum Note Heard Round the World'. The singer later said it was the most embarrassing moment of his career.
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