A colleague at work this morning reminded me that today marks the 30th anniversary of the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia.
30 years!!!! Where did they go?
I remember quite clearly settling myself down on the saggy beanbag in the family living room in front of the TV just before midday to watch the opening of the show. Status Quo were the first act on the London stage and I sat transfixed, watching my musical idols of the day “rockin’ all over the world”.
Throughout the afternoon I barely moved from my viewing spot as the pop heroes of 1985 strutted their stuff on the Wembley stage in among rock legends. Everyone an equal on the day.
As we reached late afternoon/early evening, the music improved (in my humble 15 year old self’s opinion). Never a U2 fan even then I had to concede that Bono had the crowd eating out the palm of his hand. Dire Straits played two of my favourite songs.(Still two that can be found on my playlist) and then there was Queen!
What more can I say?
They were incredible. For the first time I truly wished I was part of the 72000 strong crowd clapping along in time to Radio Ga Ga. (It would never have happened – I have zero sense of rhythm and cannot clap in time to music or anything else) One of my biggest musical regrets to this day though is that I never saw Freddie Mercury live.
By eight o’clock my long-suffering mother had had enough and I was evicted from the living room and despatched to my parents’ bedroom to continue my viewing alone. I didn’t have a TV in my room so I curled up in their bed and kept watching.
I remember a video clip of “Drive” by The Cars reducing me to tears as viewers were poignantly reminded what the music was all in aid of. The clip really hit home and even now when I hear that song I can recall it as if it was yesterday.
The Who, Elton John and Paul McCartney all played their part until the London proceedings were wound up with an all-star band singing “Do They Know Its Christmas.” (I was allowed back up into the living room for the finale after much begging and pleading)
I have to confess to not having particularly clear memories of much of the US leg of the event. Probably because I got chased back to my own bedroom as my parents wanted to go to bed. (I’m sure they were watching it with the volume down low!) I fell asleep for the night with the radio on.
Looking back down the list of artists who took part on that memorable day 30 years ago (eek!) is now a nostalgia trip but it is impressive to note that most of the “oldies” on the day are still going strong now.
If you were to re-create such an event today for another worthy cause I wonder how many of the same stars would be among the first to sign up to play?