“Get off your arses, get on the ‘phone and give me your money NOW!!" ranted Bob Geldof, in one sentence bringing the whole point of the Live Aid event back into the minds of the massive worldwide audience. It was about raising money not just having a good time. Such unsubtle anti-diplomacy had marked the Band aid and Live Aid efforts, and ensured their success in stark contrast to the then hands-tied inaction of the global political establishment regarding the famine in Ethiopia.
Geldof, Midge Ure (why unlike Sir Bob has he never been knighted for his Band Aid work?) and Harvey Goldsmith between them and with the assistance of hundreds of willing helpers managed to put on perhaps the greatest charity event in history, Live Aid, with concerts at Wembley in London and at the JFK stadium in Philadelphia. And it may well have been the best gig of all time too. Other events elsewhere in Europe and beyond were staged in sympathy with the cause.
The biggest names in the music business flocked to perform: among them Bowie , Jagger , Hall and Oates, Queen with Freddie Mercury on matchless form, the ever wonderful Status Quo who got things started, Duran Duran, Madonna, and Paul McCartney . Led Zeppelin reformed specially, as did The Who, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and even Black Sabbath.
Some of the performances were not as the stars would ideally have wanted them, the logistics and equipment stretched to the limit, but the energy and the passion to participate were evident for all to see. It was a singing, strumming, strutting and smiling rock music hall of fame spanning the Atlantic and raising millions for famine relief in Ethiopia.
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