Yes, Live Aid was a concert in 1985. No, this is not cheating. First, I couldn’t bump the B52s for Band Aid. But Band Aid… all of my favorite singers getting together for a CAUSE. After all those ex-hippie parents wound up being such disappointments, Band Aid gave me belief that we could really change the world.
(I’m aware we didn’t change the world. But I thought I could that year. And though I’m more jaded, I still keep trying.)
I watched the “Do they know it’s Christmas?” video over and over. I bought the 45 (look it up, young uns). It’s a Christmas song that actually tried to help people. I think it’s the only one. (Plus, the video has Bono, Sting, John Taylor, and Simon LeBon.)
My parents went on vacation the week that Live Aid was performing in the US. MY Woodstock. My father thought we were going out that day. Boy was he disappointed when I fixed myself on the couch and watched the color TV in our cabin for the entire concert. Really, he was lucky he’d chosen a place with a television. I may have actually insisted on it.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about Band Aid and Live Aid:
The 1985 Live Aid concert was conceived as a follow-on to another Geldof/Goldsmith project, the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?". In October 1984, images of millions of people starving to death in Ethiopia were shown in the UK in Michael Buerk's BBC News reports on the 1984 famine. Bob Geldof 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. Performed by a collection of British and Irish musicians, the song was released on 7 December 1984 and became the fastest-selling single ever in Britain and raised £8 million, rather than the £70,000 Geldof had expected. Geldof then set his sights on staging a huge concert to raise further funds.
The concert grew in scope, as more acts were added on both sides of the Atlantic. As a charity fundraiser, the concert far exceeded its goals: on a television programme in 2001, one of the organisers stated that while initially it had been hoped that Live Aid would raise £1 million with the help of Wembley tickets costing £25.00 each, the final figure was £150 million (approx. $283.6 million). Partly in recognition of the Live Aid effort, Geldof received an honorary knighthood. Music promoter Harvey Goldsmith was also instrumental in bringing the plans of Geldof and Ure to fruition.
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized 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 in Wembley Stadium inLondon, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such asAustralia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.
Click on the link and scroll to the bottom to see how many singers and bands performed. It was truly a momentous occasion that raised 150 million dollars.
You can still buy the concert performances: HERE.
After writing this post, I kind of want them.
Honorable mention: LL Cool J, Lindsey Buckingham