These are some memories of Live Aid, submitted by people around the world. If you'd like me to add yours, send me mail (to email@example.com). A page of older memories is here.
From: Dave V.
In the summer of 1985, I was working for Makoul Productions in Harrisburg Pennsylvania as a local roadie for all the big concerts that came into town. A lot of the workers were from Electric Factory Productions in Philadelphia. After finishing a concert in late June, we were told by the Electric Factory guys that there is gonna be a big concert to support the "feed the world" thing and they needed help. They told us to be prepared to stay there at least a couple of weeks. So....myself and two friends signed up. Things got crazy right from the beginning! We left at 4am, so we could be there by 7am. Right before the last exit on the turnpike, a tractor trailer had jack knifed and was spread the whole way across the road, blocking it! To make matters worse, it was hauling cows and the cows all got out through the smashed truck and were running up the turnpike inbetween all the cars! One cow was hurt very badly and we watched a police officer pull out his gun and shoot it to put it out of its misery. Couldn't believe our eyes! Anyway....after 2 hours of waiting....then getting lost in Philly...we got there a hour late. The first day was spent putting together scaffolding around the front end of the stadium and tying off 4x8 planks of wood to them then spray painting them black. This was the barrier around the open parts of the stadium as you can see if you look at a bird's eye point of view. They already had a couple of empty trailers in what would become the backstage area so that's where we slept. We woke up the next morning, hungover as hell and covered in ants that could bite. The 2nd day is when Mountain Productions showed up. This is the production company that....still to this day supplies all the steel and builds the stage, house area for the sound boards, lighting towers, etc....the building of what would become up to that point, the largest stage ever built for one day,...took over a week. And let me tell ya...it was hairy! Waking up hungover every morning to climb up a steel pole, with NOTHING to secure you in case you slip. Guys underneath you and above you..passing up steel pole in a human chain. Kind of like a huge, giant erector set! I always had a problem with heights and couldn't get myself to climb higher than 30-40 feet or so (the highest went to 85-90 feet), so I designated myself "ground crew", even though people would make fun of you. I didn't care, I wasn't climbing any higher! FUCK THAT! And I will tell you this...I have never done as much cocaine in my life,..as I had in the 2-3 weeks I was there! I don't care what ANYONE says,....EVERYONE was doing it! Every 3- 4 days, they would cut us a check and for some reason, I became the guy who would go to the bank where the payroll was set up and cash most of the guys' checks for them.A nd when I got back, 1st I handed the money to them...then you handed some of your money to the coke dealers. Only time in my life I stayed up for 3 consecutive days! Lots of good Pot,too! one day my friend Russell, took a hit of acid called "gonniebird". He actually climbed and built towers while he was tripping! They had a huge food tent in the back stage area and gave you a food pass which you were supposed to get stamped every breakfast, lunch and dinner.But no one ever looked and you could pretty much have what ever you wanted, 24/7. On the 4th of July, they gave us the day off and a whole bunch of us took a train to the Art Museum to watch a free concert by the Beach Boys! Jimmy Page made a guest appearance that day, with them! Oh yea...and Mr. T. A couple days before the show...it became very hectic and interesting! You would see the likes of..Bill Graham...MTV vee jays, and various celebrities stopping by to check it out! One night I stood there having a conversation with Paul Shaeffer! By this time...they were using all the trailers backstage so we met a co-worker who let us crash at his place. Basically snorted a lot of coke and didn't sleep much. The day before the show was CRAZY! They had built a Hard Rock Cafe backstage! 1985- couldn't believe a hamburger was FIVE DOLLARS!!! The parking lot had become full of fans and they went out and hired a bunch of guys to work and their pay was to see the concert for free.It was awesome because they gave me 3 guys to finish all the shit i didn't finish (some spray painting and moving stuff around). They were happy as hell to be there so I made them do everything while I acted like the supervisor. We heard they would be doing some soundchecks but we didn't know who. First...The Hooters came up and checked. Then The Cars sound checked. Watched them play the song "Drive" twice! Then....right before my very eyes...Mick Jagger walks by! Hall and Oats band set up and Mick and Tina Turner were there to rehearse with them. We actually watched from the side of the stage as Mick suggested.."Lets do...It's only Rock n Roll". And they did! Here is where MY night got ugly! After we were done for the evening, we ate dinner and went out to hang out, party, meet the crowd. We met a couple of guys and hung out with them all evening. Around 2 am, the one guy asks me if he can borrow my backstage pass to go check it out. Sure,I say...No Problem...HUGE FUCKIN MISTAKE!!! Ya think I ever saw him again? Bastard stole my pass! By 5-6 am when everyone was arriving,I was sitting at one of the backstage entrances,up all night,hungover with no pass to get in! No one cared! In fact...whenever I saw one of the people in charge, they wouldn't help me because they thought I sold my pass! Now...I wish I would have! But a guy who worked for Electric Factory by the name of Dave Reuss....brought me another pass! He led me to stage right,...far right..and told me this would be my home for the day. As kind of security and to make sure there was plenty of water for the stage area. No WAY was I sitting there all day where I couldn't see the concert. I left to go get breakfast, then went to go find some friends who were attending the show. As I was leaving....a co-worker asked if he could use my pass to sneak his girlfriend in. No way was I risking a 2nd pass...until he offered me a gram of coke for the favor. No Problem! Now...If I could go back in time..I would have just hungout backstage the whole time because I blew the chance of a lifetime. But at the time...I was so burnt out and my immature attitude made me say to myself... "fuck it! I Set up been here for 2 and a half weeks...I'm gonna watch the show with my friends and go home." I had already gotten paid for everything up to that point. Had Hundreds of dollars on me, Pot,Coke and booze. I found my friends (we originally set up a place and time), and through out the day..let them take turns using my pass while i kicked back and partied and watched the best show I have ever seen in my life!!! After the show was over...I went and found my other friends who came down to work with me and told them I needed to sleep and was leaving in the morning. To this day I still can't believe...in a parking lot..with thousands of people walking by...I fell asleep on the hood of my car...hundreds of dollars,cocaine and pot in my pockets...and woke up at sunrise untouched! I found my friends and before we left....there was a Molson Beer truck sitting there wide open. We and many others formed a human chain and cleared it out -- I must have taken home 10 cases of beer! Believe it or not...I tried to make this short! I have plenty of other stuff I remember, too! Came home with a lot of stuff... autographs, passes, set lists....etc....and also some of the best rock n roll memories I ever had! Dave V. :)
Hi y'all, Am just about to sit down with my kids (13 and 9) to watch the live aid highlights on VH1. I feel like an old granny when I say to my kids 'I was there, all those years ago!' I was living in London at the time and had got married that year in June. Arrived back from honeymoon and wondered what this 'live aid' thing was all about. Got offered two tickets from a dodgy source, bought them and then there we were, me and my husband. Fabulous day, not a single down point. Everyone was great. Status Quo were a perfect start with 'rocking all over the world'.The atmosphere was one of positivity and harmony in spite of the dreadful circunstances that had brought us all together. Can't believe that at the time there had been nothing like it at all ever. Went to the Nelson Mandela birthday bash thing the next year but it just wasn't the same. Bowie was of course on fabulous form as usual. Does anyone remember the medley that the BBC put together of the highlights set to 'Heroes'? Fabulous. Arrived home in time to see the end of Philadelphia. Can't help feeling that London was better!
From: Bill Chatsick
My name is Bill Chatsick, I live in Toronto ,Ontario,Canada. I am so happy that live aid has been put onto dvd. I was 23 when it took place as I sat in my livingroom for many hours waiting for the Plant & Page reunion for many many hours I was so disaponited to see Dick Clark stick his face in front of the performance. I flipped out and almost broke into tears I was waiting for the dvd to be released once I got wind of it and got it the minute it came out to find out there is still no Plant & Page ? Im once again very upset however I found a website explaining why http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3534576.stm and I somewhat understand now? Still sadley missed but I have a wonderful 4 dvd set to bring me back to a time when the world stood still. Thats my story if anyone can tell me where I can get the Plant footage please email me.. firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you all and enjoy the Live Aid Miracle.
From: Victoria Ryan
Hi there, I was too young to remember the Live Aid concert, but do have rather a big connection to it. My grandfather was personally called by Bob Geldof to paint the world - on a plate, and the knife and fork on the funnel of the ships, on the lorries and whatever other transport was used in live aid. My grandfather is in the footage of the concert, i think it is somewhere at the beginning, it shows a man hanging on the side of the funnel of one of the ships painting the live aid logo on it - that is my grandfather! i have been on alot of the Live Aid sites and many of them include thanks to people that were involved in Live Aid, not one of them mention the hard work that went into the art and hard work from the people that done the painting of the world on the plate and the knife and fork - mainly my grandfather. For quite some time now i have been trying to obtain a copy of the full 16 hour(approx) concert on video or DVD. My family have had no luck and neither have i, we have been trying for about 4 years now. >From what my grandfather has told me, he was very very honoured to involved in such an honourable cause and it was worth all the hard work that was put into organising such a massive concert in aid of men, woman and children that are dying and that live in such bad conditions. This is just to say that i would like to mention my grandfather - Mr Albert (buck) Yendall that helped with Live Aid. My grandfather was, and still is a very very talented artist and sign writer, one of few people in the UK that was licensed to sign write with 24ct gold leaf. He painted the Cutty Sark that now sits in Greenwich London, and the Belfast boat also.
I was 21, and in London ( from the USA ) attending a summer college program there. I was hanging at a West End club alot, The Wag Club, and got to know the owner at the time, and some of the regulars that frequented the place. Anyway, I met a tennis player, name withheld, and he had two tickets, and asked me to join him. It was great. We had a blanket on the field, amongst all the Brits. They were very friendly, and interesting. It was a great experience. I was really into photography at the time, and had a few cameras with me for the concert. I had a long, professional looking lens as well, and I captured some great images from the day. A funny story, something in today's world probably would never happen, given the security at an event like this. I went inside the stadium for a little break, and walked around a bit, only to uncover a small elevator that seemed to be something important. There was a crowd gathered around it, and I thought I could see music oriented people coming and going on the elevator. Anyway, I pushed near the front of crowd, and as the elevator was opening up and people were being allowed on, they let me come aboard, apparently thinking I was press of some kind. Anyway, the elevator took me to a VIP area, with gourmet food, and I was hanging with several music stars of the time, including Sade, Spandau Ballet, and some others. What a time.
From: Eileen Pucci
Several of my memories of Live Aid have nothing to do with the great rock and roll. I arrived with my friend at the stadium bright and early but my friend still wanted to sit at the far end of the stage under the roof. She didn't want to get caught in the crush out on the field. We were faaar away from the action sitting on concrete bleachers. I remember that it was a very hot and sunny day and people were fainting and being removed from the field pretty regularly! I also remember being amazed at how everyone filed into and out of the stadium in such a polite and orderly way. I remember thinking that there was probably a lot more pushing and shoving going on in Philadelphia. Finally, I remember how great it was when everyone was exiting the stadium after the concert that the entire crowd was chanting "Feed the world, Let them know it's Christmas time". Londoners for miles around must have heard it.
From: Steve Addison
Had to have my say on the Live Aid concert, much of which I can still recall vividly to this day. Who else could have started it but Status Quo with Rocking All Over the World - perfect! Amongst the many performances I thoroughly enjoyed were: Elton John, Paul McCartney, David Bowie & Mick Jagger, the Boomtown Rats, Paul Young, Madonna and Lisa Stansfield. However, two groups stand out for completely different reasons, U2 and Queen. U2 because I thought they were crap and grossly overrated and did not appear to know what to do with such a large crowd. Queen were simply magnificent. Freddie Mercury had the crowd in the palm of his hand and the music was perfect. In my opinion Freddie was the greatest showman ever! The king is dead - long live the king!
From: Karen Carrington
I was working for British Airways on the day of the Live Aid Concert and I was very pleased to be chosen to handle the Concorde Departure to Philadelphia which Phil Collins was booked on.We had to make a long announcement to the passengers (who included Cher) to ask them to make their way from the usual Concorde Lounge at London Heathrow Airport to a lounge at the end of the pier where the aircraft was parked.The reason for this was explained to them because Phil was arriving by helicopter (flown by Noel Edmonds) and only had a few minutes to get off the helicopter and onto the Concorde. Everyone was really good and made there way to the aircraft as quickly as possible and up to then I seemed very cool and composed but as soon as I saw Phil at the bottom of the steps I lost my composure and asked for his autograph! My family did have a videotape of the whole concert and there I was for a few seconds diving forward to ask for that autograph..but..disaster..would you believe that someone wiped that bit off the tape (I suspect it was one of my brothers who were a bit green with envy I think). So my moment of fame is lost forever but at least we still have a good few hours of the concert left to relive those happy memories and I still have that precious autograph!
My name is Justin. I was 5yrs old when I first saw this, yeah 80s rule. The funny thing about it, my dad was just watching it a couple days ago. Yeah we have the entire concert on video, hard to believe. Im glad my dad recorded it, in fact, we have like over 200 tapes of recorded movies and junk. Anyways the concert was and still is a blast to watch. I can't believe so many people were crammed into that stadium, how in the heck could anyone go to the bathroom!? Yeah its a bummer that they didn't redistribute this concert through video or dvd cause it rules. Man I could make so much dinero reselling this video, naw maybe not! I love the 80s! thanks for the memories.
From: Andrew Murphy
I had just turned 12 years old and was excited that U2 were going to be playing. I thought "The Unforgettable Fire" was the the best record I had ever purchased with my own money. I was so adament about not missing the event I convinced my parents to subscribe to Muchmusic here in Canada. I told them it was the only station carrying the concert. I was at home with my older brother and sister. My brother didn't care much for who was playing (he was more of a Rush fan) and my sister wanted to see The Who. They had played what should have been their very last concert here in Toronto in December 1982, another welll known satellite broadcast dubbed "The Who Rocks America!" which I found odd as the concert was in Canada. What a joke!. Basically I watched the entire thing from start to finish (aside from when we stepped out to get groceries). The supermarket even had it on the radio. Madonna was siging at that point. God I hated her back then. I do admit she's a shrewd business woman though. I thought it was stupid she was even on the bill. Ok, I was only 12! I realize in retrospect why she was there. At that point in the day though, I didn't care. U2 had already came on and took the entire show and made themselves superstars on that day. I was quite happy about not missing it. Going through the day's programe really brought back some vivid memories. I remember waking up early and turning the TV on and thinking "who the hell is Status Quo?" They actually were used as my own guinea pigs when I started to tape their set but then went back and checked it out to see if it was recording ok. Our VCR had a plug in remote control. So primitive back then. I then started taping when "The Style Council" came on. So far so good. U2 were coming! I remember the early part of the Wembley show vivdly. Strangly I don't recall much of the JFK concert which I think Muchmusic began with Bryan Adams. I think there was sound trouble? I think Muchmusic focused mainly on the Wembley show which was good. Yes that's it I remember leap frogging from Muchmusic and the American network.That's why I don't remember much about the JFK concert as I was watching the Wembley show live. So at 17:20 pm in England when U2 were just taking the stage, CSN and Y (?) were just finishing their set at JFK. No need to mention how U2 played the best live performance I have ever seen. I was a U2 fan for life after seeing them. They simply came out and proved that they were the best rock band around. 2 years later the "Joshua Tree" came out. Dire Straits and Sting were good I thought. Queen rocked. I heard that they received the most money in donations during their set. Don't know how true that is. I also remember reading that Bowie/Jagger originally wanted to perform together at the same time with one in Philadelphia and the other in London. Logistics prevented that from happening. I thought Bowie's set was ok. I thought the Who sucked from what I saw. When the transmission was lost I thought it was bound to happen. All of this was new to me but I knew enough that this was a very important technical event as well as a historical one as well. I saw the Simple Minds set at JFK. They were just starting the break out in America with "Don't You Forget About Me". The finale at Wembley was great. Sometime after this is when we went shopping. It was very hot in Toronto that day. I remember coming back home and Tom Petty was on and not being too impressed with the line up. From watching my tape I have a noticed that Anton Fig, drummer from the Letterman band used to play with the Thompson Twins. At least it looks like him. Clapton was good. However, there are those who might want my head for this comment but I thought Led Zeppelin was the worst! I mean I know it was the first time they had played together in 5 years but wasn't that the worst version of "Whole Lotta Love" you've ever heard? It was so out of tune and disorganized. But I bet the fans who were there didn't care. So there's my run down of Live Aid July 13th, 1985. I'll be 30 very soon and this brings back found memories of a time in my life where I didn't have a worry in the world. My how times have changed. Aside from not missing U2! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
From: Micah Evans
I was 18. It was a Saturday morning, and I was baby sitting my little cousin who was 7 months old at the time. I had been anticipating MTV showing Live Aid all week. I stayed at home all day, and all night until it ended. I have pictures of me playing with my little cousin, and Live Aid on tv in the background. I wish they would put Live Aid on a double dvd set.... Why havent they? [Editor's note: Micah sent this in before the release of the DVD set]
From: Kevin P. Kenna
I remember Live Aid vividly. I am a Philadelphian proud that our city won the prize as the USA city of Live Aid. I remember I bought two tickets from a ticket agent for $35 for myself and my girlfriend at the time Connie.I could have bought as many as possible. I knew that this show was going to be the biggest musical event of a lifetime. Bigger than Woodstock. We arrived at around noontime. The show started in the morning and we listened ,on the radio , to it all the way down I-95 to JFK stadium. I remember we only went to the bathroom once during the show. It was horrendous, it had to rival conditions in Ethiopia. But the bands were fantastic. Never again will we see the likes of that again. God Bless JFK Stadium (RIP)
From: Elissa O.
I did not attend Live Aid, but remember seeing much of it on TV...I was 25 at the time...seems a while ago :0. Anyway, the bulk of the show was on regular TV in the US, however, the really "Big" stars (McCartney and that ilk) were not shown live but rather grouped together in a Prime Time presentation. I thought it was a shame not to present the show as it was performed, but, the dollar won out, I guess. I have a tape of the show that I taped off TV at the time it was presented. From time to time I watch it and it brings back great memories, despite Paul McCartney's mike dying in the beginning of Let It Be. It may interest your readers to know that JFK stadium in Philly (the USA venue) is, alas, no more, as it was torn down a few years back. Too bad.
From: Bob Wolff
The greatest music festival I ever attended. I was fortunate to have tickets for the Philadelphia concert at JFK Stadium. It was probably the most oppresively hot day I ever witnessed for a concert. It was a real strggle to cope with the 90+ heat and humidity, plus the concession stands ran out of drinks. However, they did give out ice. Once, the sun went down, the show was magical. With the reunion of Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, Hall & Oates, Phil Collins via the Concorde and so many others, it was one of those events you never forget. Long Live Rock!
From: Kevin Bothwell
What a day this was! I was 21 and living in the city while attending college. At the time I playing in a local band myself and my drummer and I went first thing in the morning to catch our local favorite, The Hooters. We found ourselves a spot on the grass very close to the stage and just in front of the MTV station. (We later watched tapes of MTV's broadcast and to our surprise saw brief shots of ourselves.) Very early in the day we befriended a young reporter from The Wall Street Journal of all things, who was plastered with backstage passes for access to various areas. My buddy Russ talked him into giving us one and we took turns going back. Later in the day we talked an executive, who was leaving with his young family and had other passes, into giving us another. Long story short, we had the time of our lives hanging with Judas Priest in the Hardrock Cafe they set up under tent, and meeting dozens of other performers in the dressing room areas. We walked around with confidence, like we belonged there, and no one stopped us from going into any of the areas! (Being in a band ourselves we looked the part. We even had a local reporter stop us for an interview but we were honest in saying that we were just guests.) I still have the shirt I was wearing that day and it is covered with autographs. We finished the day standing behind the stage where they had 2 white Pontiac Trans Ams (I think) that all the performer had signed. At the close of the finale they wisked Mick Jagger into a van that I was standing next to. My only regret - that we didn't walk up onstage during the finale. There was no one there to stop us. My buddy and I still celebrate the anniversary of that day every year. It was one of those "glory days" that we'll always look back on with much excitement.
The most striking thing about Live Aid seems to be the sheer innocence that is represented by the very idea of the concert ,what it stood for and how it was accomplished. 18 at the time ,I remember a sense of brotherhood and a closeness between the bands and my own feeling of belonging to a generation of people that were going to change things in the world. Ah , the innocence of youth, tis' a beautifull thing. I'm not saying that I've given up this important dream of a new age dawning but it undermines my feeling that the concert that took place a mere 12 years ago was something so special that anything simialer taking place today seems like an impossability. The whole flavor of todays music has lost its sense of hope. It feels confused and hard edged. Why even U2 who brought such a striking vibe into that stadium transforming all who watched and achieving a holy presence have transformed themselves into anti-heroes unwilling or unable to take up that task anymore. What gives? Maybe todays' music is representative of our society, spinning so out of control with technology racing ahead of our antiquated systems (Govt, etc.). So where do we go from here? I dont know but I'll see you there, believing as I always will in our future as a United Planet (thank you Phil) and our need to simply help a little......no matter how out of fashion it may seem.
From: Ken Schretlen
I found this site in search for a VW Passat!! (guess VW fits in well with the whole Live Aid bit). Anyway, I was 21 at the time and a friend of mine (who I had met just 2 nights before the concert) came over the night before and offered up a ticket. SURE I'LL GO! We left around 2 am for the hour & half trip to philly, got a room (for all 6 of us, but god knows why!) napped for all of 2 hours and drove over to park ~ 6am. The concert was the greatest show I have ever been to or will ever be at I'm sure (sure beats those summer jams held at JFK!). Some of the performances I remember were Phil Collins doing both gigs, the Stones, Tina Turner (who couldn't forget her) and of course Jammin' George Thurogood- I had managed to work my way to about 4 rows(?) back from center stage for the bulk of their works. Lot's of great music, loaded people and we had the greatest time ever at concert. I still have my t-shirt!
From: Todd Anderson
I was going through some my tape collection last night and found my audio tapes of most of the show. I was 18 at the time and spent that entire day taping at my folks house. Looking back, it's amazing that the large number of artists were able to get together for such a worthy cause. It's interesting to listen to the radio hosts who discussed rumors of a possible Beatles reunion with Paul, Ringo and George and that Bruce Springsteen was going to make a surprise appearance. I can't believe it's been over 12 years. I wonder how much of an effect Live Aid actually had on defeating world hunger.
From: Sravani Ghosh-Robinson
Four or five days before the big concert I was a college student driving through Philadelphia, on the way to Avalon, NJ (a friend had a place at the shore that summer), when I heard on the radio that more Live Aid tickets had just gone on sale at the Mann Music Centre. I rushed over there and bought two tickets, and was promptly put in a state of ecstacy. Ironically, I had a difficult time unloading the second ticket - due to the lack of notice most of my friends had other plans for that Saturday. Just as everyone else has said, the event was an ineffable experience; I must have had goosebumps from the time I turned on the radio on the drive from Bethlehem PA to Philadelphia (the British concert had already started and was being broadcast)until the last strains of the admittedly hoaky We are the World finale at the end of the American concert. Everybody at the concert was really cool. I had seen the Stones and Who perform (separately) at JFK a few years prior, and there always seemed to be some tension due to restlessness (both groups had two or three opening acts). However, this tension was missing from Live Aid - it was like everybody agreed to take it easy and lighten up as it was going to be a long show on a hot day, and it was for a good cause. People shared water and binoculars freely. One lasting impression was (for me, anyway), the superiority of the British concert; in fact, I remember more of it (it was simulcast on video screens) than the American groups in front of me! I am, and have been, a fan of British groups; and seeing the likes of the Style Council (but would have loved a Jam reunion), Elvis Costello, David Bowie, U2 et al was more satisfying to me than seeing their counterparts in Philadelphia. This is not to criticize the Brits for stacking the deck; I merely like more British groups than American ones; in any event, they were the ones (although isn't Bob Geldolf Irish?) who came up with the idea to raise money for Ethiopia. 12 years on, I joke the Live Aid was the peak of my life and things have been downhill since. I now listen to jazz more than anything, but Live Aid is the avatar of the 1980's, which in itself was a great decade. we evolved from horrific fashions to stuff that can still pass muster on occasion; from lame California-style music to offshoots of punk, and from being yelled at by mom and dad to living on our own.
I remember Live -Aid very well! I was going in to my first year of high school and remember that i stayed in the house the whole day watching and taping it on the television on channel 5. I also remember driving my parents crazy because i was constantly on the phone with my friends talking about who was on and how there performance was. We were heavily in to Duran Duran, Powerstation, Queen, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Boomtown Rats, etc.... I will always remember that day for the rest of my life! I Actually found the book that coincide with the concert. It has pictures of every one who was involved with the concert, it is the only known book in existence and i found the only copy. I lost my copy of the concert and when the tenth anniversary of Live Aid was shown on VH1 I taped it. To me it seem only like yesterday, i still can not believe that it has been ten years since the concert and they showed what Ethopia looks like now compared to then, wow what a difference> I am not putting down USA for Africa either but in my opinion I think that Band-Aid and Live Aid was a big contribution to what Ethopia looks like now. I also think that USA for Africa was a great too. I have something wonderful that I could share with my children and grandchildren and tell them that group of people got together to help a nation that was dying and with the help of us we made a once dying Country rich and fruitful and bountiful!
From: Lisa Coffman
Wow. I can't sleep and I'm surfing the net and happened upon your page. Great job. I remember watching Live AID on a beautiful July summer day with my mother and 13 year old brother. I was 15 at the time and while most of my friends were interested in seeing Run D.M.C, Madonna or Hall & Oates. I couldn't wait to see my favorite group, The Style Council. Paul, Steve, Mick and Dee were incredible. To a young American teenager they represented everything "cool" about the UK. Four young people..spreading the good news..words about harmony and unity to a kiss ass groove that you could dance to. They were brilliant.
From: Rasha Kowalewski
I was 16 and living in Heidelberg, Germany (my parents worked for the U.S. Government). I don't remember who broadcasted the performances that I saw - it was probably a German station... I taped a bit of the show, including Madonna's performance which I watched over and over. That's the year I became a "True Blue" Madonna fan. Dire Straits and Sting were incredible!
Your Live Aid Web Page brings back a lot of very fond memories for me. I was at Gazzari's (Now Billboard Live) on a Friday night, waitng to see a friends band, and before their set began, the club broadcasts MTV on a projection tv screen, and I remember MTV starting the Australian feed of the Live Aid broadcast around 11pm Pacific Standard Time, which I presume is like tommorow in Melbourne. Anyway, I remember INXS was doing their set, and recall wanting to watch the Live Aid performance instead of my friends band, they shut off the tv screen when the bands start their set, I was bummed, but it got me into the mood for an incredible once in a lifetime experience. I was in London in February '85 when Phil Collins was kicking off the UK portion of his "No Jacket Required" world tour, so needless to say, I was looking forward to his transatlantic record breaking performances, I recorded both the MTV and Westwood One feeds of his sets, and remain to be some of my most cherished items. What an incredible show! Queen's performance was for me mind blowing, and blew me away, Duran Duran's set was probably the last time they performed with ALL original members, Bowie was absolutely amazing! U2, inspiring, and the list goes on and on. I recorded MTV's press confrence, announcing the show, and it was attended by Geldof, Bill Graham, and other big shot concert promoters, I have the edition of USA Today with the front page headlines "Live Aid's Global Jukebox" in my scrapbook. Thanks for the memories!
From: Bill Stahl, Jr.
I was one of the security guards at Live Aid. Here's how it happened. I was stationed on the USS Lexington and we were in Philly for repairs. Through word of mouth, we found out they were hiring additional security and were hiring Navy people. We went and applied and were hired. The day of Live Aid, a couple of us had to work late and we finished work at about noon. I almost decided not to go but I'm extremely lucky a friend changed my mind!! When we arrived, the security chief was trying to decide if he could use us or not. Then my friend saw a friend of his that had been working security backstage at the concert since the night before. We followed him and I was lucky enough to be assigned to the right entrance to the stage. I have so many memories of that day. I remember being given all the pizza I wanted. Some of the people who entered the stage at my entrance.... Ozzy Osborne Jimmy Page and Robert Plant... Jimmy Page tripped on the stairs and Robert PLant had to help him up the rest of the way Cher........................................She was beautiful Marilyn McCoo Chevy Chase Many others. I remember refusing to let one man onstage because he didn't have a pass. Then I looked at his cap and it said Four Tops/Temptations. Then I realized he was one of the Four Tops. I was a little embarrassed. I must admit I took 2 bribes that day, one from a photographer who showed me a press pass with $40 on it, and one from the MTV people for an MTV Crew T-shirt. When the concert was over, I went on stage and looked out at RFK stadium. I couldn't believe the view. A sea of people like I have never seen. Despite all of the fun I had, the pizza, the music and the chance to meet so many famous people, Spectaguard also paid me $53. When we went to turn our security T-shirts in, many of my friends had not been so lucky. They had been assigned to keep gate crashers out. They had had beer bottles thrown at them, beer poured on them, etc.. We recorded the concert on 3 video tapes off of MTV, and although I see many of my friends on the tape, there is not one single picture of me. I know as the stars were going up the stairs where I was, there were a lot of photographers taking pictures of them as they walked past me. If anyone knows of any pictures that were taken at the right entrance stairs to the stage, please let me know. I would pay a lot of money for copies of these photos that I am in. Thanks. [Facing the stage, I was at the bottom of the stairs on the right entrance behind the stage. I was wearing black pants and a yellow security T-shirt and my hair is blondish-brown. I was 34 years old at the time.]
From: Roch Royer & Genevieve Hammond
Our memories of Live Aid were the best times in our lives. Here is our story.... When we first heard about the concert on the radio we knew we HAD to go no matter what! The radio station were organising a 6 bus trip down to Philly (we live near Montreal) so we got our tickets and we were on our way to JFK stadium. We arrived there at around 8:30 AM and the buzz around the stadium was that John Paul Jones might be there and play Led Zeppelin songs with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, we had our fingers and toes crossed :) We made a beeline to the entrance and finally made it in through the crowd in one piece. We climbed up the stairs not knowing where we would come out in the stadium and were awestruck at the size of the stage and the stadium slowly filling up with colored spots. Then Joan Baez comes on and says "Children of the 80's this is your Woodstock" the crowd went mad. we remember thinking how BIG this was going to be! There was always s omething going on, after each band the big screen would broadcast live in London. By the time Black Sabbath came on the air was hot and humid, the band was sweating and we were dying of thurst. We spotted a drink stand which had Lemonaid in big letters, it took us about 30 minutes just to get to the stand, but by the time we got back to our seats we were thursty again! Later on Jack Nicholson came on and said with his all too familiar voice "Ok kids, we're gonna hose you down now!" and out came the hoses spraying the crowd. We were soaked and releived. Then the most magical momment of the day was when Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones walked on stage, there was this great feeling in the air, it was sun down, a zeppelin (blimp) was flying slowly over the stage piercing through the oncoming ballons making their way up the clear colored sky. people were happy, crying and screaming. We recorded all 3 songs Led Zeppelin played and still get goose bumps when we listen to it. Band after band the night would set in and the feeling would grow, people hugging everywhere and new friendship made. Tina and Mick burned up the stage and practically stole the show. The closer song "We are the world" sort of wrapped it all up and made us realize that all 100,000 fans there had changed a little part of the world and saved many lives. Thank you for having us share our fondest memories and this great site!!
From: Thomas Lawlor
I had a friend who had an art for winning tickets over the radio. He had one four tickets but we were only 15 years old and no other parents would let their kids go to a show that long. The radio station provided a bus ride to the stadium and back, that was it. They told us not to take anything with us; coolers, chairs etc.. We went, two 15 year old kids, with only the clothes on our back. Oh, and two extra tickets which we tried to sell for way too much money and after getting laughed at for an hour we finally sold them to some cool people for face value who were thankful and kinda took us two minors under there wing. The entire day at live aid was incredible from the opening act, which was some undiscovered guitar player who they introduced as some guy they had herd playing on the top of his R.V. in the parking lot which; which set the tone for the improvisational feel to the rest of the day. Ozzy played with Sabbath, Zep was together with Jayson Bohnam, Madonna was there. The fire dept. came in and sprayed us down with water; I came there with blue jeans on not thinking it would get that hot so I took off my jeans and spent the day with my shirt tied around my waist, that water was more than a luxury it was needed. When night came Phil Collins showed up fresh off the Concord(remember when that was a big deal?). He played " IN the air tonight on piano", when the drum solo came there were no drums; I can still remember being in the middle of the field surrounded by tens of thousands of people singing the drum solo as if the drums were there. I still have the ticket, it wasn't torn to enter so I've saved it carefully. But the strange thing about this show is that it was a long and well produced and covered show that featured amazing combinations of musicians reuniting and whenever I mention it to friends now the reaction is "oh, thats pretty cool, you were there, i watched a little of it on T.V.". I feel the show has never gotten the credit it deserves.
From: Hans Nijntjes
I remember I had to work some hours at Saturday afternoon. At my work I put the radio on, and worked very hard to finish it, to go home very quick ! Me, my wife and and kids were living for a few weeks in a farm-house, a few miles from our house, to take care for the house, so the owners could go on holiday. Well, a nice time as I can remember. The most impressive perfomance as U2 was Bono lifting a young girl from the public, to dance with her.
From: Bruce Stuart
The Live Aid concert was probably the best televised concert I had ever seen. I was sixteen and at an age where most teenagers my age starting to really enjoy music and following there favourite singer. David Bowie being mine I couldn't wait till he came on, video recorder on and every- thing hooked up to the stereo. Here in New Zealand we had our own T.V. personalities covering the concert and we had phone numbers so we could donate money to Live Aid. David Bowie was announced and he came on stage singing TVC-15,REBEL REBEL,MODERN LOVE and my all time favourite HEROES If anyone saw that clip of David singing HEROES would remember the awesome power in that song,(well our house did, my stereo was on high) the enjoyment from the crowd at Wembley was really beautiful. I taped all four songs he sang and I still listen to them today, and nearly everyday before I go to work or at a party. Live Aid made a lot of people around the world happy we all got together where ever we were enjoyed the music from all the artist (not just David) from England, USA and for a donation no matter how large or small we all got to see all our favourite singers in our homes. I will never forget Live Aid '85 As the song goes "We can be Heroes just for one day."
From: Phil Dunn
I just found your site on the Live Aid concerts. Well done for putting together such a great site. Just thought you might like to read a few lyrics from a song I wrote a year after the concert. I still sing the song now when I do the occasional gig;- "Just because you gave one day doesn't mean the problem's gone away It's been years and I'm still crying I'm still here but they're still dying." A little depressing perhaps but a reminder that we must continue to do our part. Lyrics taken from "Day of the Common Man" by Phil Dunn, Copyright 1986-1998.
From: Aileen Angus
I remember Live Aid. I wuz there. I drove 550 miles from Scotland to be there. I heard about the proposed show on radio, while at work, and said "I'm gonna be there!!!" I tried to get tickets in Glasgow, but only 500 were issued there - no way was I going to queue for hours not to get what I wanted. I watched the local press because I knew some John would do that for me!! Exactly! One week later two ads were in the local rag with tix for sale - 2 and 2. I was going to get them - I did - 2 for £50 AND 2 for £90. I bought them with a little bit of travelling in between. To this day I prefer to think that they were the only tix for sale in Scotland - it makes the story better!! Friends and workmates said "you're nuts". Day came - drove to London - stayed with bored friends - went to Wembley - beer, cameras, light entertainment in hand, and got in despite all restrictions because even door security was feeling good that day. Sun burning down - go to South side - climb terraces - sit down drink beverage - set up camera (if anyone wants previously unpublished follow this e-mail line) - roll a little happiness! Princess Di was just leaving - eat sandwiches - drink beer - feeling happy. Lots of people feeling happy. Talk to people - stonemason from Dorset rebuilding a cathedral. He is a biker with BIG heart and soul (didn't know bikers rebuilt cathedrals, didn't know they cared so much about our heritage - learned a lot and shared our beer and whisky). Talked to a bunch of Germans next to us - they just had to be here when they heard of Live Aid - perceptive people. "There is nothing like this at home" they said, "We wouldn't do something like this" - think about it. Found out of work reporter/photographer (loaned him our tripod) looking to make a few bucks and decided that today was one of those days worth getting up for - hope he made his credibility, if not his fortune - wish I remembered his name because he is probably up there now - come in whoever you are! Found a lot of thirsty people who had brought nothing with them because the publicity said so. How many spare cans of brew can four people carry with them? Apparently the miracle of the fishes and loaves survived that day and no one went 'hungry'. God gave everyone a big heart that day. Times came and went . We moved into the field near the stage coz you had to be there. Day came and went. Evening fell upon us, but it was still hot and humid. They showered hoses on us. Video screens came and went - superb stage shows came and went. Then the CARS video and music came - and 74,000 shut up. Total silence - no one raa-ed, no one coughed, not even a fart was heard. No one made a sound. No one breathed - even breathed. I had never experienced a revered silence from a mass until now. It was the ORIGINAL awesome - here's where it happened. I cried and felt stupid. Then I looked round, and EVERYONE was crying - 74,000 people in tears. This was the total experience that will never be there ever again in our lifetime. We were one.
From: David Gagliardi
I am a twenty-six year-old male living in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. and I just stumbled upon your Live Aid site by accident. I am a bit of what some would call a "freak" about Live Aid. I was fourteen at the time the whole event went down and I wish I would have had the forsight to have witnessed either show in Philly or Wembley. The U.S. music cable channel VH1 did a similar retrospective hommage to Live Aid like the BBC probably did in the U.K. Well, if you know anything about the VH1 broadcast of the concert back in 1995, it was a complete abomination compared to the original broadcast. Not the least of which was the decimation they did to the length of the concert and cutting out so many important acts that I guess they did not deem fit to be re-broadcast.
From: Kerry Manning
One of the best days of my life, at Wembly Stadium. I was there! My friends Andy, Lesley and Mark could never have imagined that we would be part of history in the making. Our seats were between the royal box and the stage, we witnessed many stars, performing on stage and part of the audience, enjoying the atmosphere. Unless you were there you could never imagine the buzz when Status Quo appeared on stage opening the proceedings with Rocking all over the World. I can remember the pure emotion of being part of it all. The tears in the eyes, the pure emotion of the whole occasion. And George Micheal saying "excuse me please" as he made a gap through the queue for the ladies toilet. Princess Diana groving! and Prince Charles smiling at everyone who looked his way! Don't forget Midge Ure who was just a big a part as Bob!
From: Samit Choudhuri
I was living in Jos, Nigeria (West Africa) and was almost 16. I was a big fan of England's rock/pop scene. I just remember the anticipation of seeing all my favorite bands playing at once. I was also amazed that everyone was uniting for this single, common cause. Anyway, I caught as much of the show as I could on BBC and other shortwave stations. I was listening at almost every momeny of the day and keeping the stragest hours. Eventually, I got my tapes which a friend in England had used to copy the entire UK (and some of the US) broadcast and watched it. It was so absolutely amazing.
I was happy to see your site comemerating the "COOLEST DAY ON EARTH" . I am a huge Rock fan, and the only thing that was a bummer about LIVE AIDE was that the eighties were Rock's low point. That didn't matter however , Every act was a thrill . Even the ones I couldn't stand ...it was great to see the whole world brought together through music. It was more amazing then WOODSTOCK, due to the added benefit of and incredible trans atlantic technilogical marvel. The reunions were moving as was the cuase . Alot of differences were left at the door for the day ...Just unbelievable. I had a party that day even though I lived only a half hour or so from Veterens stadium. I intentionally didn't go to the show becuase with the LIVE broadcasting all day I wanted to see LED ZEPPELIN up close LIVE as it happened etc. I remember it was a great party NOBODY wanted to leave the TV long enough to get burgers off the grill. We must have burned 23 or 30 burgers cuase we couldn't miss anything. I had two tv's set up cause MTV were broadcasting and so was local channle 29 they both took breaks at different times and we switched back and fourth. I remember thinking ...Phil Collins ...He plays a set IN ENGLAND for the whole world then comes back and plays drums for ERIC CLAPTON IN AMERICA for the whole world then does his set IN AMERICA- the one he did -IN ENGLAND and then plays drums for a LED ZEPPELIN REUNION..... so I thought ...imagine if a doorman or someone at his hotel that night said "How was your day today sir?................
From: Carl Rodrigue
July 13th 1985 was the only time I watch TV all day long! :) At this time, I was 15. Duran Duran was my favourite band (still is). I watch all day long to see them only in the evening. To appreciate as I did, you have to remember, that on that special week, Duran was at the top of the BillBoard with A VIEW TO A KILL. They sang it and UNION OF THE SNAKE too. It was great! Some years ago, I listened closely to the background while the announcer was presenting David Bowie and I heard SAVE A PRAYER & THE REFLEX! I recorded the whole show on two videocassette and still look at it from time to time...
That day was something incrediblie. I was 15. I got up at 6:oo a.m. and glued myself to the television. I can remember my excitement so vividly. I was deeply touched and for the first time I felt connected to the universe. I will never forget that day.
From: Mark Hughes
Hi. Just found your site on Live Aid. Over the years since then I've always been proud to say that I was there - at Wembley. I went with my then girlfriend - we were both 35 at the time - and her son in his early teens. We had a fourth ticket for his girlfriend who is now his wife, but she didn't want to go and has regretted it ever since. I don't think anyone realised at the time what an historic day it would be. We gave the spare ticket to the sister of a work colleague of mine. The whole day was just unbelievable but my overriding memories are 1. Queen (no need to say any more), 2 The Who (and Pete Townsend falling flat on his back after trying to kick his legs in the air), and 3 The teddy bear! I wonder how many people remember that just before Paul McCartney came on there was a long break, due to a technical hitch I believe, during which someone close to the middle of the arena threw a teddy bear in the air and a few people shouted "teddy". Slowly, as each time the teddy got thrown higher and higher, more and more people joined in until eventually the whole stadium seemed to be shouting "teddy". When the concert was ready to resume it seemed as if everyone in the arena part of the stadium threw anything they had in the air and shouted and cheered. It was just the most amazing day and will always live in my memory as one of the best days of my life.
Great web site commemorating a fantastic day for me too. Living in Scotland at the time (now Atlanta) I didn't get the opportunity to get to Wembley, but I vividly remember the whole concert as if it was yesterday. It was difficult to go through that day and not be seriously "touched" wasn't it? I guess my favorite piece was U2 playing "Bad"...or was it Queen cranking up the audience....or was it George Michael doing such a great version of "Don't let the sun.." ...or was it Geldof cursing on British TV for people to pick up the ******* phones and pledge money for the cause... or was it the great show by INXS.....
I was fortunate enough to attend the Philadelphia portion of Live Aid. My first news of the show came at my job during the summer of my college years as a deck-hand on a lobster fishing boat on Long Island Sound. The owner of the boat was a great guy who shared my avid interest in rock and roll. We were listening as we did every afternoon to NY radio veteran Scott Muni who read the press release outlining the show, and both thought the billing was fantastic. Like many of my 'classic' rock friends, we actually thought that the UK was getting the better bill, but ours was none to shabby in the US. Keeping in mind that Bruce, the guy I worked for, was a guitarist and attended Woodstock in 1969, I was lucky enough to secure tickets in the narrow window of time they were available. We normally worked until 3:00 pm and took an hour to reach the docks, but Bruce wanted to make sure I could attend the show and hauled our last pots at 1:00 pm, raced to the docks, and he then proceeded to throw me the keys to his truck and his credit card and told me to have fun. I got 2 tickets, and went to the show with by brother Mike who was attending a university in Philadelphia. We spent a sleepless night at the house of some friends of his, and arrived at the show early only face the long lines to enter. Security took it's time searching each person individually, and of course they confiscated our cooler full of bottled water and Gatorade. When we took out seats it was fun seeing the others who waited in line with me, hoping there would be tickets left by whe reached the front of the cue. MAN, was it HOT! No shade anywhere, and it was only 9:00 am. Being fans of quality music, I'll never forget the explative that my brother shouted back at Joan Baez when she announced, "Children of the 80's, THIS is your Woodstock." The crowd was not ready to rock quite so early in the morning, but certain groups stick out in my mind 14 years later as lifting the crowd further as the morning and afternoon progressed; Crosby Stills and Nash - seemed to be the first act that people really were enthusiastic about. People laughed at Ozzy Osbourne and Rick Springfield. The Beach Boys - Yeah, most of us had seen them, and they had turned into more of a novelty than a serious band by that point, but with it being a hot summer day, the crowd started moving. Bowie/Jagger - I think Philly thought it too pop from a couple of talented artists. Bowie's linkup of "Heros" was tremendous. Eric Clapton - one of the true highlights of the show. Captured the crowd with "White Room" Phil Collins - now people were staying in there seats. Could hear a pin drop on "Roof is Leaking" Zepplin - what can you say about your only chance to see this band? Hall and Oates - better received than I would of thought, but being Philly natives never hurt. Dylan/Richards - what a disappointment. I had always been a Stones fan, and went though a lond Dylan phase in college. Too much time to imbibe before they appeared. Where was Jerry Garcia? US finale was too crowded and noisy, but the image of Pete Townsend and Paul McCartney carrying Bob Geldof on their shoulders with stay with me forvever. Here was two kings of rock royalty carrying a mere rock commoner. Not enough water, bathroom were flooded, only thing left to drink my mid-day was warm Cherry Coke, but a lifetime of memories and a great day to share with my best friend, my brother. We ate burgers at a drive-in near the stadium after the show, totally drained and worn out.
From: Michael Beirne
Just glancing at your site today. There's some good stuff. I have some cool stuff to share, also. I was going to college in Philadelphia in 1985 and working security for the firm which handled Live Aid at the old venerable (dump) JFK Stadium. I worked a total of 80 hours at Live Aid, including guarding the trailors in and around the stadium the week leading up to the concert. I also worked the stage and all around the venue come showtime. I see myself in a yellow shirt in a lot of the photos of the show. Great show. Why I'm writing is because I have some pretty cool stuff that I collected from the trailors where the the organizers work. Included is the original copy of the set-list for the day. It comes complete with adds and subtractions, coffe stains and notes from the promoters. Would you be interested in a copy? I can mail one to you. Also, one of my jobs that day was to take the ticket stubs from JFK to the Spectrum across the street. In my hand in trash can liners, at different times, were about 20,000 ticket stubs. I actually thought about putting them in my car which was parked right next to JFK. I didn't but I do have a number of tickets, though, and an number of passes to the Hard Rock cafe that day which I think might be worth something some day.
From: Chris Lowndes
It is obviously some time since this site of yours came about (on the 10th anniversary of the event by the looks of things). I hope people are still visiting it, as when I did it brought back a flood of memories, both of the event itself and of the events surrounding it. I was at City University in London and living out at Crouch End (about 5 miles north of the city centre). I was heavily into the live music scene at the time and had been to many gigs over the early months of 1985 - including Marillion, Dire Straits, U2, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Dave Lee Roth, Queen, John Otway(?) and last but not least Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on their Born in the USA tour on July 4th 1985 at Wembley Stadium. Reading the revues of this gig in the papers the next day, there was talk that Bruce had kindly donated the use of some of his staging to the Live Aid cause - due to take place the following weekend. Up to this point, the build up to Live Aid had been just hype in my eyes. The papers had been full of conjecture about what might or might not happen. But at this point I realised that there were only a couple of ways to show my support for the underlying cause. I could either donate something on the day or try anything to be there at the event. Fortune came my way when a friend phoned on the Wednesday morning to say there were some tickets going at his work - he worked for one of the PR companies involved in the hype. I told him to get me one, and to phone me back at home the following day. Thursday came and went and I didn't hear anything, so when it was announced on Capital Radio (London's main commercial station) that Keith Prowse booking agencies had released 500 more tickets, I rushed round to the one in Crouch End and bought one then and there for £25.00. I then spent the afternoon trying to contact my friend. He phoned me at home that evening to say he could only buy one ticket - a fine coincidence. Because we were coming from different directions - we arranged to meet on the 13th July at 09:45 - inside the turnstiles at gate C to Wembley Stadium. I arrived at about 09:50 and the crowd on the steps was so huge it took me 35 minutes to get inside. I stood in the stairwell for another half an hour looking down on the crowd but the was no sign of Tom, so I gave up. I had bought a T shirt and two litres of OJ so headed for the pitch. The crowd was huge - it was hot and sunny and a buzz of anticipation was in the air. As I made my way down the left hand side of the pitch I was beneath the royal box just as several celebrities appeared. This was noticed by the crowd and an announcer (Tommy Vance I think) said that a fanfare would soon be played to herald the arrival into the stadium of Charles and Di. The crowd began to stand and surged towards the royal box. I took this opportunity to dart in sideways heading for the centre front. Because people were still facing to the left, it was easy to squeeze forward, and my two litres of orange juice looked like a genuine reason to be returning to my place at the front (NOT!). As I reached the second row the band came on stage to play the fanfare and the national anthem. It was 11:50. I settled into a position dead centre of the second row (it later turned out to be a good choice as the folks against the scaffold in the front row kept getting mangled during crowd surges. As Tommy Vance's voice came back on the PA, there was an almighty crowd surge and I found myself helping a girl off the floor. When I looked up at the stage there was Francis Rossi staring out in awe at the crowd - he shouted 'Hello World' or something like that and Rick struck the first chord of Rockin' All Over the World. This was it. I had a Canon SLR camera with me (stuffed down the lining of my jacket) including three spare films. Throughout the day I took photos of most of the acts, and these have served to complement my memories of the day. The press photographers were just in front of us on a sub platform beneath the stage front. For the first hour or so they were the target of hurled abuse and drink cartons as they kept masking the acts on stage. After a while they got the message. At one stage, I gave my camera up to one of them to take a closer shot of Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd), who was playing rhythm guitar for Bryan Ferry and his band. Those are the best shots I have, apart from one blurred shot looking back through the sea of hands during Queen's Radio GaGa. Here are a few random memories from me: Only being able to see Howard Jones' spikey hair sitting at the piano at the back of the revolving stage. The number of Irish tricolours in the crowd showing support for U2. Sade's top Simple Mind's by satellite from JFK singing "Don't You . . . ." with the entire crowd at Wembley singing along. Bono almost falling head first into the mud as he climbed down to dance with the girl in the crowd (about 20 yards to my left) and the two girls who had been plucked out but were overlooked as he got down, they have since appeared on the BBC anniversary documentary. The Who - best act of the day in my book - as agreed by everyone around me - with "Won't get fooled again" and the Hammond organ. U2, Queen, the Who, David Bowie (and those two delicious backing singers) were all excellent The amount of liquid everyone drank without having to go for a pee Buckets, hoses, coke cups being shared amongst hundreds The teddy bear being thrown about during the final interlude before the finale When Paul McCartney's mike didn't work at the start of Let It Be, we were close enough to be able to hear his voice anyway, before the whole crowd joined in Recognising a few hangers-on on stage for Do They Know It's Christmas (Fish, Hazel O'Connor, Mike Oldfield (I think?), Nik Kershaw) After the finale, Harvey Goldsmith stayed on stage to wish everyone a safe journey and ask them to leave quietly, the guy I'd been standing behind all day (an American with a Shimano baseball cap) shouted "Is That It?" to which Harvey just shrugged his shoulders and laughed - this incident is related in Bob Geldof's Autobiography - and formed the title. The atmosphere was amazing - I made many friends. The girl who had slipped right back at the start said her name was Michelle and she came from Wimbledon in South London. I scribbled her number on my arm and she wrote mine in lipstick on her programme - I've never spoken to her since as the number had rubbed off my arm by the time I got to the station. About five minutes after everyone began to leave, I bumped into my friend Tom. He had been standing about 25 yards to my right all day. We decided to make our way back to my parents' house and were back in time to see everything from Power Station onwards from JFK. In the Sunday Times the next day was an article about the Wembley concert headed by a photo looking back over the crowd from front of stage - I am there dead centre as I was the tallest at the front. Additionally, my face appears during the BBC footage of Bryan Ferry doing 'Jealous Guy' and in the centre spread of the official commemorative book - where Bono is leading the crowd in a refrain during 'Bad'.
From: Steve Manning
I was living in Allentown, PA. Being only an hour from JFK Stadium, I couldn't miss this event. I was 21 years old. My friend Jeff Torok & I left from our house in Bath, PA Friday afternoon. We arrived in Philadelphia an hour later, entering through town on Broad St. coming to the Sports Arena area in South Philly, we found parking on Pattisson Ave. directly across from the parking lot at JFK. Before we got into the lot we were called over to a car on Pattisson Ave. They wanted to know if we wanted mushrooms. We only had $10 between us. They saw we had a case of Michelob. They traded us the $10 and a six-pack of beer for a quarter ounce of mushrooms. We ate em right away! Then we went into the parking lot. A lot of different licenses plates were there. From Cali to Maine. We hooked up with some people from New Hampshire. I ended up sleeping with my head on their watermelon for a few. Played some Frisbee. On Saturday, we were just hanging around selling cans of soda for a dollar. We saw a limo take some people to the front gate, and come back near where we were at. Got to talkin to the limo driver. Offered him a few sodas. Then he gave us a ride through the gates. We didn't even have tickets! Everybody thought we were somebody (we both had long hair, and looked like we were in bands. In fact I was at the time.) What luck! Saw the show from backstage. That night after the show, there were many parties outside the stadium. The one we found was at the end of a dead end street. Someone had opened up a fire hydrant. (It had to be at least 100 degrees that day!) I'll never forget those two days! Seems like it was yesterday!
I was 16 years old and i begged my mum and dad to let me and my sister go to the concert. Thankfully they agreed. It was one of the best days of my childhood...probably my life. My sister and I had so much fun. We met tons of new friends. The atmosphere was electric. It was a very hot day and there were alot of people fainting through excitement and overheating. The highlight of the day for me was George Michael and Elton John dueting... But i must say that Queen stole the whole show. What a day...My memories are still clear even now (aged 30) and I will be passing these memories down to my son when he's old enough to understand.
July 13, 1985; A day that will live in my thoughts. I was stationed in England for three years with the ultimate goal to see every performer and band live that I could. When I heard about the Live Aid show and the line up, there was no stopping my friends and I. We went to Wembley and scalped our tickets (the usual way) and found our way close to the front. The four of us had a pretty good spot left of the high rise sound/light operator's stage. It was very hot English day, so after a while in the sun there were shirtless women, too cool. We did not bring our own drink or food, so we had to buy the boxed drinks from the pirate vendors. After a quenching drink a large white cloth sign held up by two poles blocked our view of the stage. Like those around us we were upset and yelled at the owners to take it down. They were holding their ground. So searching our pockets we found some 2 and 10 pence coins, so airborne they went. We were still unsuccessful. Shortly after that someone threw a half drank cup of coke or something that put a big stain on the material, victory was ours. The rest of the day we were on our feet during the show and sitting down (passed out at times) at intermission. I vaguely remember Spandau Ballet. To name my most memorable performers would be to name nearly 90% of all we saw, but there were some that will stand the test of time. Queen was phenomenal! The stage performance of Freddy Mercury was awesome. At first I perceived him as a gay french rat, bad label I know, but after a while I did not see that anymore. Radio Gaga blew me away! The music of Queen is great, seeing them perform is even greater. The U2 segment was another milestone. The montage song of Lou Reed/U2 was too cool. Bryan Ferry is the ultimate in too smooth, move over James Bond. Did anyone notice that David Gilmour was playing guitar? If not, I have a picture to prove it. Sade is the female counter to Bryan Ferry, need I say more? The set by The Who was unforgettable. When Pete and Roger fell down I can't help to think it was staged. The Who are definitely in touch with higher beings. Shortly after the song "Love reign 'Oer Me" guess what, that's right a small sprinkle of rain came down. It was well needed after the hot day. The set with Paul McCartney was one of a kind. When his microphone went out there were countess boos from the crowd. Looking at his face during "Hey Jude" he looked really confused, "Why in the bloody hell are they booing me - Paul McCartney, a legend among legends singing a Beatles song?" The following set with Freddy Mercury and Brian May was too funny down in the crowd. Up until this point there were no signs of trash or other objects being thrown. That was until, we the small bunch of Americans, picked up some lager bottles and proceeded to keep the English tradition going. Needless to say everything I saw on the ground was at one point or another in the air. Reading the memories of Kluss@aol.com, I do remember the brown teddy. It was like a crowd mascot that one just did not hold onto. I do not what happened to it in the end, but it should be in the Live Aid shrine. There were other feeble attempts to have other objects (a white bra) thrown and cheered on, but none matched the bear. Well the show was over and making our way to and through the tubes was a damn nightmare. We finally made it back to Kings Cross were we inhaled Kentucky Fried Chicken and quarts of coke. We were worn out, sunburned, thirsty, hungry, tired, hungover, and still reeling in the new experience of our lives, the rest did not matter. To this day when I play my bootleg tapes of the show, it will be remembered as a day that will live on for many a years.
Back to main Live Aid page