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). There are more memories here.
From: Berrett Rice
I'm glad someone has commemorated that day. I was 18 years old, living in Fresno California, and a big fan of many of the bands that played. My parents were in England at the time of the concert, so my two best friends and I sat at my house and watched the entire broadcast. We didn't sleep, and we only left the house once, for food. We also taped every band that we were interested in. By far the best performance, in my opinion, was U2. David Bowie was also great, as was Paul McCartney. The tragic part of my story is that I lost my tapes of the concert. I left them somewhere in Rexburg Idaho in the spring of 1986. I'm sure someone out there, who didn't know better, has taped over them with soap operas or episodes of Wheel of Fortune. It doesn't get more depressing than that. Berrett Rice
From: Charles Massi
Memories of Live Aid Me and my friends came in from Long Island.. We had no tickets, we figured we would get some when we got there. We arrived at Live aid, it was crazy, all thoes people!!! It was definitely going to be an incredable time. So, we parked, broke out the grill and hung out. We were waiting for Robert Plant And Jimmie Page, my friend Rockey and his girlfriend Cathy was able to get one ticket.That is right one. We ate drank and headed on in. I was with rockeys brother joe. We didn't get any tickets. We had a plan.. Any way Rockey decided to fold the ticket in half hoping by the time the ticket person noticed they would be gone.. Guess what? He handed in the ticket pushed through and before the guard could do anything they were in. This was a good sign.. Now me and joe decided to do a few lapw around the complex looking for a weak point. This took a few laps and a few beers.. And there it was, the back stage enterance. Limos and busses were pulling in and out all day and night and security was light.. Now there was a tree by the wooden fence that surrounded the stadium. I climed up looked in. Two guys on the other side saw me. I looked at them, they knew what I was up to and gave me the high sign.. I looked at joe saluted and jumped. I WAS IN !!!!!! I walked straight across to the courtesy tent and had some pizza... Now I could not belive that no body noticed.. O well... So I Started to mingle with the Video Crews. Eventually I worked my way under the stage. I was now directly under the concert, haning out with other people. Roadies and crew girlfriends and such. Right behind me was the stairs that led to the stage. Who do you think was walking up at that time.. Yes, TINA TURNER.. So I yelled " Hey Tina!!" She stopped. I approache her took her hand and said, "Do Good Baby." (What else to say?) She said "OK I Will", and up she went. WOW!! This chick I met while I was haning under the stage took a picture of me shaking her hand.( I met some wonderful people that eve.) SO tina went up, I figured I would follow. Made it to the top and security stopped me. Tina looked back and gave me one of those o well looks. I retreated. I went back under to the front. It was open and I had a clear view of Tina and Mick gettin down, that is until security told me I coulden't stay where I was.. No problem. So now what? This time I tried another approach. I went to the back of the stage. Now I was directly behind the consert and security was a little thick. But, there was this blind spot between these two boxes. All I had to do was crawl for about 15 feet and then walk right on stage. And that is exactly what I did. Wholy Shit!! I coulden't belive it.. Now what? I went to the scaffolding that holds the stage curtains climed it slind over on to the rod, I was directally above the consert. I coud have jumped right on top of Bill Wyman. I had my shoe off, was going to toss it at him.. I should have jumped on the stage at least, would have made Letterman. But I was good. Now a photographer saw me sitting there and said that I can't stay there because I had no passes.. This was fine since the consert was ending. We all sang We are the World. At this point security locked hands and made a path for all the tallent to to walk in-between as they left the stage. So I climed down walked right on stage and followed the gang.I had to stop at center stage and wave to the croud. It was incredable!!! I turned and walked past security down the back stage staires and got some more pizza. Now the fun starts... There was Joan Biaz,I had no idea who she was, I bragged to her about what I did.. She was not fazed. Then there was Harry Belefonti nice man, we talked about his neighborhood. Next was Cher, she was heading for the limo. We chatted about the consert, I probably could of got into the limo but I could not leave all of this. So I said bye and re-treated. I had some more pizza. Then I went back to center stage and stood there in aw.. It was Amazing.. I wen't to the uest rooms and hung out.. If I knew what I could do I would have done it earlier. I would have been nice to have met Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. .. Now everybody left and it was time for me to go. So I walked out the back, found my friends and told them the story. As fo joe he got in too. He had a neck full of back stage passes. To this day, I get weak in the knees when I think about Live Aid. Sometimes I wonder I dreamed it. Charles Massi
From: B. Austin
Here are my memories of Live Aid (UK Concert) A friend and myself departed at 5.30 am to get to Wembley in time for the doors opening at 10am. After getting there and grabbing a T-shirt, programmme etc, we found our spot amongst the crowd. The atmosphere was fantastic and everybody in the stadium wanted to have a good time and to help the cause. Status Quo started the ball rolling with 'Rockin' Around The World'. The Boomtown Rats obviously got a great reception as they were lead by Bob. Their redition of 'I don't like Mondays' had the hairs on the back of my neck standing uon end! However, it was Queen who stole the show... ...they were simply fantastic both in their performance and ability to get the crowd going. The finale was very moving and the cram for the tubes unforgetable for the wrong reasons! I remember arriving home still on a high after the most fantastic concert that there has ever been... ...and ever will be.
From: Andrew Williams
Mel, What a great site, congratulations. Very quickly some of my memories. I was 18 and music was the only thing I lived for. Here in Australia the broadcast went to air at night and through into the wee small hours but sleep would have to wait. I was aware I was witnessing the biggest rock'n'roll event ever and possibly forever. It was worth it, every bit. From Sting doing acoustic-y versions of Police songs to Queen having everyone at Wembley in the palm of thier hand, it was astounding. But the show stealers had to be U2. Bad just blew everyone away. When Bono pulled the girl from the crowd I was in tears. Tears of joy, for that young ladie and tears of sadness that I couldn't be there. Now my dilema. In '85 VCRs here in Tassie, and especially in my less than wealthy household, weren't to prevalant and therefore I don't have a copy of Live Aid. My question. Do you have or do you know anyone who has a copy they would like to pass on, dub,sell or donate to me?? Thank you. Kindest Regards, Andrew Williams
Hi, I just read the memories people have posted about Live Aid. Here is mine: I was fifteen, and woke up at 6:00 a.m. so I would not miss a single part of Live Aid. I still have some cassettes of what I managed to tape off the radio. Everytime I hear the Boomtown Rats or U2 perfroamcnes, it takes me right back. What Bob Geldof managed to do that day, getting the whole world to stop and listen was the most amazing thing. That one man could pull together such a huge effort in order to make a difference was one of the most important lessons of my life and has inspired me to try to achieve all that I can in helping others. It is sad that today, many years later few people remember what an extraordinary event Live Aid was or take the time to wonder what is happening to starving people throughout the world.
From: Tim Rogers
I visited your Live Aid website today, delighted to find that such a thing existed. It was a memorable day for me and a few friends -- many drinks and a few tears spilt during the day's and night's performances. The Style Council and the Sting / Branford Marsalis performances are enduring favorites. Also at the top for me was the Boomtown Rats -- and that is why I am writing. I have never been able to find out the name of the "other" tune they played, after "I Don't Like Mondays." Not knowing had not been a big problem as I have had a videotape of the concert. Unfortunately, the tape has been destroyed and it has been very difficult to find anyone local who can help. I'm not sure where to turn via the internet, either. I was able to find the sequence of performances via your site, but not a song list. I will be grateful for any help you can provide. That was a powerful moment for me and would hate to lose my connection to it. Many thanks, Tim Rogers
Hello, I am new to the net and was thrilled to find your Live Aid page. Thank you for some great info. My memories of Live Aid span from November, 1984, when I first heard about Band Aid, to June , 1987, when I calmed down after reading Bob's autobiography (my friend Kortney and I have always called him Bob). All that great music, artistry, and compassion got me through high school. The performances I loved were Paul Young (where have you gone?) and U2. I wanted to be the girl who Bono jumped offstage to dance with, that lucky one. When it was over, I bought magazines, the Live Aid book, and taped a compilation that MTV aired in September, 1985. I still watch that tape now. Well, thank you. You may use my musings if you wish. Peace, Lisa
From: Edward Plain
i was going to the summer nationals drag racing event in new jersey, it was the last day, the finals. i was getting ready in the hotel and watching live-aid on the television. I turned to my friend and said "you know we really should have been there" we went to the races and on our way stopped at a place for breakfast. as i was eating my eggs i was reading the paper and saw an article about live-aid. i turned to the waitress and said "how far is it to philadelphia" when she told me my friend and i looked at each other and threw some money down on the table and left in the middle of our breakfast and hit the road. it was sold out and no one was selling tickets. i offered a guy at the gate 100 dollars to let me walk through and he said no after offering many times i decided to call it quits and my friend and i walked toward our car. a man was walking by and he asked us if we wanted tickets, he sold us both tickets for face value ($35). i walked in at the same gate where i offered the guy the hundred just to let me in. we walked straight down the left side of the field all the way to the stage and cut into the crowd only a few people were in front of us. i remember everyone being upset at the photographers because they were annoyingly in our view for a while, then people were reaching down into the mud and slinging huge wads of crap at the back of this one guy in a white t-shirt and vest, eventually they decided to croach down in-between shots. after seeing zeppelin we decided there was nothing that could top that so with a long ride back to connecticut we decided to leave. i remember shoving my way through what appeared to be an exit because everyone was pushing and trying to get through the passage way. as i squeezed my way closer to the front i saw two men holding everybody back with their arms extended. then the strangest thing happened, the guys opened their arms and let my friend and i get out but no one else! i didn't think much about this untill after when i realized where i was. sometimes at concerts my friend and i use to use that old trick, yelling "security!, security!" and most of the drunks and stony's would let us by, i don't remember if we were doing that or not but i would think at an event like this that those guys wouldn't have bought it without an all access pass on our chest, anyway i haven't a clue as to why but we entered into the hard rock cafe that they had set up. everyone had a pass on and i knew that we were not supposed to be where we were. we got some food tickets and ate. they had these tickets in denominations of a dollar, five dollars, ten, and up i suppose, you bought the tickets and then went to the food area. it was like an oasis in the desert, we were dying for food and water and then all of a sudden we were accidently thrown into this and when i turned to look around i saw teddy pendergast and i think george segal maybe, anyway the performers were there too and i noticed some of the trailors. we looked like pigs compared to everyone and i lost my shirt at one point so i was bare chested with a camera around my neck, we decided to leave before we got thrown out and i remember walking down this long asphalt area baracaded with wooden horses and police as people were all being held back, we walked through and exited. it was strange being on the other side of the baracade. oh and the show was good too.you know, zeppelin wouldn't go on untill they could sing stairway to heaven as the sun set in the western sky and thats exactly what happened, it was impressive.
From: Rafael Coutinho
The Judas Priest's show was simply amzing. The state of the art heavy metal band did one of their best shows there! And they are often accused of teenager's suicides...Hah! :) Rafael P.P.Coutinho, Brasilia, Brasil.
As I begin to write this I realise that you're probably looking for the memories of people who were actually AT Live Aid, but-- sorry, I've already started writing! :-) Should you find anything you'd like to use, though, you're welcome to post it to your Web page. I spent the entire day of 13 July 1985 in front of the telly, amazed by the mass of British groups which had hereto existed to me only as import albums and singles. Naturally the VCR was running overtime, and last month (February '96) I got these tapes back out to watch once again. The 5 hours worth of video I taped was just as impressive as it had been ten years before. So many things I'd forgotten about-- Madonna and Nile Rodgers playing with the Thompson Twins, Pete Townsend goosing Paul McCartney whhile Paul tried to overcome a complete lack of voice mike feed, and Mick Jagger 'liberating' Tina Turner's skirt (good job she was wearing those tights!). Not sure if you're looking for this sort of thing or not, but with the help of BlankFrank and the rest of the Roxy Music ListServ I've managed to confirm that Bryan Ferry's set consisted of: Sensation Boys And Girls Slave To Love Jealous Guy Thanks for creating this page-- it's great Davd
Here's what I remember - Phil Collins playing both shows, Thomas Dolby backing up David Bowie (and getting zero camera time), Howard Jones playing piano, the Pepsi cup on top of Phil Collins' piano, Paul McCartney's microphone going out, Paul Shaffer being blamed for the satellite cutting out during the Who, great performances by U2 and simple minds, Madonna saying that she wasn't going to remove any clothing in the wake of those photos appearing in Playboy and Penthouse, sound coming from Nick Rhodes keyboard before his fingers actually hit the keys during "A View to a Kill," Tom Petty looked like crap, Prince's video "For the Tears in Your Eyes," Kiki Dee looking happy to be performing at all, Mick and Tina, the awesome Led Zep reunion, rumors of a Springsteen appearance, Lionel Richie's great voice, Queen "Radio Ga Ga," Bono leaving the stage to dance with a girl, Michael DesBarres looking like a total dork playing for the cameras while fronting the Power Station, wondering if Michael Jackson was going to show up, Hall and Oates light show, "who the fuck are the Hooters?," and last but not least - taping the entire concert on Beta. Now, if only I could find a Beta machine...
From: Mark Rickard
I remember the day of Live Aid... Our high-school marching band was preparing to go to the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena. We were supposed to be out collecting aluminum cans door-to-door, so that we could cash them in for $0.05/can. We eventually did go out to do this, but for about an hour. See, we were too busy watching Live Aid. If I remember correctly, we did the can thing up until Phil Collins performed in the UK, i.e., pretty early in the morning.
It sure was a day to remember.I had turned twentyone on july the 10th.I was really optimistic back then and thought that rock and roll was truly going to change the world.I remember how excited I was driving down to Philadelphia from Jersey the night before the show.My friend Chris and I were comparing the lineup to the granddaddy of all festivals Woodstock. Yes that was the Woodstock of my generation.By the way Chris died in 89 of heart failure from smoking to much freebase.Another product of my generation(CRACK).Anyway, what a great day it was.Philadelphia was hot as hell on that July afternoon.People were passing out in the heat.The bathrooms at JFK were terrible.The crowds broke the sinks right off the wall.They condemened the stadium not long afterwards. As I look back at the lineup Id have to say that it was really eighties man.Thompson Twins, Madonna, Power Station, Duran Duran and so many others. There were plenty of seventies and even sixties groups too. I was so fried when Neil came out with Sugar Mountain and then he played The needle and the damage Done. Now that sent a chill up my spine having just turned 21. I would have to say the highlight of the American show was Page,Plant,Jones and Collins. When they played Stairway to Heaven people were crying all around me(myself included).It truly was an emotional show.Like I said earlier I think alot of others thought we were going to change things.Guess we were wrong.Famine exists on this planet today like at no other time in history. Well I"m thirtyone now (wow). I have my Live Aid ticket stubb framed and proudly hung on the wall. Shows like that come around only once in each generation. I would tell any younger folks to say hell with their jjob or school that day when theirs comes around. It will give them memories to last a lifetime.I"m not some kind of eighties nut or anything I just have fond memories of past glories.Weve lost so many since then: Jerry,Stevie,Brent,Phil Grahm and so many others on the sidelines along with many of our peers to drugs and AIDS.Another product of our generation. Thanks for putting this page here.If anyone knows how to get a video of the show I would be highly interested.Feel fre to E-Mail me at: DHead1964@aol.com Sex Drugs Rock and Roll Michael
From: Chris Romano
Please put this on the Web by all means!!!! I was in thew US Army in Mannheim Germany when 3 friends on mine (we called ourselves the "RoadDogs") hopped in our Volkswagon Passat with a case of liquor, a shared pool of cash, tons of music, and a change of clothes. We eneded up outside Wembley the day before Live Aid with no tickets but what a party we had! We got completely smashed playing drinking games with a group of beautiful British ladies and this guy who had 4 tickets. Most scalpers were trying to sell tickets for 125 pounds each.We only had about 125 pounds allocated for tickets total. Well, he was so appreciative of us letting him drink our half gallon of American Whiskey that by morning he had sold us the tickets for 25 pound each. He was great!!!! We gave him the rest of our Whiskey. The concert was unbelievable and I will never forget it for the rest of my life. Bowie's "Heroes" and Queens "Radio GaGa" were the best songs of the day. I saw Freddie Mercury at Octoberfest in Munich the very next October and told him how great he was. I also liked the part when we, the audience, were throwing that little stuffed Teddy Bear all over the stadium. When the bear was up in the air being thrown all 80,000 people would cheer and if someone held on to it too long everyone would boo. Does anyone remember that? At the end of the show we watched the finish of the Philly show in the parking lot on a TV hooked up to a generator. Great day it was!!! There will never be another like it. Does anyone have an extra ticket stub I can have I lost mine and it really ment alot to me but a substitue will do. Emails are welcome.
I too remember the Thompson Twins doing "Hold Me Now" and was just reminded of this when Muchmusic rebroadcast a huge chunk of the show on its anniversary. I also remember NOT seeing Madonna perform with the Thompson Twins like the other TTwins fan wrote about, leaving a bitter pill to swallow. My dream is to one day find a video copy of all the Thompson Twins performances from that day. Surely the end of an era in music that actually had some creativity at its roots (no pun intended). Everybody managed to hold on one more year - now ten years of retro, still going "strong".
From: Colleen Dowda
It's ok to put this on the web if you want to. I remember a lot of little things about Live Aid and one big thing. I remember the caption for INXS being broadcast as "In Excess". I remember how tired Phil Collins looked when he arrived in the US to play there after a frantic transatlantic flight from his performance in the UK. I remember images and bits and sound bytes from some of my favorite bands, the Boomtown Rats, Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Sting, INXS, Alison Moyet, Judas Priest, B.B. King, David Bowie, and oh so many others. But most of all, I remember being seventeen, being glued to the tv and the radio, and thinking "This is the ENTIRE WORLD getting together at the same time for the same reason, and it isn't a war." I'd like to see something bring the world together like that again.
Was there anywhere Live Aid wasn't broadcast? I was sixteen years old, living in Guam, that small island in the Pacific (my father was in the US Air Force stationed there.) Although I was thousands of miles away from most places, I felt that the young people of the world were somehow connected for those 24 hours. It's the closest thing to world harmony I've ever experienced. I, too, wish they would produce a Live Aid CD or video. I did record a few excerpts on my VCR, but alas, I think they were lost in one of the many moves my family made. -- Amber San Antonio, Texas, USA
From: Ian Fisk
I was in Boston that summer. My friend Josh and I decided we HAD to go. No idea about tickets, no idea about security, no idea about anything except that there was this concept in Philly we had to go to. So he calls his grandparents who live in PillyPa for a place to stay. Immediately after Josh hang ups the phone, the grandparents see an add for the last 500 tickets to go on sale. So they bought our tickets for us, and we didn't even know until we got to town. I stood in line for hours with batteries in my shoes (and a micro-cassette taped to the back of my shirt) but found when I got in that it was broken. Performances I remember: Led Zepplin (when they said someone was reuniting, the front section all chanted "Zepplin" and was dismayed when C,S,N, Y came on.) C&S&N and Y being better apart than together. Bob Dylan and Ron Wood clearly being on Acid. Ron Wood turing his guitar DURING the song. And playing air guitar during another song. The firetruck. (It was HOT!) Phil Collins playing both sides of the Atlantic. Neil Young solo. Madonna saying "I'm not taking it off today." Madonna and the Thompson Twins. Duran Duran asking everybody to dance and everybody being too tired to respond. The Thompson Twins doing "Revolution" The song they played after the show ended, "Uncle John's Band" over the PA. It seemed to fit. -- Ian Fisk I'm visible on the MTV clips during Phil Collin's solo piano gig.
From: Steve Betts
I saw your Live Aid page and thought I'd add my memories from that day. I remember getting to Pilly and not realizing how big the whole thing was really goimg to be, I had almost cashed my plane ticket in because I could'nt find anyone at home who wanted to go! It seemed like I was the only one of my group who had heard of it. After paying $100 to a scalper outside(money well spent) I went in and enjoyed the most memorable day of my life. The thing that stands out in my mind the most is the felling in the air..that we were all part of history for a good cause. I've never felt anything like it. As for the performances, CSN&Y stand out as well as Clapton, Mick & Tina, and Dylan's disapointing finale. Also The Who, when the feed to the giant monitors got cut off just before Roger sang " Why don't they all just fade away?" After hearing how bad the MTV coverage was, I consider myself lucky to have been there and seen every one of the performances. Great page, thanks for letting us relive a great day! Steve
From: Ladyane Lopez
I was about 14 at the time Live Aid came on, I too stayed glued to my tv, for I didn't want to miss a thing. I set my alarm early to get up in time to see the beginning of the Wembley broadcast-(which was around 5am in the U.S.). I want it re-broadcast. I think they should sell a video of it, they've got videos of everything else. I'll never forget U2's performance. Paul Young was equally as good. I was a big SPandau Ballet fan at the time (still am, just don't tell anyone) so that performance meant a lot to me too. Most of the sets were cut off on network tv, so I would love too see it again it its entirety. Tina Turner and Mick Jagger stole the show, while Queen and Elton John also brought the house down. How come Michael Jackson, who claims to love children, not have played at this event? Does anyone know? All in all, it was a hell of a show, and a memory that will stay with me forever. If there's ever a repeat or video, I'll be there.
From: Shawn Belling
I was spending the day with my buddies in my home town of Waupun, WI. We alternated watching the event on TV with cruising aroung town, listening to the event on the radio. It was great to be 20 yrs. old, with my friends, getting high, drinking beer, and listening to an incredible assembly of talent for a noble cause.
From: Joe Siegler
Caught your Live Aid page... Quite a trip down memory lane, that was. I still have video of it all. I suppose the only memory I have of the day was constantly running back and forth on public transportation to get a copy of all of it. MTV didn't show all the bands, the ABC evening feed only showed the US side of things at the end, and the local UHF channel in Philly stopped at 6PM. Between the three, I think I got a good 90% of it on video. I watched it the NEXT day, since I didn't have a car at the time, and spent all my time on mass transit going back and forth between my house, and my church, believe it or not, which is where I taped it from MTV. :) Anyway, one minor correction to make. You list Ozzy Osbourne as a band playing. That's not correct. The band was Black Sabbath; Ozzy was just the singer. [Ozzy is the person credited in the programme, but I've amended it to show Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath -- Mel]
From: Martijn Janssen
I saw part of the re-run of Live Aid on BBC TV lately, the original broadcast had faded im my memory over the years. Personally I found the video's about the people in Ethiopia the best part. At the time I watched the British part live on Dutch TV and the American part on video later on. I do still think that Live Aid was the most important music event of the eighties, but I must also state that my musical taste has changed considerably over the years and IMHO only Queen remains one of my favourites to this day.
I was stationed in England in the U.S. Air Force at the time. I remeber the buildup in the press before the concert. The Sun tabloid had the headline "Beatles reunion for Live Aid" the day of the concert. We were having war games the day of the show. I told my commander that I had a ticket. He said I could go. I had no ticket of course, but was able to scalp one with no problem. I went by myself and it was great. Queen put on a great show as did the WHO and Bowie. Where can I get a copy of the concert?
Just wanted to say that the performance of the THOMPSON TWINS with MADONNA was outstanding! they played the beatles hit REVOLUTION!!!
From Cherie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What I remember most is sitting in front of TV all day, afraid to move incase I missed something! I was sixteen years old, and a fan of just about every band there (England ... not U.S.) , which brings me to my main beef, why was Duran Duran not in England, at least then I wouldn't have had to sit through that horrible "We Are The Children" song at the end of the night just to see my boys again! But I digress, for me the most moving moment came at the end of the Wembley broadcast, when Bob Geldof was lifted by his fellow musician as a fitting tribute! I swear I cried at the end of it! The best performance, and I defy anyone to argue this because I am simply "unswayable" on this point, was Queen. Having never seen Queen in concert, I didn't know what to expect? I was blown away. If I was asked to pick out three of the most memorable moments of my life, visually speaking, I would say watching the Space Shuttle explode (too horrible for words), watching the Berlin Wall fall (via CNN), and the Queen performing Radio GaGa, with the crowds hands all moving in unison. I know this is a bizzare series of memories, but each has a place in my heart, and though I was not actually there for any of them, watching them live on TV made me feel apart of history. Each visual moves me and I can articulate every detail to anyone silly enough to ask! O.K., I'll stop gushing now!! I wish that they would put out a commemoritive video of all the live performances (not just highlights!), I'd pay just about anything to get it! Then I can make my children ... and their children sit through hours and hours of my own personal Woodstock, how uncool! Thanks Cherie G.
From: Peter Abrams
I was working on one of the tv truck crews in Philly (ok ok, MTV). There were lots of moments prior to the actual broadcast that I remember, but one of the best was on Friday night. There were several production entities involved, audio and video trucks from all over the place, and we were having some problems with the all of the interconnects, which was to be expected. We weren't getting pictures or sound from the lead trucks at that point, and people all over the compound were beginning to get a little nervous, as we weren't that many hours away from the English/Wembley start. Somewhere around dusk, pictures started arriving, and the first thing we actually got from the main stage was Mick Jagger and Tina Turner rehearsing 'State of Shock' for the first time ever, and I can't begin to tell you how electric that moment was. And I'd kill for a tape of it, but I imagine everybody involved was so enormously pleased to actually see all of that interconnected stuff work that nobody had the presence of mind to push the damn record button. or maybe they did. The actual live presentation 24 hours later was great, but it was just another re run to me. The first one was very significant, only because it was the sign to all of us in the pits that we could actually pull this damn thing off!
From: Neill Bayley (100066.1434.compuserve.com)
Saw that you were marking the 10th anniversary in the Guardian's OnLine section. Thought I'd drop you a line as I was lucky enough to have a pretty good perspective on the show. I was priveleged to to be one of the many stage crew at the event and the memory is strong. The PA at Wembley was provided by Malcolm Hill of Malcolm Hill Associates and Hill Audio under the leadership of Rob 'Dad' Lingfield. Hill PAs have deafened the world for AC/DC, Saxon, Marillion and others at shows like the Monsters of Rock and all over the world (as well as Sky, Gary Numan and Robert Palmer to name but a few). All UK staff were unpaid volunteers (unlike our US equivalents as I was told), and I know that many of the team at Hills gave hours of unpaid overtime to prepare the sound system in the weeks prior to the 13th. I am sure the same applies to the other companies involved. For myself, I had a prime site working with the monitor engineers at the side of the stage coordinating with the engineers at the front of house desk on the pitch. I had also worked on preparing the multicore cable system which linked the desks to the amps and speakers as well as the direct sound feed to the BBC. I am looking forward to watching the re-run on television as I have only snap shot memories of the music on the day. Elvis Costello's cover of All You Need is Love seemed brilliant for it's simplicity, the power of U2, the charisma of Freddy Mercury, the emotional wrench of the video reminding us of why we were there while Bowie's Heroes played; all of these things live on alongside the failure of Bob Geldof's microphone during 'I Don't Like Mondays' and Paul McCartney's during 'Let It Be'. Hell, at least we were on schedule! There was one moment I will also treasure personally which occured after the UK transmission. The sound crew were sat at the front of the stage for a brief rest before breaking the set, when I saw a totally exhausted Bob Geldof crossing behind us. I moved over with my hand outstretched to shake his and to thank him for what he had done. Ignoring my hand, he simply hugged me like a brother and thanked us all (in spite of the glitch which had cut him off mid 'Mondays'). I know what Brian Adams meant when he called Bob a saint; that sort of focus and energy and generosity is rarely demonstrated, even less frequently from those without a personal agenda. Reflecting now, I feel so powerless and ashamed to think that even if we could have done it every year since with the same response, we would never solve the whole problem of famine in Africa, let alone Feed the World. It is even worse to realise that 'appeal fatigue' would mean that response would tail off as familiarity meant declining income to charities. How often do we have to see the like of Micheal Buerk's reports to remind us that we are all accountable. All I can hope is that I remember that a little involvement in one day's Global Jukebox is not the end of my involvement in the big picture. It was an extraordinary day and I am happy to have been a small part of the efforts of a business, usually so slavishly devoted to the pursuit of profit, doing something that felt usful for once. Thank you Bob Geldof for that opportunity. And if you ever need a hand again, just say the word. [ed: a GIF of Neill's back stage pass is available.] Neill Bayley
From: M. L. Grant, Seattle, USA
I watched it on the TV (I was only 13). A bunch of friends and I had a big sleepover, and I seem to recall that we did a lot of screaming, as adolescents will do when they see a "cuu-u-u-u-ute" rock star.
From: email@example.com (Gianni Barberi)
I remember a lot of things: Live Aid was a milestone in my life. It came at the end of a difficult year a was the soundtrack of a wonderful holiday in Grece. Later I bought my first CD player and then the CD's of most of the groups that were there. Unfortunately in Italy the event was not fully broadcasted. And the voices of 3 commentators covered many vital parts. What a dream would be to have it re-broadcasted !
I was working up in Oxford Street, and I remember finding out that the local ticket agency had two tickets left - this was the Saturday before they were supposed to go on sale! - and sprinting back to work to borrow the money to pay for them, almost getting run over on the way. The friend with whom I'd originally planned to go was away on holiday, so I took my mother instead. She's a bit of a music fan. She almost put her back out dancing to Queen :). I remember the first few chords from Status Quo. I remember an entire stadium going utterly, totally, quiet while the Boomtown Rats paused while playing "I Don't Like Mondays". I remember Queen stealing the show, I remember Bono dragging a lucky, lucky woman up onto the stage. Most of all I remember the crowds flooding out to the Tube at the end of the show; they were singing "Do They Know It's Christmas" - in July. Then I remember going back to school on Monday, and being lost for words when people asked me to describe the concert.
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