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1985 - Live Aid

Live Aid was a multi-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 99,000 people). On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated 2 billion viewers, across 60 countries, watched the live broadcast.

Live Aid - 1985

Memorable moments at Wembley Stadium
Queen opened to massive cheers with "Bohemian Rhapsody", and the antics of lead singer Freddie Mercury who got the entire Wembley crowd clapping in unison to "Radio Ga Ga" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" before singing along, word-for-word, to "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions". The band's performance, also including "Hammer to Fall", led to Queen's slot being voted in a 2005 poll as the 'Greatest Live Gig Ever'.

The Coldstream Guards band opened with the "Royal Salute", "God Save the Queen". Status Quo started their set with "Rockin' All Over the World", also playing "Caroline" and fan favourite "Don't Waste My Time". This was to be the last appearance by the band to feature bassist and founder member Alan Lancaster, and drummer Pete Kircher who had joined the band three years earlier.

Bob Geldof sang with the rest of the Boomtown Rats, singing I Don't Like Mondays he stopped just after the line: "The lesson today is how to die" to loud applause with the lyrics taking on a whole other meaning. He finished the song and left the crowd to say the final words.

Elvis Costello appeared singing a simple but touching version of the Beatles "All You Need is Love", which he introduced by asking the audience to "help [him] sing this old northern English folk song".

Another moment that garnered a huge crowd response was when David Bowie sang "Heroes" and dedicated it to his son, as well as "all our children, and the children of the world".

U2's performance established them as a pre-eminent live group for the first time – something for which they would eventually become superstars. The band played a 14-minute rendition of "Bad", during which lead vocalist Bono jumped off the stage to join the crowd and dance with a girl. The length of their performance of "Bad" limited them to playing just two songs; the third, "Pride (In the Name of Love)", had to be ditched. In July 2005, the girl with whom he danced revealed that he actually saved her life at the time. She was being crushed by the throngs of people pushing forwards; Bono saw this, and gestured frantically at the ushers to help her. They didn't understand what he was saying, and so he jumped down to help her .

The transatlantic broadcast from Wembley Stadium suffered technical problems and failed during The Who's performance of their song "My Generation", immediately after Roger Daltrey sang "Why don't you all fade" (the last word was cut off when a blown fuse caused the Wembley stage TV feed to temporarily fail). The Who were playing with Kenney Jones on drums, who was still an official member of The Who at this time, although this was their first performance since they'd officially disbanded after their 1982 'farewell' tour. The Who's performance included an at times shambolic, but still blistering version of "Won't Get Fooled Again", which was extremely popular with the audience in Wembley Stadium. The band's performance was described as "rough but right" by Rolling Stone magazine, but they would not perform together again until the 1988 BPI Awards.

At the conclusion of the Wembley performances, Bob Geldof was raised heroically onto the shoulders of The Who's guitarist Pete Townshend and McCartney – symbolising his great achievement in unifying the world for one day, in the spirit of music and charity.

Tina turner and Mick JaggerTina Turner and Mick Jagger

Memorable moments at JFK Stadium
At the very beginning of the televised portion of the Philadelphia concert, Joan Baez announced to the assembled crowd (and the viewing audience) that "this is your Woodstock, and it's long overdue", before leading the crowd in "Amazing Grace" (paired with a couple of verses of "We Are the World").

When Madonna got on stage, despite the 95°F ambient temperature, she proclaimed "I'm not taking shit off today!" referring to the recent release of early nude photos of her in Playboy and Penthouse magazines.

During his opening number, American Girl, Tom Petty flipped the middle finger to somebody off stage about one minute into song. Petty stated the song was a last minute addition when the band realised that they would be the first act to play the American side of the concert after the London finale and "since this is, after all, JFK Stadium".

When Bob Dylan broke a guitar string, Ronnie Wood took off his own guitar and gave it to Dylan. Wood was left standing on stage guitarless. After shrugging to the audience, he played air guitar, even mimicking The Who's Pete Townshend by swinging his arm in wide circles, until a stagehand brought him a replacement. Although this moment was left off the DVD, the performance itself was included, featuring footage focusing solely on Keith Richards.

During their duet on "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll", Mick Jagger ripped away part of Tina Turner's dress, leaving her to finish the song in what was, effectively, a leotard.

The JFK portion included reunions of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the original Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, and former members of Led Zeppelin, with Phil Collins and Chic member Tony Thompson sharing duties on drums (although they were not officially announced by their group name from the stage, but were announced as Led Zeppelin on the VH1 10th Anniversary re-broadcast in 1995).

Teddy Pendergrass made his first public appearance since his near-fatal car accident in 1982 which paralysed him. Pendergrass, along with Ashford & Simpson, sang "Reach Out and Touch".

Also, Duran Duran sang a four-song set. The five original band members would not perform together publicly again until 2003. Their set is also memorable for an inadvertent falsetto note hit by frontman Simon Le Bon during "A View to a Kill", an error trumpeted by some media outlets as "The Bum Note Heard Round The World". Simon later recalled that it was the most embarrassing moment of his career.

Together with Mick Jagger Tina sang "State of shock" and "It’s only rock and roll".

Cast:

Artists who sang at Wembley (in order of appearance):
Status Quo
Style Council
Boomtown Rats1985 - Live Aid
Adam Ant
Ultravox
Spandau Ballet
Elvis Costello
Nik Kershaw
Sade
Sting
Phil Collins (also with Sting)
Howard Jones
Bryan Ferry
Paul Young (also with Alison Moyet)
U2
Dire Straits (also with Sting)
Queen
David Bowie
The Who
Elton John (also with Kiki Dee and Wham)
Freddie Mercury with Brian May
Paul McCartney

Artists who sang in Philadelphia (in order of appearance):
Bernard Watson
Joan Baez1985 - Live Aid
The Hooters
The Four Tops
Billy Ocean
Black Sabbath
Run DMC
Rick Springfield
REO Speedwagon
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Judas Priest
Bryan Adams
Beach Boys
George Thorogood & the Destroyers (also with Bo Diddley & Albert Collins)
Simple Minds
The Pretenders
Santana (also with Pat Metheny)
Ashford & Simpson with Teddy Pendergrass
Madonna
Tom Petty1985 - Live Aid


Kenny Loggins
The Cars
Neil Young
Power Station
Thompson Twins (also with Madonna)
Eric Clapton
Phil Collins
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones
Duran Duran
Patti LaBelle
Hall & Oates (also with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin)
Mick Jagger (also with Tina Turner)
Bob Dylan, Keith Richards & Ron Wood


1985 - Live Aid


 

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1985 - Live Aid
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1972 - Beat-Club Vol. 3
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1965 - The Ike and Tina Turner Show

 

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

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  • Quotations TT

    Tina Turner

    Sometimes you've got to let everything go -- purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.

    I never said "Well, I don't have this and I don't have that." I said, I don't have this yet, but I'm going to get it.

    I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I'm not old yet!

    I didn't have anybody, really, no foundation in life, so I had to make my own way. Always, from the start. I had to go out in the world and become strong, to discover my mission in life.