At this point in life there are now moments when I sit back and go “I can’t believe this happened twenty years ago”. And then there are the moments I realize are part of time immortal ….. The moment is happening today as surely as the day they first occurred. Such a moment happened for Jon and I when we spent a good portion of this January weekend watching Live –Aid.
Generated by the initial reaction of one pop star to famine in Ethiopia Band Aid/We Are the World/Live-Aid is the closest my generation has to a rallying point of selflessness. The fact that this occurred in 1985 should be noted by historians as nothing short of miraculous. People who remember are nodding their heads with me. Those of you younger cannot begin to understand how selfish we were as a group. And yet it happened. On October 29th of 1984 Bob Geldof penned the chorus of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Not to be outdone , the American music community got together after the Grammy awards that year and recorded “We Are the World” (It’s still a lame song, but dammit they were trying to help). The faces you see during this 20 hours of footage are a history of Rock & Roll. The performances vary in quality greatly. Some are reaffirming even now… Teddy Pendegrass singing for the first time after his accident and carrying the crowd in Philly… oh and Run D.M.C. doing the sound check…. Best one I’ve ever seen. Some are heartbreaking…. The crowd booing Joan Baez… Madonna performing with shoes that don’t match her outfit ….. and many are, even taken as a moment from today …. The best live music I’ve ever seen performed. As pointed out in the booklet enclosed… this was before faxes, cell phones, e-mail. And they got this concert together in six weeks. Two continents. Over fifty acts. Princess Di makes a joke with Brian May. Bob Dillon come out at the last minute with Ronny Woods and Keith Richards to sing “Blowing in the Wind”. Paul McCartney offers to play after rumors of a Beatles reunion run rampant. The result is “Let it Be” with a non assist from Peter Townsend who tickles Paul mercilessly. 98% of the T.V.s in the world who had access to the feed tuned in at some point during the sixteen hours of telecast. Imagine….
My favorite moment on the newly released video is Maggie Thatcher being outdone by Geldof, right after Thatcher said “What good could butter oil possibly do them when they’ve nothing to cook?”
And in music, simply told Freddy Mercury and Queen ruled the day despite a display of talent and adrenalin from others never again matched.
Watching Live-Aid again all these years later brought a barrage of stories from Jon to myself and from me to him…. “And then we”…. “Oh, this is when” We know each other a little better tonight. So think of a purchase. You won’t be disappointed. And all these years later? The money is still going to Ethiopia. Bob Geldof is many things but good has to be the first word you use. And after this trip down memory lane? This week, I do like Monday.
There is an official webbsite that tells about the dvd nd has a place to take donations:Live Aid DVD