Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Live Aid: 25 Years On

Live Aid is all over the news again today as it was...uhhh...25 years ago. That's still a hard number for me to stomach.

The multi-venued concert was held July 13, 1985 at London's Wembley Stadium and in Philadelphia at JFK Stadium; featuring a powerhouse lineup of pop and rock stars joined together in the fight against poverty in Africa. Ethiopa in specific.

For weeks leading up to the event tv watchers in the US had been bombarded with images of poor starving families in war ravaged nations clinging desperately to each other for survival. In fact, there was such a large disconnect for so many people in the US "living the American dream" that the shockingly graphic images evoked disbelief; even laughter. Caught up in the swell of the moment I am guilty of having chuckled at the myriad of jokes circling playgrounds accross the country. Fear of the unknown. I was only 8.

Live Aid is largely credited as being a roaring success, with not a little bit of controversy thrown into the mix. It far exceeded the expectations of organizers. Not just for the cause, but for the artists and the networks. MTV in particular. The moon man practically busted down our doors, turned on our televisions (in "stereo sound"), and occupied prime couch real estate all damn day.

A reunited Led Zeppelin. Plant and Page.

Singers Valerie Simpson, Teddy Pendergrass (confined to a wheelchair) and Nicholas Ashford (both men in sunglasses) backstage after performing at the Live Aid benefit. Photo Credit: David Mcgough. Life. July 13, 1985.

Rock N' Roll Royalty. Hard to believe that Princess Di and Prince Charles had been married four years by this point and that she had already given birth to her two sons. Photo Credit: Nils Jorgensen.

No bats in sight. Rock star Ozzy Osbourne pouring water over his head after performance at the Live Aid concert. Photo Credit: David Mcgough. Life. July 13, 1985.

Who's That Girl? Madonna at Live Aid.

Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger performing at the Live Aid concert. Photo Credit: David Mcgough. Life. July 13, 1985.

Singers Tina Turner and Mick Jagger performing at LiveAid concert. Photo Credit: David Mcgough. Life. July 13, 1985.

Freddie Mercury of Queen sporting some ridiculously tight jeans.

Bono solidifys the international rep of U2 at Live Aid.

International Pop and Rock artists collaborating on stage at Wembley. Photo Credit: Jeremy Nicholl. The Times.

Crowd shot at Wembley Stadium.

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