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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Weekend Concert Series: Live Aid 1985, Wembley Stadium

Remember Live Aid? The dual-continent benefit concert to change the world?

Here, some kind person has assembled a rather complete playlist of the full show in England at Wembley Stadium. Get ready for bands and artists such as The Style Council, Boomtown Rats, Adam Ant, Ultravox, Elvis Costello, Sade, Sting, Phil Collins, Howard Jones, Brian Ferry, U2, Dire Straits, David Bowie, the Who, Elton John, and others. The set by Queen is regarded as one of the all time great live performances.

The American show was at JFK Stadium in Philly and featured artists such as Joan Baez, Madonna, Run DMC, the Beach Boys, Pretenders, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, CSN&Y, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Duran Duran and, to headline it all, Hall and Oates.

As I recall, we were all rather amazed by the super lineup of performers and were happy to put up with the numerous telethon-like pitches to give money to help Africa.

Where were you on July 13, 1985?

Set your time machine for the eighties and big hair:



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29 years ago

The whole story involves too much debauchery, but I and a bunch of friends drove to Philly. It was incredible. Good, if vague, memory.



You were there? Do tell, at least some tidbit or two…

(I'll try to track down the US side of the show for next week.)


it's a blur

Some of my friends worked at Interview magazine. One of the guys had gotten a stack of press passes. We'd stayed up all night and decided to go as the sun was rising. We drove down and I passed out in the backseat. The next thing I know we were parked and everyone was yelling. Then we walked for what seemed an hour pushing through people in a single file holding hands for dear life. Somehow we made it to the press area and by twos we were allowed to go up to the wings of the stage. It was enormous and there were tons of people running everywhere with gear. The center stage turned too so there was setting up going on for the next while one band was playing. I was on the stage right side in the wings leaning on some equipment boxes to stay vertical through The Cars set. There were other women around me, I remember, and I lost Jeff but found him again and we made it back to the press area. That was a carnival too, and it was hot and stagnant back there. People kept saying "There's ____!" But I couldn't keep up. It was like a Fellini movie. We did lose Jimmy, and left without him (he showed up at our apartment a couple of days later so all good). I passed out in the backseat going home. I don't remember a lot, except the next day I had bad sunburn on my arms and shoulders and had to go work in a hot kitchen in a full uniform. That part I remember well.


Cars at Live Aid




Holy crap! Just- holy crap! Thanks Chris!



There is something magical about those big stadium shows. I like all the behind the scenes work that goes into making spectacles, and the way all the individuals come together and contribute their little piece to the event. The best shows always have great music, smooth production, and a good audience.

I was watching in southwest Florida, deeply jealous of all who could attend, let alone be in press areas and offstage.



The enormity of it all! Everywhere you looked were tons of people and everything was LOUD. Just wish I hadn't been so trashed.

Later that summer I was in the unemployment line (another closed restaurant story) and a girl I knew in 8th grade yelled to me that she'd seen me there. Now I know she did. Amazing.


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