Live Aid, Freddie Mercury and “Radio Ga Ga”

Well, my stats are booming and all because of this particular post, written right at the start of my blogging career. Regular visitors will know I’ve had a bit of a cinema-fest going on of late before life starts to get really busy again, and this week I managed to catch the Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

It hasn’t received universally fantastic reviews, but for those of us who enjoy rock and pop folklore, it is I feel, a must-see film. Rami Malek played Freddie brilliantly I thought and having to act with those teeth must have been a challenge in itself. (Freddie was apparently born with an extra 4 incisors but forewent the intervention of a dentist in case it affected his voice.) We got a great insight into the early days of Queen and the background to the making of those epic records. The film ends with footage of the Live Aid concert where they pretty much stole the show (and formed the basis for this post). The best way to go I think. We leave the cinema with a smile on our faces, remembering Farrokh Bulsara at his prime, just as he would have wanted.

What's It All About?

I wrote yesterday about the Celtic rock band Runrig and how their rousing live performances induce mass participation, especially when at home in Scotland.

The performance most people my age will remember as being one of the finest ever to take place however, was when Queen arrived on stage for their segment of the Live Aid Concert, held on July the 13th, 1985. I still remember that day well and who knew before the concert began that this would be a seminal performance. To see and hear all 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium sing along with Freddie Mercury to Radio Ga Ga was a landmark moment in pop history. His a cappella section at the end of the song, featuring his amazing vocal range and ability to work the crowd, came to be known as “the note heard round the world”.

Radio Ga Ga by Queen:

There had been…

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Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

8 thoughts on “Live Aid, Freddie Mercury and “Radio Ga Ga””

    1. It was an absolute given I would go and see it Neil as I have always loved watching films about people from the world of rock and pop. Really enjoyed this one as gained a lot of insight to the man behind the stage presence and some humorous moments when they had to really fight to make their kind of music. Bohemian Rhapsody came so close to not being made.

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  1. From what I’ve read, this is a movie for the fans, which is fine with me as Queen were the first band I truly connected with as a kid. There may be another movie in the wilder side of Freddie’s life, but I’m expecting this one to purely be for the 14 year old me.

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    1. Indeed it is – Nothing too dark in this one, mainly focusing on how the band got together and how they went about making those fantastic records. Think you’ll enjoy it Rol as your younger self was such a big fan. Won’t say any more in case I give too much away. Rami Malek was excellent I thought in what must have been a really challenging role to take on.

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  2. The film was good but the Live Aid Concert at the end made the film for me. The performance for the starving. I’ve never seen such a big crowd/audience. I would of so loved to have been in that audience. Queen didn’t get paid for that performance. Donated their own time for the starving and that was the best thing about it. Brilliant!!!

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    1. Hi Lisa – Thanks for dropping by. I remember Live Aid day well and although in 1985, Queen probably wouldn’t have been thought of as one of the biggest names on the bill, they pretty much stole the show. And yes, it was all really about raising money, so they did their bit didn’t they – Bob Geldof would have been happy with them. I liked how the film ended with Live Aid – Freddie’s finest hour (or 20 minutes).

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  3. Shame I never got to see Freddie Mercury and Queen live but there’s always YouTube and what a fantastic clip you shared. He’s a very charismatic front man and I’m curious to see the new movie with Rami Malek as Mercury. Glad to hear you had a good time with it.

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    1. Yep, you are just a bit too young to have been able to catch Queen live but as I said in my original post, isn’t it great that we still have all this great footage to watch today – Freddie was a showman indeed. In the film, Rami Malek pretty much mirrored that performance at Live Aid (a day I remember well) step by step so must have really done his homework. Really enjoyed the film – will be curious to hear what you make of it.

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