My Live Aid Day Remembered – Freddie, George and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”

“It’s twelve noon in London, seven AM in Philadelphia, and around the world it’s time for Live Aid”

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Those were the words that kicked off probably the most memorable fund-raising event in rock and pop history, and this week was its 35th anniversary. On Monday morning, after being reminded of the date, I decided to revisit my DVD boxset of the event and over the course of the week I’ve watched it all, and taken notes. Sadly these notes fill 12 pages of my shorthand notebook, so I have absolutely no chance of condensing my thoughts into a format suitable for a blog post. I do however remember how I spent the day, so before my aging memory lets me down, I think I’ll approach it that way.

You have to be of a certain age to remember Live Aid at all, mid 40s or older I suspect, but if you do, you’ll probably remember it was held on a glorious, hot summer’s day, the like of which doesn’t often fall on a Saturday in Scotland. I was a big music fan, but the concert would go on all day, so what did my flatmate and I do just before 12 noon on Saturday, the 13th July, 1985? – We went to the local park of course!

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Aberdeen’s Duthie Park

I was prepared however and had brought a small transistor radio with me, so although we weren’t watching the action live on telly we did hear the opening act, Status QuoRockin’ All Over The World. Had I been watching on telly, I would have known that Paul Weller, who was next up with his Style Council, was looking very summery and dare I say healthy that day in his white trousers, but we only had this crackly radio. By 1 pm it was obvious we should head back to our cool, granite, second floor flat – The day had become just too hot and we were missing out on all the action.

Over the next few hours we watched the following artists perform on stage at Wembley in front of an audience of 72,000. Everyone that day was hot and bothered, there is no doubt, but also having the time of their lives.

The Boomtown Rats, Adam Ant, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Elvis Costello, Nick Kershaw, Sade, Sting, Phil Collins, Howard Jones, Brian Ferry and Paul Young

Watching this segment of the concert now, 35 years on, it was a veritable Who’s Who of mid ’80s chart toppers (with organiser Bob Geldof included of course). The dress code of the day seemed to be either black leather or baggy white clothing depending on your musical leanings, but those who opted for white definitely suffered less in the baking heat. There were mullets of all persuasions too, even amongst those who were thinning on top (Phil Collins?). The quality of the singing was less than perfect, but hey, there had been little time to rehearse or prepare for this massive event so hats off to them for committing, as some did not and later regretted it. Final observation – So many saxophones! The instrument of choice for the mid ‘80s it seems.

And here is where the day was punctuated with another break from the telly, as the oil company I worked for at the time was hosting a barbeque for its staff that very evening. The flatmate and I duly got ready to head along Queen’s Road to the spot overlooking Rubislaw Quarry (from which Aberdeen was built) where many of these corporate HQs were based. Before we left however we caught the performance by U2 which is often cited as having elevated them to superstardom. Bono was tiptoeing around in his tight black leather trousers and long boots, but after spotting a girl in the crowd, jumped down into the mud at the front of the stage and helped save her from being crushed. They missed out on playing their third song but it was a sign of things to come from him, for sure.

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My workplace on the left

So, we arrived at my workplace in the early evening, but bowing down to pressure from their staff, it had been decided to install a big screen in the underground carpark so we could watch the concert whilst eating the fine barbequed food only an American company could serve up. My workmate was there with her new boyfriend, so was on a bit of a high. As was often the case however with these office romances in Aberdeen, it later transpired he had a wife who lived elsewhere whom he’d conveniently omitted to tell her about. They were slippery characters some of these chaps we worked with who often broke our hearts.

But back to the concert, we were now lined up on chairs watching scenes coming live from Wembley on the big screen. I’m not going to describe the Philadelphia concert here as would get far too bogged down, and anyway, it just wasn’t a patch on our set-up. Wembley, with its enclosed stadium, twin towers and greenery all around, looked beautiful on that hot summer’s day whereas the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia looked like a makeshift set of scaffolding surrounded by carparks and interstate highways.

As the day wore on the stakes were raised and artists of more legendary status started to appear on stage. First up we had Dire Straits but then we had the band who is generally thought to have stolen the show that day, Queen.  I have written about their Live Aid performance around here before and it’s my second most visited post ever (link here) so won’t repeat myself, but Freddie was on especially fine form that day and owned the stage, encouraging the crowd to sing along in unison. His sustained “Aaaaaay-o” during the a cappella section came to be known as the note heard round the world. The last time I wrote about their set on Live Aid day I shared Radio Gaga, but having watched them again this week, the song they finished with was We Are The Champions which was almost as perfect. They certainly were champions that day.

It’s obvious watching this footage that Queen’s set took place just as the sun had gone down, but it wasn’t yet dark. This is my favourite time of the day for any outdoor event as there’s a certain magic about it – No harsh sunlight but not a total absence of light either. In Scotland it’s called The Gloaming and a very special time of the day. Up in Aberdeen it wouldn’t be gloaming for a while yet, so we sat tight and carried on watching the big screen.

Next up was David Bowie, looking very dapper in a powder blue suit and pointy black patent shoes. Another great performance and quoted as being “his last triumph of the 1980s”. He was followed by The Who who hadn’t played together for three years. No powder blue suit for Roger Daltrey, oh no indeed. As ever he had his shirt open showing off his hairless, suntanned torso. Roger must be doing something right in terms of looking after himself, as at the grand old age of 76 he still looks pretty good today, and I imagine the bare-chested look is something he still favours.

But this was Saturday night in the big city and one by one people were drifting off. The hostelry of choice for 20-somethings in 1985 was the Dutch Mill on Queen’s Road, so leaving the concert behind for a while, my flatmate and I headed in that direction. In those pre-mobile phone days, it was highly likely you would bump into most of your friends on a weekend evening, but when we got there on the evening of the 13th July, it was dead, as everyone was at home watching Live Aid. We had a quick drink then walked the short distance back to our flat in the city centre.

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The Dutch Mill, Aberdeen

Once home we settled back into our large beige and brown sofa (it was the ’80s) and turned on our Radio Rentals telly. I can’t be sure, and I would be lying if I said I was, but the artist following on from The Who was Elton John so if we did get back in time for his set that’s who we would have watched next. Having viewed the boxset this week, Elton had the longest time on stage of anyone and he performed a couple of duets, first with his old mucker Kiki Dee, and then joy of joys, with the person I have written about most around here, George Michael.

I have mentioned the making of the Band Aid single before, and how the Wham! boys George and Andrew weren’t treated with much respect that day by the other artists, being proponents at the time of feel-good pop tunes. But here we were just six months on and Elton John saw fit to ask George to sing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me with him. He said he was “a great admirer of his musical talent” when introducing him, and I have to say he gives an impeccable performance here. Also, unlike many others that day, he was dressed simply in jeans, white T-shirt and black leather jacket which is kind of timeless (we’ll ignore the fact it was dark and he’s wearing shades). His Live Aid appearance has stood the test of time and he went on to great things whereas those who had laughed at him are perhaps long forgotten.

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me by George Michael and Elton John:

The Wembley concert finished off with a set by Paul McCartney who had been persuaded out of retirement for the event. Sadly he was the only artist on the night to experience microphone failure, so the audience missed out totally on one of his songs. It was fixed quite quickly but typical it had to happen to him. Once finished, he and Bowie raised Bob Geldof up on their shoulders, and then, along with the rest of the performers from the day (and a few others it seems) they launched into a version of Do They Know It’s Christmas?, the charity single that started the whole thing off. The first two lines were a bit ropey, sung by Bowie and Bob, but then they wisely handed the mic over to a safe pair of hands in the form of George Michael, who very confidently took over.

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I think we spent a good few hours in front of the telly that night as we then watched the rest of the Philadelphia Live Aid concert, which would go on for a fair while yet due to time differences. The programmers also revisited “the best bits” of the day, so by the time I went to bed in the early hours, I’d pretty much seen everything.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I’m not going to get into the whole criticisms and controversy aspect of Live Aid. All the money may not have got to the right places, at the right time, but around 1.9 billion people watched the concerts that day and over £150 million was raised. There is no denying, the publicity generated meant that western governments could no longer ignore humanitarian crises. Through rock ‘n’ roll, the common language of the planet, an issue that was not hitherto on the political agenda, became so.

As for this post, it was for my own benefit really, as I have never documented My Live Aid Day and always wanted to. The flatmate I spent it with FaceTimed me the other day and is coming up to visit next month (as long as that pesky virus is kept under control) and the workmate with the broken heart soon got over it, and we still keep in touch via Christmas cards. The boyfriend of the time chose to spend that summer travelling round France with a work colleague, so missed out on Live Aid totally. Needless to say he soon became the ex-boyfriend upon his return, and we are definitely no longer in touch.

How did you spend your Live Aid day? I have met a few people over the years who were actually at Wembley for the concert and I love hearing their stories. If you have any, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time….

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me Lyrics
(Song by Elton John/Bernie Taupin)

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when i met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light

Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me

I can’t find the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way feel
Don’t discard me just because you think I mean you harm
But these cuts I have they need love to help them heal

Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I that see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me

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.

28 thoughts on “My Live Aid Day Remembered – Freddie, George and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me””

  1. I lived in Philadelphia from the mid-1970s till 2005, which was when my wife and I moved to the Philly suburbs. I should have gone to Live Aid. Don’t know why I didn’t. But I watched much of it on TV. Hi Alyson. Enjoy the upcoming week.

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    1. I suddenly realised after pressing the publish button that I hadn’t been very complimentary about the stadium in Philadelphia so sorry about that. I did watch both concerts this week though and can now put faces to the names of some of the artists who performed on that day. Jack Nicolson did the introductions and was one cool dude.

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    2. I’ve now watched the final DVD from my boxset and it showed the night-time section of the Philadelphia concert. In the dark it did look very different, quite spectacular in fact, and there were some really great performances. Mick Jagger and Tina Turner for one. I have changed my opinion about the JFK stadium!

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  2. Glad to hear that it was a lovely day in Aiberdeen. As an Aiberdeen loon misel’ i was in a small Dutch ( seems to be a theme going on hear ) village that day, partaking of the lovely hospitable Dutch coffee shop culture…it was also gorgeous, weather wise, there….from what i can remember
    Your mention of the Dutch MIll brought back memories of the few times that we cooncil hoose Aiberdeen loons found wer’sel in there…was full of Bennetton sweaters and rugby tops and that was jist the quines hahaha…nae really oor kind’a place.
    I’m glad to hear that you had a great day.

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    1. Oh heck first of all I probably offend my Philadelphia correspondent above, with my remarks about his city’s stadium and now I’m making it seem as I was part of some Bennetton sweater/Rugby top-wearing kinda crowd which I really wasn’t. I hear you though.

      As an Aberdeen loon you will know of all the places mentioned and I just wanted to have a trip down memory lane with this post, as it was a really lovely day. 35 years ago though, where has the time gone. I’ve written about these years around here before – After being a student in Aberdeen and then working for the council at St Nicholas House, my social life until the mid ’80s revolved around the student bars and then the hostelries around that part of town – The boyfriend of the time definitely didn’t wear a rugby top and his football team was sponsored by the Blue Lamp so that’s where we inevitably ended up on a Saturday night! Then I chucked it all in and joined the oil industry for a while as a temp before moving north. My social life moved to the west end of town so the Dutch Mill and the many new wine bars became our haunts of choice. I won’t lie, working for those companies was fun and we were well paid for what we did but it was short-lived for me which is probably just as well.

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope some others discover this post and recount their day, but hopefully I won’t offend anyone else!

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      1. Alyson, please be assured that you didn’t offend me in any way…but if you had you redeemed yourself with the Blue Lamp….best jukebox in the toon by a country mile.

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    1. No, I don’t remember seeing much of the American stuff during the day but I then watched it after Wembley finished and we crossed over to JFK. Having watched both this week I didn’t realise just how many Brits were on the bill in Philadelphia – Pretenders, Duran Duran (Simon le Bon sang the “bum note heard round the world”), Thompson Twins, Phil, Eric, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Mick Jagger, Simple Minds etc. They must have been on tour when it all happened.

      Phil was a key player during the day wasn’t he, jetting across on Concorde for the Philadelphia concert. He played with Led Zeppelin but it was a bit of a car crash and they blamed Phil for his poor drumming – That footage has been deleted and they didn’t let any of it be shown again. Looking at those who do step up to the plate and do most for these charity concerts never come out of it well do they? Bono was showing early signs of his future tendencies during Live Aid and watching it back, he did look like a bit of a knob too (although if he did save that girl from being crushed fair play).

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  3. Lovely to read the background to your day.
    It was a very hot one in the East of England too and Mr SDS and I were committed to running a small stall at a Record Fair in a town 50 miles away. Of all the days to do that! So there we were inside a stuffy hall for most of the day, realising rather too late that there was a very good reason why it should be so quiet and hardly any potential customers were coming in through the doors…
    We finally came home to our little top-floor rented flat with its horrible shiny wallpaper and our landlady’s brown sofa (your’re so right about the browns and beiges), hot, bothered and out of pocket, and watched the rest on TV that night with some well-deserved beers. It would have been criminal not to, somehow!

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    1. Thanks for recounting your day – I think most of us had things planned as it was a Saturday in mid July, but afterwards I wished I’d just watched the whole thing as it was a bit of rock and pop history. Enjoyed watching the boxset this week but scary to think how long ago it was.

      I think it was a really hot day everywhere and those artists in the leather coats (Tony Hadley, Midge Ure) regretted their choice of costume. Sting on the other hand looked really cool (literally) in his baggy white linen outfit. Yes it sounds as if you really deserved those beers. Recounting my day, it gives me great pleasure to think my flatmate from those days is still one of my best friends, despite us having lived at other ends of the country for over 3 decades (it was her sister I stayed with when I came down to meet up with you last year and then we all met up on the Saturday).

      Yes the beige and brown, although I have to be careful as I live in a house built in the ’70s and whatever we do to it, it just looks as if it was meant to be decorated in beige and brown. I have leant to live with it as it’s now just “home”.

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  4. I’ve a vague memory of watching some of it at home and then heading out.
    I can remember folk with colection buckets in the Rock Garden pub in Glasgow’s Queen Street.

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    1. Gosh, someone else who just got on with their day and dipped in and out. There had been so much publicity and build up to it but it was such a lovely day, not many us stayed glued to our tellys. People d id give generously and there were all sorts of additional collection methods like the buckets in Glasgow but difficult to physically get the aid to those who needed it. Harrowing scenes from Africa though which galvanised Bob into action. His career changed direction totally afterwards and I think he paid a heavy price in the long run.

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      1. You’re so right about the harrowing scenes; my memories of the performances have faded, but my memory of those distressing films haven’t. It is just so incredibly tragic that the donations didn’t reach those they were intended for, dreadful.

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  5. I was working in a record shop. We listened to the show via a radio on the counter for most of the afternoon, then went to the pub and watched a bit of it in the evening. I’m no great Queen fan, but fair play to them, they absolutely nailed it on the day.
    I have a vague recollection of setting an alarm to wake myself up in time to catch Bob Dylan’s somewhat….erm, ‘loose’ set just before the American finale.

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    1. You too then – Most of us seem to have just got on with our day dipping in and out. I think more people would watch the whole thing from their sofas nowadays as we seem to have become a nation of couch potatoes but back then, not so much.

      Yes, Queen and especially Freddie were tremendous that day and really did steal the show. They had much greater experience of playing these vast stadiums and he was the ultimate showman. So many of the people from that day, the real legends, are no longer with us which is sad. Bowie was very good too.

      I did watch the final disc from my boxset the other night and it featured the Philadelphia concert with Bob. By night-time that venue did have a lot more atmosphere which it just didn’t during the day. Mick and Tina were very good but as you say Bob’s set was a bit loose. A memorable day in rock and pop history and glad now I’ve taken the time to write about it.

      Thanks for dropping by with memories of your day.

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  6. 1985, jings! We were living on the Sussex coast at the time. I have no clear cut recollections of the day, but as we were busy organising a wedding for later in the year, that may have deflected my attention. It seemed a big thing that Phil Collins was playing at both events, in those pre-Zoom days. And, yup, Freddie was the man.

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    1. 1992 was the year we bought and sold a house but also got engaged and organised a wedding – I have a big blank on the music and film of that year as I was just so busy. I don’t know how I fitted it all in so understand how Live Aid must have largely passed you by.

      Ironically now that Concorde no longer exists, Phil being at two concerts in the same afternoon just couldn’t happen now – But he could Zoom in I suppose! Freddie certainly was the man.

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  7. Hi Alyson. It sounds like we had similar weeks as I also watched my Live Aid 4-DVD set last week. Thanks for sharing your story about how you enjoyed that historic concert. Clearly it’s a strong memory for you and my memories are just as vivid. I was 19 and assistant manager at a record store in the Staten Island (New York) Mall. It was the second of three record stores I worked at in the same mall between 1983 & 1988. I worked a long shift that day so we listened to most of the Wembley part of the show in the store, and then I watched the remaining coverage on TV when I got home. Sadly we didn’t have cable so I was stuck with the poor broadcast TV programming where they interrupted certain artists including, believe it or not, the Zeppelin “reunion.” I agree that the UK performers overall were probably better than the US performers but there was good stuff happening on both sides of the Atlantic. My biggest memory of the US show, apart from Zeppelin’s atrocious performance (which I re-watched on YouTube and it’s as bad as I remembered), was Patti Labelle and her booming voice taking over the “We Are The World Finale.” As you know I’m a huge Big Country fan and I still wish they had been invited to perform. I’ve heard that Geldof thought they broke up, but I also heard that Adamson & Butler had young kids and didn’t have the time to prepare. The two of them along with guitarist Bruce Watson were on stage for “Do They Know It’s Christmas” but I wonder if their career would have been different if they were on the bill that day. They were a phenomenal live band and, even through they didn’t have a Bono to captivate the crowd, millions of people would have seen that they were so much more than just “In A Big Country.” On a related note, in watching the bonus material on the DVD, I stumbled on the footage from other countries, and the German contingent was amazing. I only recognized Nena (of 99 Luftballoons fame) while the rest of the performers were a strange-looking collective. But if you watch it with the English subtitles and follow the lyrics you’ll probably laugh for the rest of the day. Also, I’ve always liked Nik Kershaw, and even though he was only okay at Live Aid I just watched a full concert of his from 2018 on YouTube, and his voice & guitar playing are as good as ever. How many singers from the ’80s can still hit all those notes? Tony Hadley perhaps. Anyway, that’s my long-winded response to your excellent post. Hope all is well, and forgive any typos here. I don’t have time to proof-read now. Cheers!

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    1. Gosh Rich thanks for dropping by with this long account of your thoughts from the day. As I said I just wanted to write this one for myself (and my old flatmate) as a reminder of how we spent the day but people have been really good about dropping by this (very) long post.

      So you watched it too last week? As it was the 35th anniversary, and a roundish number, it seemed appropriate. You were working too it seems as were several others that day but good you got to listen to the Wembley leg (must have been really early in the morning for you). Not necessarily better than the Philadelphia leg but for me the artists were home-grown and more familiar, although lots of Brits at JFK too. Wembley just felt more contained as a stadium which I liked and worked well for the artists that day I think. I couldn’t help noticing that the two audiences looked subtly different – No baseball caps in our crowd, just lots of mullet haircuts and sunburn!

      Led Zeppelin weren’t on the DVD, obviously, so I’ve never witnessed how bad they were. I was really impressed with Patti’s performance when I watched it again last week but couldn’t work out if her hair was a hat, a wig or her own – Mighty impressive whatever. Shame that Big Country didn’t take part as their kind of “big music” would have worked well on that stage – A missed opportunity although I did see Stuart join in at the end.

      Haven’t watched all of the additional features yet so not caught those concerts in other countries – The 4th disc is still in the machine though so may return to it. Wonder If I’ll still have a DVD player in 5 years time for the 40th anniversary? Possibly not.

      Nik Kershaw was really big in ’85 so was bound to be included – The Riddle was a song with a bunch of lyrics that meant nothing apparently but still did really well for him. He was one of the blond mullet-hairdo artists on the day with very baggy white pleated trousers (or pants as you would call them). He looked just so young back then but great that he is still out there doing his thing.

      Sadly many of the big voices from that day are now gone – Freddie, George, Bowie… Yes Tony H still has a big voice but he and the rest of the Spandau boys have yet again parted company so doing his own thing again. On the first DVD in the boxset are the two charity singles and it wasn’t until I watched USA for Africa perform their song last week, that I finally put names to the faces – Back in the day I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Again, sad that so many of them have left us, although some quite recently (Kenny Rogers).

      Thanks again for dropping by with your long comment – As you know I always reply, so an equally long comment back. Sorry if you’re time poor this week!

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      1. Yes, I did watch all of the DVD set last week just like you did. Previously I had only watched specific performances but the 35th anniversary…and a bit more time at home…allowed me to catch up on the whole thing along with so many other performances on YouTube. Although it’s sad that a number of key artists from that day are no longer with us, it’s also amazing to realize how many of them are not only still around but also doing quite well. I highly recommend you find the Zeppelin footage on YouTube just so you can verify with your own eyes & ears how bad it was.

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        1. I have now watched the Led Zeppelin footage on YouTube and somehow, after all the comments, I was expecting worse. Jimmy was looking in pretty bad shape though but afterwards it was Phil Collins who got blamed. Here’s a thing – Jimmy Paige used to own a big house just 20 miles south of where I live. A big spooky place that used to be owned by a famous occultist Aleister Crowley. My sister-in-law went to parties there in the ’70s but never when Jimmy was in residence (fortunately for her probably).

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  8. Hi Alyson. You have nothing to apologize for when it comes to JFK Stadium in Philly. You won’t hear any of us here in America waxing poetic about its beauty, and nobody shed a tear when it was demolished over a quarter of a century ago.

    Bowie and the Style Council were the ones I was excited to see. Like Kamerman, I think about the bands that weren’t there. At least here in America, 1985 was the summer of a-ha. I vividly remember taking a break from the television to listen to my 7″ of Take on Me. Not proud of that. In fact, kind of wish I had kept that to myself.

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    1. Yes I realised after I pressed publish that the Americans who drop by this place might be a bit aggrieved at how I was dissing their stadium but it seems you agree so that’s ok. Our Wembley Stadium is no more either and has been replaced by a modern stadium with a big arch. Bit sad really as it was such an iconic building but constructed in 1922 so had run its course.

      Bowie was very good, especially when he sang Heroes at the end of his set. He looked really good too in his powder blue suit – I liked his early/mid ’80s persona (the Lets Dance years) although he was disparaging about those years himself later. Loved the Style Council so enjoyed their set too (they were second on the bill I think). Paul Weller was also looking uncharacteristically suntanned and healthy, but I suppose it was mid-summer.

      As for a-ha, they’ve popped up here before – Take On Me was a fantastic pop single with a equally fantastic video. Shared the song last year when I started my new business, AHA (Alyson’s Highland Adventures)! Sadly with this pesky virus on the loose there have been no adventures this year and DD has now taken up residence in the holiday hideaway so not one of my better business ventures – Who knew what 2020 would do to us all.

      https://jukeboxtimemachine.com/2019/03/09/aha-a-ha-and-take-on-me/

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  9. In 1985, I was 13… and just on the verge of my musical obsession, but not quite there yet. I caught bits of Live Aid, but it wasn’t essential for me at the time. I regret that now – a couple of years later, I’d have watched the whole thing. A couple of years later though, the line up wouldn’t have been half as strong.

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    1. I think I would have watched all of it at age 13 (no Saturday job yet but old enough to be allowed to stay up late), as that was when I was musically obsessed but you were a bit of a late started weren’t you, but then got it bad. No Bruce or Billy Joel on the day, although Freddie was, and at the top of his game. I know Tony Hadley isn’t often mentioned around the blogosphere but he was on the radio today was was asked which was his most memorable concert – Obviously he said Live Aid. They were still relative newcomers but were on the same bill as their all-time musical heroes and got to hang out with them backstage. The big leather coat he wore that baking hot day was a massive mistake though.

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      1. Alyson, I had to respond to your comment about Tony Hadley. Did you know they performed a third song (“Virgin”) that wasn’t included on the DVD? Apparently the reason is that Tony lost his grip on the microphone when he did a spin before the guitar (or sax?) solo and found it embarrassing. He had nothing to be embarrassed about (other than the long leather coat, of course) as he managed to have it in hand before the vocals returned. What a voice that man has. I saw their reunion tour about 5-6 years ago, their first time in the US in about 30 years, and he & the boys were incredible.

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        1. Yes I checked the running order and realised not all the songs were on the DVD. Wouldn’t have remembered that mishap with the mic though. I think your experience of Spandau is very different to ours here in the UK – The Kemp brothers are probably better known now for film and telly, and one of them was in a long-running soap for years. There was also all the fighting over songwriting credits and court battles. Their fan base was mainly young women back in the day and they’ve probably never shed that image. I’ve just read a review of a concert from a few years ago in Los Angeles and they were heavily praised, especially Tony’s vocals. Their first appearance on our Top Of The Pops was a really memorable one though – Dressed in all that plaid, singing To Cut A Long Story Short. Put them on the map.

          Thanks again for all your feedback, especially as I can no longer flood your blog with my anecdotes!

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