35 years ago Live Aid, the revolutionary event that marked an era is still a legend


Live Aid was a sensational and unprecedented show: rock could change the world, make the right revolution. And after 35 years it continues to be celebrated and recalled when it comes to organizing and presenting similar events (at least in intentions).

THE NUMBERS – The event was broadcast in 150 countries through 16 hours of live broadcast and gathered 2 and a half billion viewers. 72,000 people flocked to the Wembley Stadium, 90,000 to the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. The concerts closed with the performance of two songs which would then be distributed for charity: in England “Do they know it’s Christmas” was performed, in the USA “We are the world”. The result was amazing: £ 150 million from all over the world.

PERFORMANCES TO REMEMBER – Phil Collins performed first in London and then also in Philadelphia, flying on the British Airways Concorde. The original Black Sabbath gathered on stage, with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. Singing “Blowin ‘in the wind” Bob Dylan broke a guitar string and Ron Wood handed him his. In doing so, he remained on the stage without his instrument and began to play an imaginary guitar, until a replacement arrived. David Bowie performed “Heroes” by dedicating it to his young son, as well as to “all our children, and children from all over the world.” Paul McCartney returned to the scene after several years and sings “Let it Be”, but due to a technical problem his microphone remains off for 2 minutes. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones meet again on stage (in Philadelphia) for the first time since the death of drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham (with Phil Collins in his place). Elvis Costello performed, only guitar and voice, a moving version of The Beatles “All you need is love”. George Michael and Elton John duetted with “Don’t let the sun go down on me”. U2 was supposed to play three songs. After “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, during the performance of “Bad”, Bono got off the stage and started dancing with a girl, forcing The Edge to a long instrumental solo which brought the song to a total duration of about 12 minutes. For reasons of space, the organizers had to cut the last song in the lineup, “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. But probably what everyone remembers as the most important performance of the entire event was the Queen set: twenty minutes on fire ringing “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer to Fall”, and “We Are the Champions “. The British rock band with this live obtained the final consecration thanks to an amazing Freddie Mercury.


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