Monday, July 13, 2020

Live Aid turns 35 today

There has been a lot of talk today about the 35th anniversary of Live Aid on July 13, 1985.   If you were around 35 years ago, you will know that Live Aid was a pretty big deal.     Just about anyone who was anyone in music at the time (except for Michael Jackson) was involved in this charity concert.   It was broadcast live around the world and I think why people remember it so much is because it was on MTV with SO many major superstars.   (That is just my opinion)

It was also a big day for Beatle fans.  The 1980s had been a pretty quiet time for fans.   After John's murder, things were just sad.   But Paul McCartney came out and performed for Live Aid.  It was the first time Paul had performed live since 1979.   For the first time in so long, Paul's fans had something to be excited about. 

And then the unthinkable happens.   Paul is at the piano and his microphone is not working.  For two full minutes, Paul is on live television and those watching at home cannot hear him.    It is obvious he is singing "Let it Be" because the concert-goers are singing it.   Paul looks good with a little gray hair starting to show.  Finally, at two minutes into the performance, Paul's microphone suddenly starts to work and he can be heard singing the chorus of "Let it Be."   He sounds good, maybe a little nervous, but he sounds good.   Linda was there too --- taking photographs on the stage.

Paul is seen soon after for the finale of  "Do They Know It's Christmas."    Paul can be spotted jumping up and down and dancing around during the verses with Linda next to him.   Eventually, he gets up closer and shares a microphone with Bono. 

Paul didn't want the historical moment of him singing "Let it Be" to be shown again with the microphone issues.  Being Paul the perfectionist that he is,  he went into a studio on July 14 and re-recorded his vocals to be overdubbed for the future.   And that is what has been released to this day --  the first two minutes of Paul's re-recording of "Let it Be."


  1. The concert was also a big deal because it was being held in two stadiums in two countries in two continents at the same time. Greatest concert of all time, in my opinion. (MarkZapp)

  2. I think Prince also refused to do it, just like he did with “We Are The World.” The belief regarding the latter with those involved was “leave your ego at the door” but it didn’t seem to apply to Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Nobody cared for the song, but they wrote it and wanted everyone to participate. Pretty egotistical, in my opinion.

    1. And this has WHAT to do with Paul participating at Live-Aid? Talk about getting off subject.

    2. Not much - kind of a response to the Michael Jackson bit that Sara mentioned in the first paragraph, that’s all.

  3. Elvis costello performed All You Need is Love at the event. Just he and his guitar. Introd it by referring to it as a great English folk song. A perfect song for that event.

  4. And that has WHAT to do with Paul participating in Live-Aid? LOL.
    In all seriousness, what I remember from it is catching Queen do their set and I think it was Phil Collins who performed at both Wembley and the US. Had to take a Concorde flight to do it IIRC. Was it Philadelphia that hosted Live-Aid in the US? Anyway, need to see if I can find the Elvis Costello performance. Haven’t seen it yet so thanks for the info.

  5. Yes Philadelphia and London. Phil DID fly on the Concord. Drummed with Led Zeppelin in the U.S.