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Monday, July 01, 2013

Live Aid: yes, I remember it well - which is more than can be said for most people

Tomorrow night I'm talking to Dylan Jones about his excellent book The Eighties: One Day, One Decade at our Quiet Word with Daniel Tashian evening at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. Love to see you there if you can make it. Details here.

Dylan's book focuses on Live Aid and he talks to lots of the people involved. I've never watched any of the footage of Live Aid since the day and I haven't read much about it either. I think this makes me almost unique in that I know what I saw and not much more. What's amazing about Live Aid is what people think happened. Dylan provides an example:
 (I hope you can read that. I did it with my Genius scan on my phone.)

Anyway, Dylan interviews Harvey Goldsmith for the book, who explains that the reason Springsteen didn't stay for Live Aid is his daughter was just beginning to compete as a showjumper and he didn't want to miss her first competition. The only thing wrong with that is that Springsteen's only daughter wasn't born until 1991.

If you're coming along tomorrow night I might explain why I didn't write the official memoir of one of the event's key protagonists. If people so close to the action can mis-remember on that scale it's not surprising that every cab driver in the world remains convinced that Bob Geldof said "give us your fucking money".

6 comments:

  1. It always entertains me how it is that people mis-remember major events of their lifetime and that even moments of historical significance are distorted by false recollections but one-off encounters with veteran celebrities from 40 years ago are rendered in clinical, accurate and unimpeachable detail and presented as evidence of their disgrace.

    Funny old world isn't it?

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  2. It always entertains me how people's memory of even the biggest moments of their lives can be clouded by false remembrances and how the passage of time can distort the perception of even the most vividly recalled life events, yet when it comes to a vaguely-recalled encounter some 40 years ago with a now-aged or even deceased celebrity those recollections are the unvarnished unimpeachable truth and can be taken as solid and reliable evidence of their bad behaviour.

    Funny old world isn't it?

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  3. This is a parable for me - a parable about how what's happening now, because with so much information, the connection between real experiences and memories can be warped more easily than ever. Our consciousness gets overloaded by content. Our self awareness is being subverted by memes.

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  4. A friend of mine mentioned that he was enjoying the whole spectacle enormously until Bowie ruined it with that "...Lords Prayer thing".

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  5. False memory syndrome is rife in music – it's one reason you can never get a definitive history of a band, because the accounts of those that were there always clash.
    The trouble is, people always want to believe the entertaining myth. I bet when I tell you no-one ever said 'Nul points' on Eurovision, and nobody ever said Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles, you'll tell me I'm wrong.

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  6. False memory, my arse. We all know what we felt. Music is so powerful. I hate this disingenuous feeling that suddenly we didn't feel what we felt. Front up with everything. Including occasionally loving Slade.:)

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