Monday, July 13, 2015

What do I remember about Live Aid? The weather and a Billy Connolly joke.

People ask what I remember about Live Aid, thirty years ago today.

I remember it was hot. The sky was blue. The sun was fierce, particularly in that immense tupperware box slung from inside the roof of Wembley Stadium that we broadcast from. To get to it you had to climb ladders and go across gantries. Once you were up there you couldn't get away in a hurry. You just stayed there and baked. The heat from the crowd rose to the roof and hung there.

And I remember Billy Connolly, who was sitting alongside me as the Pretenders came on stage, leaning over and saying "I wouldn't join that group." This was not long after both James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon of the group had died. "Why not?" I asked.

He looked at me. "Nobody leaves."

Mark Ellen and I have been talking about the day with fellow survivors Dylan Jones and Janice Long. You can hear it here.


  1. I've been working on and off for several years, with Chris Constantiou - Adam Ant's bass player at the time. He'd been touring the Vive Le Rock album with Adam, so had missed the momentum and build from Band Aid to Live Aid.

    The moment he walked onto the stage (a date that had been in the band diary simply as 'benefit gig') - the first thing that hit him, wasn't the size of the audience, but the heat coming off the crowd...

  2. Like some sort of cultural game of Frogger, I've recently met two people in their late twenties/early thirties who had not heard of Live Aid or Woodstock.

  3. How are they on Word War II?

  4. Was the first Word War when Dido was on the cover and hordes of potential customers took umbrage?