July 13th, 1985 was a dream come true for rock and roll – two stadiums full of fans and hundreds of musicians performing in the name of the Ethiopian famine. Bob Geldof from the Boomtown Rats organized the two simultaneous concerts and there were too many stars in those two stadiums for anyone’s good. Rolling Stone recalls:
It was superstar heaven. Keith Richards was laughing and talking with Jimmy Page. A bodyguard handed Bob Dylan a beer. Across the room Jack Nicholson and Neil Young chatted. Andy Taylor, guitarist for Duran Duran and the Power Station, took a hit off a joint and screamed out, “Don,” then gave ‘Miami Vice’ star Don Johnson a hug. “We gonna get high!”
At one a.m. the party inside the second-floor suite of the the Palace Hotel in Philadelphia was still going strong. Live Aid — the concert that was being called the Eighties Woodstock — was now history. More than 1.5 billion people from all around the world had watched on television as over sixty pop stars performed on stages in London and Philadelphia. As much as $40 million had been raised for the starving people in drought-stricken Africa. Now it was time to cool out.
Yet the communal spirit that had been in evidence at Wembley Stadium, in London, and John F. Kennedy Stadium, in Philadelphia, was alive at this low-key party for the stars. There was a warm feeling of camaraderie as celebrities sat next to each other on a sofa, shared a chair, enjoyed a good laugh. The biggest names in rock — some known for their arrogance, others for their egotism — had at least for this day (and the following night and morning) cut the pretentiousness and one-upmanship.
Gathered together at one end of the room – drinking, chatting, carrying on – were Dylan, Richards, Page, Ron Wood, Stephen Stills and former Temptations Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin. Dylan wore black leather pants and, over his bare chest, a black leather vest; an earring hung from his left ear, and a woman wearing a blond wig hung on to his right arm. “Fun? No, we couldn’t hear anything,” Dylan said of his performance with Wood and Richards. Still, it was easy to see that he was enjoying himself. “We had fun rehearsing.”
Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes and his wife, sheathed in black leather, surveyed the scene. Over by the bar someone said to Andy Taylor, “Andy, having a good time?”
“He’s drunk,” said Taylor’s wife.
Keith Richards stepped out onto the patio, where he was asked what it was like playing with Dylan. “Well, it’s not the first time,” he said.
“It is the first time you’ve played together in public, though.”
“Yeah, first time before a paying audience. Course we didn’t get paid.” He laughed, then added, obviously joking, “Would have been better if we’d gotten paid.”
At 3:44 a.m., following dinner with Tina Turner and Chevy Chase in Tina’s suite, Mick Jagger came downstairs and made his entrance. Why did he choose to perform? “To raise a lot of money,” said Jagger. “That was the main thing — draw attention to the hunger in the world. Down the line, people can appreciate what can be done by an event of this magnitude. It was really a relatively nice, well-meaning event.” Then he walked, with jerky steps, across the patio, taking a seat next to Nick Rhodes. The old guard and the new, having some fun together.
Live Aid 1985 is the theme for todays 5 Songs at 5 – make a request from a set-list that concert to remember 31 years ago today.
Set Lists included:
Sting – Roxanne, Message in a Bottle
Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight
Sting & Phil Collins – Every Breath You Take
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad (with snippets of Satellite of Love, Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy for the Devil and Walk on the Wild Side)
Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (With Sting), Sultans of Swing
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions
David Bowie – Rebel Rebel, Modern Love, Heroes
The Who – My Generation, Pinball Wizard, Love, Reign o’er Me, Won’t Get Fooled Again
Elton John – Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man
Black Sabbath – Iron Man, Paranoid
Judas Priest – Living After Midnight, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Bryan Adams – Kids Wanna Rock, Summer of ’69
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – American Girl, The Waiting, Rebels, Refugee
Neil Young – Sugar Mountain, The Needle and the Damage Done, Helpless, Nothing Is Perfect (In God’s Perfect Plan), Powderfinger
Eric Clapton – White Room, She’s Waiting, Layla
Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love, Stairway to Heaven
Mick Jagger – Miss You, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) (with Tina Turner)