It was 34 years ago Saturday that the Live Aid concerts took place in Philadelphia's JFK Stadium and London's Wembley Stadium. The mammoth fundraising shows were organized by then-Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, who began the music industry's efforts to fight famine in Africa with Band Aid's"Do They Know It's Christmas" all-star single in 1984. Live Aid featured performances by Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Tina Turner with Hall & Oates, Madonna, U2, Judas Priest, Duran Duran, Queen, Eric Clapton, Sting, Elvis Costello, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan with Keith Richards and Ron Wood, David Bowie, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and scores of others. Led Zeppelin, the Who, and Black Sabbath staged one-off reunions especially for that day. The 16-hour Live Aid marathon was watched by an estimated global audience of 1.5 billion and raised more than $140 million for famine relief.
The festival was known for some memorable collaborations like Hall & Oates with The Temptations, Sting and Phil Collins, and a memorable performance from Queen which was documented in the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody."
But perhaps one of the big highlights was Phil Collins who performed a set in London, boarded the Concorde (remember that?) and flew to Philadelphia to play even more!
Paul McCartney, who was the final act prior to the finale at Wembley, remembers Live Aid as being one of the worst gigs of his career: "Oh my God, Live Aid is just one of those things I'd sooner forget. I didn't have a roadie, I didn't even have someone to make sure my mic and speakers were working! So I just sort of went on -- there I was in front of the world. And I heard in my monitors a very ominous sound of roadies talking. I though, 'This could be a disaster.' I couldn't hear myself, I couldn't hear anything, so I was not giving a sort of measured performance. But the dear old audience helped me out, God bless 'em!" His performance is posted below: