Interviews - Queen

Live Aid (The Sun, July 15th 1985)

Live Aid

A STRING of back-stage dramas threatened to throw Live Aid's smash-hit show into chaos, it was revealed last night. Billions watching the Wembley concert around the world were unaware of the secret problems faced by hero organiser Bob Geldof. A major row among THE WHO led to them nearly pulling out. JULIAN LENNON just didn't turn up - cancelling at the last minute. BOY GEORGE also refused to appear after a row with Geldof. FREDDIE MERCURY went on stage against doctor's orders and stole the show. Sexy singer SADE single-handedly saved the show's tight-running order by ignoring sound problems, and P A U L McCARTNEY turned white as the 72,000-strong audience broke into a chorus of boos and hisses when his microphone went dead. The supergig was last night reckoned to have raised a staggering £40million for starving Africans— and the Irish government backed calls to nominate Geldof for a Nobel Peace Prize. Battling Bob earned it as The Who's bust-up gave him his biggest headache. The band who split up three years ago amid bitter feuding — made it clear they still don't get along. They snarled at reporters: revealed that they had rehearsed for just half an hour put on a weak show and laughed at suggestions they might perform together again- They were only sweet- talked into the reunion by Geldof, who told them they could " play for 20 minutes with their eyes closed" as long as they turned up. Afterwards drummer Kenny Jones — tasked if the band would play again for Live Aid replied: " You've got to be kidding."

JULIAN LENNON'S decision to drop out at the last minute dashed hopes of a spectacular " Beatles " reunion. One Live Aid source said: " We were told Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Julian — replacing his murdered father—had been working together and it was on"

Moody BOY GEORGE flew off to New York after a row with Geldof -despite saying he would be at the Wembley finale.

FREDDIE MERCURY, plagued by a throat infection, was told by doctors not to risk singing at Wembley. But the outrageous Queen singer electrified the audience with a power-packed 20-minute stint rated by many as the best of the lot. Smooth operator SADE went straight on stage to help make up a schedule running 10 minutes Late despite a sound problem that did nothing to calm her nerves.

PRINCE Charles paid a glowing tribute to Bob Geldof yesterday. As he left a polo match he told Sun photographer Arthur Edwards: "He has massed his vocation in life he should have been a general."

PRINCESS DIANA was stopped in her tracks at the Live Aid spectacular by a toddler who demanded to know: "Where is my fish ? "

The question came from organiser Bob Geldof's two-year-old daughter Fifi Trixiebelle who had presented a bouquet to the Princess at the start of the concert. Di was completely puzzled until Fifi's mum Paula Yates rushed up to explain. .

Paula said later: "Fifi was very Nervous about meeting the Princess, so I decided to try a little bribery. "Her favourite food is smoked salmon so I promised she could have some if sine presented the flowers nicely.

" As soon as she'd handed over the bouquet she wanted to know where her fish was.

" It's an understatement to say the Princess looked confused, but she was very amused when I told her what had happened.


And there was an extra treat for shy Fifi — a cuddle from Di. The pop-loving Princess was so carried away by the Wembley atmosphere that she told Bob: " I could do a song for you!"

But she added: "I suppose it would have to be the National Anthem. Do you think they would like it? "

Prince Charles grinned broadly. Then he compared his sombre dark suit with the bright clothes of the 80,000 crowd at Wembley, and said: " I think I'll have to buy a pair of denims."

The royal couple stayed at the marathon concert for an hour before leaving for Windsor.

Bob said: " I know they would have loved to stay longer, but they had to be at his mother's for lunch."


Praise for Boom-town Rats singer Bob's efforts in organising Live Aid and the Band Aid Christmas record reached new heights yesterday when he was nominated for the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.
The honour was first suggested by Norwegian politician Sissel Roenbuck, but was quickly backed by Irishman Bob's own government in Dublin.

Premier Garret Fitzgerald promised to act swiftly to obtain all-party agreement to the nomination. And he was backed by Eire Opposition leader Charles Haughey. Roenbuck has written to the Norway-based Nobel Institute saying: "Bob Geldof has mobilised future adults to. realise the motto for the United Nations International Youth Year: Participation, Development and Peace.'."
Canadian star Bryan Adams believes Bob's tireless work on behalf of the Ethiopian famine victims deserves even greater recognition, Bryan told American TV viewers: " He should be made a saint!"
Other pop personalities agreed, but the more down - to-earth Alanna Currie, of the Thompson Twins, said: " Bob should be knighted for ever staging this brilliant show."


Jools Holland, of Squeeze and Channel 4's The Tube show added:
II If anyone wants, to write anything snidey about Bob Geldof they'd better remember what he's done."

Midge Ure, of Ultravox, who helped Bob put Saturday's show together, said: "This is all down to Bob. Without him it wouldn't have been possible."

Elton John added: "It was a wonderful time — it was a wonderful day and it's all thanks to Bob."

Nik Kershaw said: " The man deserves all the praise he gets. He has brought the entire world together"

There could be more money on the way for Bob to distribute. Labour Euro MP Les Huckfield urged the Common Market yesterday to turn over all its emergency aid funds to the Live Aid organiser. He said: " Bob Geldof does a far more efficient job ol organising aid and getting it through to the people who need it than the EEC has done so far."

Superstar Phil Collins, who made a transatlantic dash to appear at both Wembley and Philadelphia, admitted last night: " I'm absolutely whacked!'

Phil starred with Sting at the London show then flew by Concorde to America to join the great Live Aid concert. There he sang solo, and joined Led Zeppelin stars Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.


POP SUPERSTAR David Bowie made an impassioned television appeal before billions of viewers and listeners to make the Live Aid concert an annual event. He told BBC interviewer Paul Gambaccini if another one were organised " I'd do it again like a shot' Bowie, who performed a smash-hit video with Mick Jagger, spoke out during a special interview from Wembley Stadium. Of the worldwide concert, which is expected to raise around £40million, Bowie said: “This has to become an annual event. It really does.'


'And I think a lot of us would pledge to do a show like this every year until starvation in many areas of the world, not just Ethiopia, was under some kind of control.

Asked if something on the scale of the Live Aid concert could happen again Bowie said 'Oh yes, I think so. Everybody had such a fantastic time , I'd love to do it again.

Sophisticated British singing star Sade said: 'Bob Geldof is fantastic to have pulled this off. It must be the biggest achievement ever."
But hopes of Geldof mounting another spectacular are slim. Geldof's reaction to the Bowie brainwave was : 'If he wants to give up six months a year to do it, fair enough. Live Aid took me six months to organise. I can't afford the time to organise another one myself.


MYSTERY woman boosted the Live Aid bonanza - by pledging an incredible HALF A MILLION pounds was the biggest gift from an individual in Britain. But the woman insisted on remaining anonymous, le even gave strict instructions that no one should know which part of the country she comes from, A kind couple from Tyneside, who gave the £1,000 they had scraped together for a house deposit, also demanded their names should be kept secret, the other end of the scale, super-rich prime minister Sheikh Maktoum phoned Bob Geldof to promise a cool £1 million from his Dubai government. It was all part of the staggering £40million international flood of generosity for Live Aid. In Britain phone callers had pledged £3,851,000 by last night and organisers easily expected to top £4million. Cash was being promised at £90,000 an hour with 300 special phone lines jammed, Pledged Much of the money was coming from early-to-bed viewers who phoned after turning on video recordings at breakfast Fans of Geldof's native Irish Republic gave more than £3million -almost a pound per head of population.

But most of the money was coming from America where a computer automatically logged donations.


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