Live Aid :: My Favorite Artists/Bands

1Live Aid
July 13, 1985
Wembley Stadium & JFK Stadium

2In lieu of the Monday Favorite Artist/Band post, and in observation of the 30th Anniversary today, I thought I’d do a little something on Live Aid. I was sixteen years old and it was Summertime, and music was my everything. I woke early to see this from the start, and was completely unmovable for the entire day. I remember my Mom asking me to go out with her for a few things (lunch, some kind of baseball game, I think, dinner) and I would have none of it. I was in the vortex of total and complete musical bliss and I wanted nothing to do with anything except the music. For most of the day I sat cross-legged on the living room floor, as close to the television as I could get. Sometimes I talked to my friends on the phone, but most of those conversations were no conversation at all, just us sitting and watching, phone at our ears, and saying random things like “did you see that?”, “wow”, “Duran Duran is next”, etc.

I was so grateful to have MTV that day, though I wished that I could see each and every performance, in-person, at both locations.

Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held on this day in 1985. The event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the “global jukebox“, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).

On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.

Looking back at the set-lists and artists I realize there are some that I missed, and a few that I did not appreciate as much at the time than I would now, if I could time travel and see it all again live. For the most part, though, my favorites then are still my favorites now, and my top 10 artists of the event wouldn’t have changed that much, just maybe the order I placed them in between then, and now.

In the spirit of remembering, though, I will keep in the number 1 spot what was definitely my number 1 that day. I will preface it by saying that as a teenager I was a total Duranie, and there is, and always will be, a place in my heart that belongs just to them.


Following are my Top Ten favorite Live Aid arists. Will you share yours with me?

1. Duran Duran

Union of the Snake (live)


2. Elton John and George Michael 

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me (live)


3. David Bowie

Heroes (live)


4. Queen

Radio Ga Ga (live)

25. Paul McCartney

Let it Be (live)

26. Madonna

Holiday (live)

7. Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music

Slave to Love (live)

1 8. Rick Springfield

Love Somebody (live)


9. U2

Bad (live)


10. Spandau Ballet

True (live)


One thought on “Live Aid :: My Favorite Artists/Bands

  1. I remember watching this for most of the day too. I remember one of the big things was Phil Collins playing both stages on the same day, time zones apart. He was ubiquitous back then, wasn’t he?

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