greeted the recent DVD release of Live Aid with great enthusiasm. For
years, I had wanted to relive that magical day I spent on the couch -
July 13, 1985. I was 12, going on 13, and heavily into new wave music,
so it was a thrill for me to see Duran Duran,
Wham, Spandau Ballet, and many other favorites. Here was a chance to see
all the artists like Nik Kershaw and Alison Moyet who I read about in
Star Hits magazine that never got played on the radio in St.
Louis. There was Queen to remind me the first cassette I bought with
my own money was The Game. And there was my newest celebrity
obsession and one that none of my friends shared - Jack
Nicholson - introducing acts in Philly.
I was overstimulated. An only child with older parents who were not inclined
to rock out, I watched the concert alone. I had never been to a concert.
My desperate pleas to be taken to Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged
Tiger tour had fallen on deaf ears, so I had to settle for watching
the Sing Blue Silver documentary over and over. We did not yet
own a VCR or a Betamax, so I couldn't record Live Aid. It would have to
live in my memory.
Until now...with the coming of this 4-disc set. 20 years
have passed, Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, Bono cut off his mullet,
and I can't count how many concerts I've attended. I know I've seen Duran
Duran four times and U2 twice. I've been to a lot of festival shows including
Woodstock 99, but I have yet to experience
anything of this musical magnitude.
What follows is a breakdown of my impressions then versus
Band Aid video
So, like, I bought the 45 at Sears, used my allowance, and I had
it on my bed and my Grandma came into my room and accidentally sat
on it and broke it! I don't have MTV so I stay up for Friday Night
Videos hoping to see this, and I rent the video single like a
gazillion times. It's so cool to see my favorites in the same room
- Duran Duran and Wham! - plus Marilyn
and Paul Young and others who I had only seen in Star Hits
magazine. Man, I wish I lived in England.
Holy mullets! Bono and Simon and
Paul Young, to name but a few. I still love this song and wonder why
it doesn't get more airplay at Christmastime. It's vastly superior
to "We are the World". Great shot of Marilyn
striding into the studio in a full-length fur coat. Bananarama look
like they just got out of bed.
USA for Africa video
It's OK, not as cool as Band Aid. Cyndi Lauper is really starting
to annoy me, padding her part with "Well, well, well, let us
realize". All of us girls are torn between idolizing Cyndi or
Madonna, and at this point I am pledging
my allegiance to Madonna. Note to self: use allowance at Claire's
Boutique for rubber bracelets and lace gloves. What is Dan Ackroyd
doing there? Lots of recess time will be spent mocking Willie Nelson
and Bob Dylan.
The oversized headphones really flattened Tina Turner's hair. It's
so funny to see Michael Jackson with the
glove and sparkly socks again. Bruce is really exaggerating his straining
voice. So funny to see Steve Perry, Kenny
Loggins, Kim Carnes. The song mostly showcases Quincy's friends -
Diana, Michael, Stevie, Ray Charles -
they all get big parts. What is Dan Ackroyd doing there?
Now I can identify a couple of the guys in the Band Aid video who
I never could before. These guys aren't pretty but they rock pretty
Cool hair. I like Howard. He is so deep and, like, profound.
Howard has a poofy mullet. It would have been nice if they included
one of his many inspirational hits. He gave free advice like "Don't
Try to Live Your Life In One Day." Deepak Chopra charges a lot
for such wisdom.
I think I want a grilled cheese for lunch. With some Pringles.
What a dashing English gent. I should listen more to that Greatest
Hits CD of his that I bought off BMG a long time ago.
He's cute but why is he singing, "Every time you go away, you
take a piece of meat with you."
3 songs from cute but forgettable Paul Young?! And Elvis Costello
only gets one?!? Maybe it's because Paul wears his mullet so well.
There's something kinda sexy about that guy introducing Bryan.
Note to self: rent Terms of Endearment
Jack Nicholson kicks off the
Philadelphia concert by intro ducting Bryan Adams. He looks young,
tan, and trim. My celebrity obsession for Jack began to percolate.
Bryan gets the crowd going with "Summer of 69."
"The Edge" would be a good confirmation name, except
there is no St. Edge.
Who knew then that Bono's career would be longer than his mullet?
U2 delivers intense versions of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and
"Bad". Bono goes into the crowd, grabs a girl and dances
with her, a la Bruce and Courtney Cox. It's clear that stars are being
born. A powerful end to Disc 1.
I wonder who's at the pool today.
Brian Wilson looks thin. Was this
before his sandbox period? They do one of my favorites "Wouldn't
It Be Nice" along with "Good Vibrations" and "Surfing
"Money for Nothing, checks for free" - isn't that redundant?
They do "Money for Nothing" with Sting. Sting could have
released a "Duets" album from this concert.
I would have liked to have heard "Bad to the Bone". Seems
an obvious choice, no?
The Game was the first cassette I bought with my own
money. I wish they would do "Another One Bites the Dust."
Queen gets a lot of well-deserved disc time, with 5 songs. Freddie
commands the stage. The audience singalong for "Bohemian Rhapsody"
foreshadows Wayne's World. I wish I could have seen Queen
live, but I guess I'll have to settle for that Vegas show.
I am so jealous that my friend Katie got to see The Breakfast
Club. Mom and Dad won't let me cuz it's rated R.
A great new wave band. The Breakfast Club's sociological
analysis may seem trite today, but "Don't You Forget About Me"
definitely holds up.
There's that guy that danced around in that video with Mick Jagger.
I've always been indifferent to Bowie, but I imagine I'd like him
if I put some effort into it. Here he does "Rebel Rebel"
which is appropriate with its lyric "I'm not sure if you're a
boy or a girl" as the crowd shots reveal many short-haired girls
and long-haired boys. Thomas "Science!" Dolby plays synth
on "Modern Love" and the set ends with the appropriate "Heroes"
- "We can be heroes - for just one day."
She looks like one of the nuns at school.
Joan says, "This is your Woodstock
and it's long overdue." She performs "Amazing Grace"
to a largely indifferent crowd.
If I go to softball practice, I'm gonna miss Duran Duran.
Pretenders do "Middle of the Road" and "Back on the
Chain Gang." They're just aiight to me, man.
Who are they? Who, who, who who?
"Won't Get Fooled Again" - only one song? Seems shocking
until you read the DVD booklet which reveals that a technical glitch
caused most of The Who's set to not be recorded.
"Footloose" is the best song from, like, the best movie
ever made. My friend Katie loves Kevin Bacon, but as for me, I'm holding
out for a hero.
Chevy Chase introduces Kenny and calls him "Mr. Footloose."
He sure looked old on American
Why is that guy wearing a Shriner's hat? Ohmigod, WHAM! I got
my mom to buy me a "Choose Life" T-shirt by telling her
it was against abortion.
Elton does "Rocketman", one of my favorites, and "Bennie
and the Jets". He brings out Kiki Dee for "Don't Go Breaking
My Heart." I wonder what Kiki does in between these occasions
when Elton brings her on stage to belt that old chestnut? Does he
keep her in a box? Elton and George Michael duet on "Don't Let
the Sun Go Down on Me" while Andrew Ridgely tries to look busy.
He's going to be the only guy to play in London and Philadelphia.
That's so cool.
There is some unintelligible dialogue from Phil Collins beamed from
the Concorde. For my money, one Phil Collins performance would have
been more than enough.
She's cool. But I'm not sure if it's a sin to listen to her.
Ahh, the old Madonna - chunky, bushy eyebrows, getting into the
groove, and no red Kabbalah bracelet.
I prefer Ringo. He was
in Caveman. It's raining - no softball practice!
Paul comes out for a "Let It Be" finale, accompanied by
Bob Geldof, Alison Moyet, David Bowie, and Pete Townsend. Then everyone
joins them on stage for "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Classy
ending for the London show.
Ohmigod, Don Johnson is doing
the introduction. He's sooooo hot. Love that suit. Tom Petty, on the
other hand, is a total dog. One of these things is NOT like the other.
Tom does "American Girl" and "Refugee". I like
some of his songs but I still have trouble looking at him.
Ozzy is cool. He bit the head off
a bat. How come he isn't singing "Bark at the Moon?"
This was a historic reunion of Ozzy and Black
Sabbath. Ozzy is in his fat Liz
Taylor era, wearing a sequined robe that looks heavier than Neil
Diamond's shirts. Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have not updated
their look for hair metal and they still have the same haircuts today.
It's hard to say if they or Ozzy are greater
fashion victims. It appears all the old wounds haven't healed, as
Tony tries to put his arm around Ozzy at the end of the song and Ozzy
just storms off the stage. In the late 90s, these old wounds would
heal when commerce not charity was the motivator.
We used to have a booger green Ford Gran Torino wagon but it
was hardly a speedwagon. But it did have that seat in the back where
you can face backwards and wave at people on the road behind you.
Kevin Cronin is wearing a floral jacket with jeans, whereas I would
have been wearing a jeans jacket and floral jeans back then. They
do "I Can't Fight This Feeling" and a "Keep on Running"
sing-a-long with The Beach Boys and Paul Shaffer. I would have been
killed if we were ever rear-ended while I was sitting in that backwards-facing
seat in that pre-air-bag station wagon.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
If I marry Simon Le Bon, will I have to go yachting? Cuz I get seasick.
They harmonize their way through "Teach Your Children Well".
What's a Green Mandalishi? I wouldn't want to run into that guy
- too many spikes on those leather clothes.
Priest rocks through "Livin' After Midnight" and "Green
Mandalishi." Something about synchronized guitar moves makes
me happy. Not to mention Halford's barbaric yawp.
That singer is weird looking, but they have that great video with
the fly and the King Kong stuff.
"Just What I Needed". I still think Ric Ocasek is weird
looking but the fact that he landed Paulina Porzikova is encouraging.
Finally! Ohmigod! Simon's hair is super short and black! "Union
of the Snake", "Save a Prayer", "The Reflex"
- all my faves. JT is soooo hot. Ohmigod!
This was the last performance by the original 5 Duran Duran members
until they reunited in 2003. The fashion (Simon is wearing a brooch)
and hairstyles do amuse, but I still love these songs.
Does she iron her hair to get it to go like that?
Patti is hard to take serious in that outfit that she has sausaged
herself into. Still, she delivers a great version of "Imagine."
The crowd seems quiet and indifferent. She wails too much, like an
American Idol contestant showing off with runs.
Hall and Oates
I wish the little one would do some cartwheels the way he does in
their videos when he's like "Hey, notice me for once! Not the
guy who's singing."
They were on top of the world in 1985, nearly headlining this show.
They do have a lot of catchy tunes. I saw them a couple of years ago,
and it was a fun show.
Mick Jagger and Tina Turner
I like her from that video where she struts around and she has
that barrette in her crazy hair but the hair is really too powerful
to be controlled by the barrette.
Mick rips off Tina's skirt, foreshadowing a certain Justin Timberlake/Janet
Jackson moment. It's sexy but Tina stated in her autobiography I,
Tina that she found it a little upsetting because she didn't
expect it. If this were Thunderdome, Mick would have been sentenced
That guy is ugly and he so cannot sing. Hand me a barf bag.
Nicholson introduces him and calls him "transcendent."
Bob does "Blowing in the Wind" and is joined by Keith Richards
and Ron Wood.
We are the World
Is it really over? I don't want it to ever end!
Everyone joins together to sing "We Are the World". It's
true we make a better day, just you and me.
Do you remember Live Aid? Were you there? Add your
Ape Culture and all associated pages are
ŠApe Culture 1998-2007 and evermore.