Sunday, May 11, 2008

Checking In/Live Aid Article

I wrote the article below at least 7 months ago, but never got around to posting it. Currently, I'm slightly suffering a bit of literary constipation, as might be evidenced by the decided lack of articles from April, as well as the conclusion of my award-losing "Relationship Injustice" series. For the curious (and bi-curious?), the feedback I got from my wrap-up was mostly positive. A couple people asked me if I'd been itching to undo my closure of that series and add more, but actually I haven't. Unbelievable, but again, constipation. Sometimes I just get tired of being tired. The "RE" series was actually rather cathartic, but tough to write. The whole thing wore me out but I doubt I'd change a word of it, and am kind of proud of it as a finished work. Not to be too "bloggy" (there's a new word for ya), but I'm sure I'll have some type of retrospective thoughts and summaries for my highly feared 100th post. I've already been combing the archives for some "best of" moments to reprint in a type of ceremonial article.

Anyway, here's one from the past that I never reprinted, having to do with watching the old Live Aid concert. Will check in as soon as the laxative kicks in.


So I Watched The Live Aid Tapes Again...

I've stumbled upon the video tapes of the Live Aid broadcast from lo these many years ago (21+ to be exact). It struck me as to the specialness of the event, the magnitude of having a single event with (reformed) Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, etc. The heroes were certainly the fans - the music lovers that donated their money to a cause that hopefully saved some lives. But the magnitude! 1.5 BILLION people watched this event.

This was a revival of those great "I was there" moments of the late sixties, except this festival had a cause. People who could brandish a ticket stub from this event could boast their support at the time, and their fortitude for standing in one place for over 7 hours. THAT'S why the audiences were my heroes. Performers can play their 17 minute set in any venue, but the people who stood there in that mass of humanity, well they have my respect. Bob Geldof will always be a musical hero in my book for organizing this massive event, and pulling together such memorable reunions. He was a pathetic singer, but he knew how to pull strings. Kudos, Bob, just please don't ever sing again.

The entire Wembley Stadium affair was majestic and respectful; by ending with Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas", the grand finale had a sense of majesty and importance with which it might capitalize the statement of helping a dying continent. Philadelphia's lame "We Are The World" was disorganized, boring, anti-climactic, and disappointing. Thankfully one would hope that many had turned the channel by then. Even at the basic songwriting level, "We Are The World" is a sorry excuse for a counterpart to the majestic, and emotionally fueled performance by Band Aid. Try again, Quincy. Back to Gary you go...

Hindsight always makes for fascinating viewing. MTV VJs remarking how "great" Ozzy Osbourne looks and feels, even though he was at his heaviest and living on blow. Then the ponderings of Led Zeppelin's reunion and its potential future. There are also those that didn't get their proper notice, and have since departed. The singers for Queen and Big Country no longer walk this earth. It sucked to see them largely enveloped by the gravity of everything else at the time.

Neil Young can't play solo guitar, but man, he was so cool out there. He'll drop everything for a cause. Neil, Zeppelin, and U2 were the high points of the day. To hell with Phil Collins and his attention-hungry stunt to fly across the ocean and play at the London AND Philadelphia venues. That merely gave an excuse to put another continent to sleep with "In The Air Tonight". He may be a great drummer, but his songs can be so boring.

I loved watching how obviously wired up and goofy Jeff Porcaro was during Clapton's performance. Porcaro was a drug hungry drummer, formerly of Toto, and some of the backstage interviews included his shaky visage in the background. I've seen less jumping around in a Gnip Gnop game. Same with MTV host Nina Blackwood. In some close ups, you could literally see the drug residue on her. Nice. Good for national TV. Them were da days.


Wendi Manning said...

Hey! Bob's performance of I Don't Like Mondays was my favorite performance of the show! But other than that, you nailed it.

Limey said...

Status Quo totally stole the show.

Fagedaboudit said...

Did you use "Phil Collins" and "great drummer" in the same sentence?
Blaspheme, Blaspheme!

The Vapid Voice said...

Hey, Collins might have been a great drummer, but his sappy sweet garbage songs weren't worthy of most trash bins.

Fagedaboudit said...

IMHO Phill Collins is an OK drummer with a couple of shining moments.
Though I cannot recall those shining moments, I'm trying to cut him some slack.