Live Aid Who problems

simon malia malias40 at
Sun Nov 21 06:39:43 CST 2004

>"My Generation" & "Pinball Wizard" were only seen
>by the audience at Wembley, & full video of those two
>songs doesn't exist.
>So, I guess whatever caused the few-second interuption
>of the American broadcast of WGFA was a different
>problem than that which affected MG & PW.  Because
>the full WGFA is on the DVD.
>- SCHRADE in Akron

Scott et al:

Hello again from Liverpool / Manchester - in the pissing rain... Sorry I 
haven't been on-line for a while - just too bloody busy.

Anywhooooo- the Live Aid gap - what happened was, a great big bloody fuse 
blew as The Who came on.

I *think* it may have been related to the amount of juice the band required, 
but I don't recall the exact details. What I do remember is that some poor 
technician had to go and try to get this main fuse fixed, and basically held 
the wires in place while sparks flew.

And all this meant that those of us in the stadium at the time (yup, I was 
there) saw The Who's set in all its ragged intensity - but NO ONE else did.

When I got back to the pals I was staying with that night, they'd taped the 
whole day (including the sheer drivel coming out of JFK - sorry, couldn't 
resist that one - but, Jeeze, The Beach Boys for example were absolutely 
AWFUL!) so I was looking forward to seeing The Who's set (and hoping it 
would look better on telly than it had live). No such luck - just the same 
two songs as you saw.

As for U2 - I'd already seen 'em a couple of times, and it was obvious they 
were going to make an impact - but this certainly was their day. The crowd 
LOVED them - even though I personaly thought "Bad" dragged on and on, and 
that Bono was "milking it" all on a day when we weren't there for that - 
whatever that was.  But good on 'em. Personally, I run a bit contrary to 
fashion on U2 - I actually prefer "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" to the rest, 
although there are some wonderful moments on "Rattle and Hum".

When lunchtime came round, our little group of four, me, my best mate and 
our then girlfriends, opened our cheese butties and washed 'em down with 

Being the gobby sort I still am, I said something like "wouldn't it be 
obscene if people had a really fancy lunch", just as the people in front 
started unpacking their coolbox - which was laden with chicken legs, pate, 
french breads, spreads, wine etc etc. Ooops. But you know what? Coming up to 
20 years later - I still feel that way.

I went to Live Aid to see The Who. Bob Geldof's booking policy did its job. 
He got my money.

But I came away with the lingering memory of the video cut the music of 
"Drive" by the Cars - that small Ethiopian child, struggling to stand on 
skeletal legs, belly swollen for lack of food, screaming with hunger and 
fear. As the music dips, the child's scream cuts through everything.

20 years later, that cry stays in my head, my heart and (sorry Scott) my 
soul. I hope it always does, though it hurts.

Meanwhile, back at our pals' cosy home, we watched the rest of the JFK leg. 
Clapton, smooth, healthy and bland, Led Zep just as dull as ever, and Bob 
Dylan (a musical hero of mine) - absolutely shite.

Many years later (98 in fact), I was at Pete's solo gig at the Shepherds 
Bush Empire, and found myself standing next to an American woman, who was 
looking for her husband. We got chatting, and it turned out that she was 
from Philadelphia, but had been to the Wembley Live Aid gig, while her 
husband (from London) had been to the gig in Philly. I think they'd met 

I remember thinking he was one very lucky chap.

And she too loathed Queen - but like me, admitted through gritted teeth that 
they had been super-slick and entertaining on the day at Wembley. Even 
though we'd both remained seated through their 15 minutes on stage. Hey ho.

People. We're so contrary.

Back to the shadows...

Simon in Liverpool

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