If this date doesn’t mean anything to you, then you do not feel as goddamn old as I do today!
Live Aid was for me at the time, the greatest thing in the history of ever. I didn’t have cable, there was no YouTube, hell at that point at my house we had neither a VCR or a color TV! So to be able to see it, any of it – without the benefit of instantaneous videos and MP3’s was really incredible.
My mom and I stayed glued to that TV from dusk until dawn and I wore down the phone lines (corded phones!!) talking to my best friend who had both a color TV and MTV. Duran Duran! Paul Young! Rick Springfield! Spandau Ballet! I was in music obsessives heaven.
And of course, of course – U2 emerged that day as not just an up-and-coming band of promising lads from Dublin – but they took that stage at Wembley and made an audience of over a billion people around the world feel like they were all together in that space – feeling the notes of Bad as one tiny nation inside that stadium.
You have to remember this was a baby band. They were not Biggest Band in the World U2, in fact this was a huge disaster in their eyes: they ran over their time, they didn’t get to play their new (!) single Pride (In the Name of Love), Bono’s need to make a connection with the audience was as dangerous as it was spontaneous (around 10:11 you can see in his face, he knows he’s fucked up.)
And yet – that is the performance that most people remember most about that extraordinary day.