she liked Imaginary Men best of all

July 13, 1985


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 courseU2 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.

Author: Amy H. Johnson

Amy H. Johnson is the author of The Fangirl Files a memoir about Boy Bands, TV Boyfriends and imaginary betrothals to 80s English pop stars. She prefers to be referred to as a "Cute Famous Boy Aficionado".

4 thoughts on “July 13, 1985

  1. It was truly a special concert – and it was when U2 made many of their fans, me included, and I’m still thre after all these years!

    • Thanks Sue!

      I was a U2 fan prior to Live Aid, but that performance “sealed the deal” so to speak! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think it’s so cool that July 13, 1985 still resonates with you, all these years later. And that you remember everything about the concert so clearly. It’s particularly impressive to me, because I am HORRIBLE with dates.

    I can generally remember the YEAR something happened, and how old I was when it happened (the latter is really just a matter of subtraction ;)), but when it comes to dates, I’m completely lost. I’m lucky if I remember the handful of dates that make it to my “birthday e-card” list each year.

    I really wish they started airing more concerts live on television like the one you just described. I get that, nowadays, artists make most of their money from selling concert tickets. But I still think it would be nice, every once in a while, for musicians to just share their music for music’s sake. Then again, what do I know? I have no musical talent whatsoever . . . 🙂

    Excellent post Amy! I can’t say I remember the concert. But listening to you describe it made me feel like I was there.

  3. I’d remember it if I was born earlier lol I wish my mom gave birth on this day instead of 11 days later-doctors should have induced labor on the 13th!

    I’ve watched the “Bad” video a bunch of times since you introduced it to me and you can just feel the emotion and how special the entire performance is. You knew this band was going places and to see it happen with Live Aid is unreal. A truly epic piece of U2’s glorious history.

    Happy anniversary to one hell of a performance 🙂

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