Monday, July 13, 2015

This Week in Television History: July 2015 PART II

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:


As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

July 13, 1985
Live Aid, a massive concert for African famine relief, takes place simultaneously in Philadelphia and London. 
In addition to 162,000 fans that attended the all-day event were 1.5 billion viewers worldwide who watched the show on MTV or other television stations. An estimated 75 percent of all radio stations around the world broadcast at least part of the concert.
Irish musician Bob Geldof, of the Boomtown Rats, organized the event. Among the participants were Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Madonna, Sting, and Tina Turner. Several disbanded groups came together again for the day, including Crosby, Stills and Nash; The Who; and surviving members of Led Zeppelin, including Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. All performers worked for free, as did many other concert workers. The production, which ordinarily would have cost $20 million to stage, cost only $4 million and raised more than $70 million for famine relief.
Despite the number of acts, the show ran surprisingly smoothly. Rotating stages allowed bands to set up and dismantle their equipment while other bands were onstage. Acts from one stadium were telecast across the Atlantic to the other. Such organization, however, did not characterize the group's later charitable efforts: Live Aid was later criticized for its disorganized and slow efforts to channel aid to Africa.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

 


 
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Tony Figueroa
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