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U2 => General U2 Discussion => Topic started by: adam1 on April 20, 2009, 12:10:28 PM

Title: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: adam1 on April 20, 2009, 12:10:28 PM
As a teenager in 1985,  I did'nt know much about U2. Liked 'New Years Day' & 'Pride' but that was it. However the first thing I remember about Live Aid was seeing a lot of U2 flags. 'They must have loyal fans' I thought. A few hours later me, my dad and sister sat mesmorised as Bono blew everyone away. My sister was a 'Spandau Ballet' fan and was upset as she knew U2 had stolen the show.

A few weeks later and all of U2's album's had re entered the charts. There was a buzz about them they had got a whole lot of new people interested. Bono even managed to get 'Clannad' into the charts.  I bought their four albums and loved them. Live Aid had given U2 breathing space to spend as long as they wanted on their next album. Three years after UF, JT came out, record shops opened at midnight around the country. They broke America and became the biggest band in the world.

However would all this have happened if Live Aid did'nt happen ? The millions of fans that saw Live Aid and became instant fans (like me) would'nt have happened. Their record company may have given them deadlines of one or two years, so JT may not have been a classic. There certainly would'nt have been record shops opening at midnight. Clannad getting into the charts, forget it. Thank god for 'Saint Bob'.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: berol on April 20, 2009, 12:23:12 PM
They had a sizeable US following before Live Aid.  War hit #12 I think and Under a Blood Red Sky was all over MTV.  The Amnesty tour was the big buzz before Joshua Tree came out.  The air was such before the release that a horrible album would have hit #1.  Though, it wouldn't have stayed there long.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Johnny Amsterdam on April 20, 2009, 12:25:32 PM
I remember that day real clear. I knew about U2 and that they were really good. My brother used to play them alot. I really was waiting for them to come. Was a great day in rock history. If I recall clearly I recorded it on video and on tape. and set placed the on the map. Great days great band in those days.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: suitoflights on April 20, 2009, 03:41:08 PM
it was an iconic era-defining performance.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: tohydroman on April 20, 2009, 03:59:21 PM
I'm gonna come out and say it... They were making a name for themselves no doubt but "Bad" made U2 what they are today. That performance live solidified U2 as the "band of the 80's" by Rolling Stone magazine and showed millions of people at the same time that there was something very special about this band, something we all knew before the masses realized it.
It showed everyone what a live act should be like. Bet you it even made Freddy and Queen take notice as they were huge that day too.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: jick on April 20, 2009, 09:20:55 PM
If it never happened, U2 would never be as big with the Joshua Tree and would not need to reinvent themselves with Achtung Baby.  And we would never hear a mess that was POP.

Cheers,

J
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Joe90usa on April 20, 2009, 09:27:26 PM
It was Queen's day. I know sometimes U2 fans go back and rewrite history to say it was U2's day, but that's not what happened. Put on the DVD and watch. No band had more crowd response than Queen did on that day.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: j2736 (i'm not a boy ! ) on April 21, 2009, 12:11:34 AM
i would have not been a fan if i had not seen the boys play Sunday Bloody Sunday in Live Aid. it was my first time to see them play, and even, heard about them. i'm so grateful to God Live Aid happened. :)
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 21, 2009, 01:36:13 AM
I was 12 when Live Aid came out, and not yet a U2 fan. When I came round to liking U2 a year or two later, I remembered them as the "Live Aid band" despite knowing them before from New Years Day and Bad on the radio. For me as a 12 year old, it made little difference, but for anyone who was slightly older than me, it might have. Would JT be less successful without Live Aid? probably. AB/ZooTV as big? probably not.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Jazz on April 21, 2009, 01:42:07 AM

Cynics say a lot of rock stars used Live Aid to promote themselves - as U2 have NEVER engaged in cynical self promotion I would suggest Live Aid had nothing at all to do with their rise to mega stardom.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: tohydroman on April 21, 2009, 02:35:45 PM
Live Aid had everything to do with what U2 are today. With Live Aid U2 would never had received the amount of time needed to make their masterpiece JT.
They didn't use it to promote themselves but the just did what they normally did but with the exception of 1.5 billion people realizing it at the same time.
Queen had a fantastic performance but I'm willing to bet they realized that day who their only live act successor was going to be. Remember... Queen was at their prime while U2 were just starting to emerge as a very serious contender for their spot.
Also Queen had everybody rocking but I'd say U2 had everybody in a more subdued and emotional state.
I read that Bono thought he ruined the bands career that day with the "Bad" performance and was seriously thinking of dibanding but then came in all the reviews around the world about this special "heart tugging" performance that changed a lot of people worldwide.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 22, 2009, 05:25:21 AM
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Cynics say a lot of rock stars used Live Aid to promote themselves - as U2 have NEVER engaged in cynical self promotion I would suggest Live Aid had nothing at all to do with their rise to mega stardom.

Disagree - intended or not, every artist at Live Aid were promoted by attending and performing at the show. It wasn't a purely altruistic act by the bands.

The fact that Nik Kershaw is probably only remembered by people who were alive when it was on and that U2 have fans who see them live that were born years after Live Aid just shows how much U2 used the platform to "show how much they care" and sparked an interest in the band.

An interest that gained fans that wouldnt have neccessarily got into the band otherwise, and the JT wouldn't have had as much sales without Live Aid.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Jazz on April 22, 2009, 05:27:44 AM
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Cynics say a lot of rock stars used Live Aid to promote themselves - as U2 have NEVER engaged in cynical self promotion I would suggest Live Aid had nothing at all to do with their rise to mega stardom.

Disagree - intended or not, every artist at Live Aid were promoted by attending and performing at the show. It wasn't a purely altruistic act by the bands.

The fact that Nik Kershaw is probably only remembered by people who were alive when it was on and that U2 have fans who see them live that were born years after Live Aid just shows how much U2 used the platform to "show how much they care" and sparked an interest in the band.

An interest that gained fans that wouldnt have neccessarily got into the band otherwise, and the JT wouldn't have had as much sales without Live Aid.

I think to be fair, for most artists (U2 included), it was a mixture of a charitable act AND a chance for massive exposure.

U2 are masters of self promotion, cynical or otherwise.

Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: indiansummer on April 22, 2009, 05:52:08 AM
I think the idea of self-promotion is something new and a product of the time we are in now so pretty irrelevant to Live Aid , in 1985 things were a bit more genuine. All the bands that were on the bill at Live Aid were asked to perform. It was a first, a unique ground breaking concert and for a cause that gripped millions of people around the world thanks to Sir Bob.
 ALL the greatest performers of that era were there.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Jazz on April 22, 2009, 05:57:38 AM
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I think the idea of self-promotion is something new and a product of the time we are in now so pretty irrelevant to Live Aid , in 1985 things were a bit more genuine. All the bands that were on the bill at Live Aid were asked to perform. It was a first, a unique ground breaking concert and for a cause that gripped millions of people around the world thanks to Sir Bob.
 ALL the greatest performers of that era were there.

I think that's a very naieve view - in the case of U2 they have never made a secret of how big they wanted to become and money was a big part of that.

Nothing wrong with it but 1985 wasn't any more or less genuine that 2009. People were still hungry for success and money - self promotion is obviously a big part of that.

I'm not a cynical as some observers about Live Aid - I'm just making the point that inevitably, some or all artists would have seen it (in part) as a vehicle for greater exposure.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 22, 2009, 06:03:42 AM
On a lighter note - What if Live Aid never happened?

I wouldn't have a DVD snapshot of all my favourite artists when I was 12. I have no other DVD that captures a part of my life in one single box.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: sceptic prophet on April 22, 2009, 07:27:40 AM
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I think the idea of self-promotion is something new and a product of the time we are in now so pretty irrelevant to Live Aid , in 1985 things were a bit more genuine. All the bands that were on the bill at Live Aid were asked to perform. It was a first, a unique ground breaking concert and for a cause that gripped millions of people around the world thanks to Sir Bob.
 ALL the greatest performers of that era were there.


That sentence is easily proved wrong by mentioning a few well known great bands/artists of that era that weren't there:

Talking Heads
Echo & The Bunnymen
The Waterboys
The Cure
Kate Bush
R.E.M.
Nick Cave
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 22, 2009, 07:29:48 AM
Kate Bush!! *shiver* Strangely I never took to her.

Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Dark Angel on April 22, 2009, 07:35:05 AM
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Kate Bush!! *shiver* Strangely I never took to her.



thats not a strange thing its a good thing
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 22, 2009, 07:37:45 AM
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Kate Bush!! *shiver* Strangely I never took to her.



thats not a strange thing its a good thing

hehehe. I had a happy childhood. Till Kate Bush came along. Running up a hill or Patruckia went though me like a sharp night - something that I kept with as an adult! :)
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Bobo on April 22, 2009, 08:35:59 AM
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If it never happened, U2 would never be as big with the Joshua Tree and would not need to reinvent themselves with Achtung Baby.  And we would never hear a mess that was POP.

Cheers,

J


OMG Jick, I now see the truth about your POP digs, somehow you find a way to attack POP in almost every post you make. Why don't you just add it to your signature...like this.

POP Sucks....

Cheers,

J
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on April 22, 2009, 09:42:51 AM
Let's be honest about Live Aid for a second.

First off, I was THRILLED when the DVD came out, that was a great day overall with some wonderful moments, but for the most part the performances were not very good.

Queen was the exception, the STOLE the day, U2's performance was kind of botched but was very dramatic and thus it is memorable for that reason.

As for U2, it was Bono calls for a crowd member to be pulled out to do his 'dance with the audience member' bit (he had been doing something similar on quite a few dates on that tour).

His chosen partners were pulled out, but the 'idiot' security guys took them away, you can see Bono point after them as they are whisked away. So he leaps down, pulls another girl out, dances, goes back up to the stage and who is there ? The girl(s) that had been previously pulled out ! The security guys had actually taken them up to the stage.

Anyhow, it was a memorable moment for sure, but on the day the great musical performances were few and far between. The US side of things was especially shambolic.

U2 had planned to play 'Pride' after Bad but ran out of time.

I remember watching it, turning to my U2-fan girlfriend at the time and we both had a WTF moment. Only in the light of history has it become a performance of legend, but at the time it was NOT seen as the triumph it has been since blown up to be.



Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: indiansummer on April 22, 2009, 10:10:55 AM
Everyone who was anyone in music at that time played there, so basically those who were good live would naturally come to the fore. There was no option to promote your band except by your ability to play. 
 
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: indiansummer on April 22, 2009, 10:18:02 AM
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Let's be honest about Live Aid for a second.



I remember watching it, turning to my U2-fan girlfriend at the time and we both had a WTF moment. Only in the light of history has it become a performance of legend, but at the time it was NOT seen as the triumph it has been since blown up to be.





Not sure about that?
The stories in the papers next day were of only two bands Queen and U2, all u2's albums shot up the charts right after.

It was a who's who of music that played though, REM were not big enough to play there in mid 1985. They didn't break big until later.   
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on April 22, 2009, 10:26:12 AM
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Let's be honest about Live Aid for a second.



I remember watching it, turning to my U2-fan girlfriend at the time and we both had a WTF moment. Only in the light of history has it become a performance of legend, but at the time it was NOT seen as the triumph it has been since blown up to be.





Not sure about that?
The stories in the papers next day were of only two bands Queen and U2, all u2's albums shot up the charts right after.

It was a who's who of music that played though, REM were not big enough to play there in mid 1985. They didn't break big until later.   


I was commenting more those of us already long time U2 fans at the time (we didn't have internet forums, but we had fanzines and stuff) not people who became U2 fans and bought albums as a result of that performance. Obviously to them it was more of an "omigod" moment !



Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: MEMORY_MAN on April 22, 2009, 01:31:53 PM
I was very excited about the DVD.  My only gripe is the sound quality.  Couldn't it have been better remastered in 5.1. 
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: sceptic prophet on April 23, 2009, 03:19:28 AM
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It was a who's who of music that played though, REM were not big enough to play there in mid 1985. They didn't break big until later.   


Why insist with this unsubstantiated idea? If you don't consider Kate Bush, Echo & the Bunnymen or The Cure big enough to belong to the "who's who" in 1985, which is at least very debatable, then I'll give you 3 names that were already huge stars in 1985 but who were not at Live Aid:

Lou Reed

Iggy Pop

Van Morrison
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: daveyg on April 23, 2009, 04:22:56 AM
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I was very excited about the DVD.  My only gripe is the sound quality.  Couldn't it have been better remastered in 5.1. 

considering it was pieced together by home VHS tapes and old BBC tapes (Sir Bob insisted at the time he didn't want any copies being sold), the sound quality wasn't too bad!
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Sydney_Mike on April 23, 2009, 05:01:08 AM
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If it never happened, U2 would never be as big with the Joshua Tree and would not need to reinvent themselves with Achtung Baby.  And we would never hear a mess that was POP.

This is like 6 degrees of separation and Kevin Bacon. You start any thread and Jick can link it all back to Pop.  :D
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Sydney_Mike on April 23, 2009, 05:15:03 AM
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I think the idea of self-promotion is something new and a product of the time we are in now so pretty irrelevant to Live Aid , in 1985 things were a bit more genuine. All the bands that were on the bill at Live Aid were asked to perform. It was a first, a unique ground breaking concert and for a cause that gripped millions of people around the world thanks to Sir Bob.
 ALL the greatest performers of that era were there.

Can I suggest that if you genuinely believe that was the case, then you track down a copy of Bob Geldolf's biography "Is that all?". The UK stars were certainly more sincere in their motives, but he does hint that some well known acts of that time are conspicuous by their absence. He also tells of the lavish banquet put on for USA for Africa, stars arriving in limousines and competing for profile. All rather sad really.

I agree with Joe, that Queen stole the show and would suggest that Bowie's performance was also up there as well. U2 certainly gained significant publicity from the occassion, but they were already capturing people's attention before then. They already had UABRS under their belt and only 9 months earlier had sold out 5 shows in Sydney at a 12,000 seat arena. This was just before TUF was released and when Pride was just being heard for the first time. THey were always going to be big.

DaveyG, the DVD may be a snapshot of the music of our time, but good grief there were some scary fashion disasters!  :o
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: indiansummer on April 23, 2009, 11:15:35 AM
When I think of Live Aid I always think of Band Aid and the Wembley show rather than the US versions. But doesn't surprise me that the American incarnation was tarnished.
It's true they were capturing people's attention especially after the release of the Unforgettable Fire the previous year but Live Aid brought them to a worldwide audience with an incredible performance that for them was nothing special as they played exactly as they did at any live show including the dancing with the lassie part, it was just that more people were exposed to how incredible they were live.
No one engages the crowd like Bono, Freddie was great but it was more like a pub singalong, U2 have always moved on a higher plain.

 
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: jackofhearts on April 23, 2009, 11:37:39 AM
Sure Queen were good performers, but that doesn't make their music good.  One of the most over-rated bands ever.  U2's performance was better, because they had better songs. 
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: DGordon1 on April 23, 2009, 11:40:57 AM
Can't agree with that, Queen were pretty damn special. Their music had such zest and energy.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: adam1 on April 23, 2009, 11:42:39 AM
Everyone who appeared at Live Aid enhanced their career.

Queen were already a big band that had been around over a decade and had number 1 singles. Live Aid just enhanced their mainstream popularity. However they became an even bigger live band and played two shows at Wembley the following year. Quite an achievement in 1986.

Even Status Quo became popular again. Live shows in general became much more popular and artists were suddenly playing stadiums rather than arenas.

Compared to Queen & Status Quo, U2 were quite unknown. They were also a young and emerging band. Most of the young people watching the great performances at live aid (like me) were probably going to latch onto U2 rather than somewhat unfashionable older or popier artists.
Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: adam1 on April 23, 2009, 11:51:35 AM
Regarding U2's performance. Planned or spontaneous ?

Bono said he had received a kiss from Linda Mccartney just before going on stage. This put him in euphoric mood. He said he was upset that he did'nt get to perform Pride and was deflated until getting feedback on his performance from other people.

I'm sure Bono must have looked at the earlier artists performances at Live Aid and thought they were'nt up to much. U2 were already regarded as the world's top live band and had continually toured, often in big stadiums  He would have wanted to shake up the crowd a bit and show them what U2 are all about. He often jumped into crowds or pulled women out to dance with & his performances were always energetic.

Whether his jump into the crowd was planned or spontaneous, one thing is certain - Bono had gambled and won.



Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on April 23, 2009, 11:54:49 AM
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Everyone who appeared at Live Aid enhanced their career.

Queen were already a big band that had been around over a decade and had number 1 singles. Live Aid just enhanced their mainstream popularity. However they became an even bigger live band and played two shows at Wembley the following year. Quite an achievement in 1986.

Even Status Quo became popular again. Live shows in general became much more popular and artists were suddenly playing stadiums rather than arenas.

Compared to Queen & Status Quo, U2 were quite unknown. They were also a young and emerging band. Most of the young people watching the great performances at live aid (like me) were probably going to latch onto U2 rather than somewhat unfashionable older or popier artists.

Again, let's be clear on U2's status at the time.

Look at the audience, full of U2 flags.

U2 were also headlining Milton Keynes Bowl, no mean feat.

US-side is different obviously.



Title: Re: Live Aid - What if it never happened ?
Post by: Jazz on April 23, 2009, 12:13:55 PM
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Can't agree with that, Queen were pretty damn special. Their music had such zest and energy.

Yeah, I dug Queen the most - Freddie was probably the worlds best rock n roll performer...