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Live Aid

Information and tour dates coming soon.

"Live Aid was one of the first global events, a colossal thing. And yet it passed so fast. It was over in 15 minutes. We started our set with Ghostdancing, a song we had written two days before. Suicidal or what? We were pretty ambitious. We laugh when people accuse us of playing it safe."

JL: You were the other side of the water for Live Aid.
JK: We were homesick! Live Aid came up and Geldof called us and he said "You've got to do Live Aid" and we said "Fantastic. And who's doing it?" and he told us and we said "Great." But he said they're in Wembley, but you're not going to do it in Wembley. And we said "No. We want to do it in Wembley." And he said "Don't be stupid. You're number one in America. You've got to do it in America." And we said "No. We want to do it in Wembley." "NO. You're doing it in America."
JK: So we did it in America. We had great memories of it but we wanted to be here playing with Bowie and Queen and U2 and Status Quo and The Who. But we went over there. And people ask "What do you remember of it?" And, what you've got to understand is, when you do these festival things or these events like that, that you've only got fifteen minutes or so, it flashes by you so quickly, it's hard for you to have a memory. But my memory of it... there's two. I remember we were going up on stage. And at that time you have to think about how colossal this was because there was is in America about 130,000 people in the Stadium. We'd never played two of the songs we were about to play live. Televised audience at that time was going to be the biggest globalised event ever. No much pressure then! And we're walking up to go on stage and the legendary American promoter Bill Graham walks up to us and we thought "Bill's come up. He's come to say 'Hello'." [Laughs] He stuck his head down in amongst us, like a bull, and he made clear "YOU MOTHERS GO ONE MINUTE OVER FIFTEEN MINUTES AND I'M GONNA RIP...." We were like "Auggghhh!" We had no intention of playing [over time]. I think he did that to everyone. It was terrifying.
JK: But I remember as well, he looked at me and he said "Who's the singer?" And I said "Me." And he said "Right. The presenter's going to introduce you. Go over to him. As soon as he gives you the nod, start playing." And I was thinking "It's the drummer who does all this stuff." But he just says "the presenter" he doesn't say who the presenter is. When we go upstairs, who's the presenter? Jack Nicholson. So, I just spent the next fifteen minutes thinking "Jack Nicholson!"
JK: Well, I spent the next thirteen minutes thinking Jack Nicholson. The last two minutes I spent thinking "Whatever made me think I should've worn these trousers?" I could feel them flapping in the wind. They would've been good for yachting. I don't know what I was thinking. But I just thought "Wrong trousers." That's my memory of Live Aid.

Jim Kerr and Janice Long
The Long Walk
BBC Radio 2
12th July 2018

The glossy tour programme for the JFK Stadium included a full page colour picture of each of the acts performing.

The band in the Live Aid photo booth.

JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, USA
July 13th, 1985
Main Set: Ghostdancing / Don't You (Forget About Me) / Promised You A Miracle


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