Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Story behind 1985’s Live Aid is now a BBC movie

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story behind the 1985 benefit concert Live Aid—which raised funds for famine relief in Ethiopia—will be retold as the BBC TV movie When Harvey Met Bob. Domhnall Gleeson (son of actor Brendan Gleeson, and soon to be seen as Bill Weasley in the last Harry Potter film) will star as Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, who founded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” supergroup Band Aid and later organized Live Aid with Harvey Goldsmith. The film, commissioned to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the concert, will be a dramatic retelling of their story, picking up from the moment Geldof found former girlfriend Paula Yates holding their baby and crying as she watched televised footage of Eritrea feeding camps.

The rest of the movie will center around Geldof’s visit to Ethiopia and his realization that proceeds from the record sales of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” would not be enough to make a difference. To help, Geldof decided to stage a concert featuring a series of global performances that included Queen, David Bowie, U2, The Who, and Phil Collins at Wembley Stadium in London, and Joan Baez, Madonna, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Tina Turner, a reunited Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and a finale performance of “We Are The World” by supergroup USA For Africa at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium. Phil Collins famously flew via Concorde to appear at both concerts during the 16-hour musical benefit.

Live Aid raised an estimated $280 million and was seen by roughly 2 billion viewers. According to the report, one of the film’s producers said that the Live Aid story inspired them because it’s about “a fantastic relationship that is funny, moving, and born out of the real drama of trying to achieve something huge and unprecedented.” (Of course, something really huge and unprecedented would be convincing any of those musical acts to reappear for free in this film.)

Here are clips of Queen's performance at Wembley.

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