IT was one of the greatest concerts of all time.
But 35 years on from Live Aid it’s been revealed that David Bowie celebrated by gate-crashing a wedding, while Sir Elton John donned a chef’s hat and rustled up a backstage barbecue.
The historic 16-hour rock marathon staged in London and Philadelphia — on July 13, 1985 — was a global sensation as 75 top acts performed, 1.6billion fans watched and Queen’s Freddie Mercury stole the show.
Here, Sarah Arnold reveals 20 fun facts you might not know about Live Aid.
1. A sign at Wembley told the stars to check their egos at the door.
2. Bob Geldof had to hitch-hike home after the gig because there were no taxis left.
3. Ronnie Wood played an epic air guitar after giving his away to Bob Dylan, who broke a string – until a stagehand ran on stage with a new instrument.
4. During The Who’s set, a red warning light flashed to alert the band that their time was up – but Pete Townshend smashed it and the band played on.
5. David Bowie gatecrashed a wedding reception at a cricket pitch used as a staging area to ferry stars in and out – to say sorry for the noise.
6. Elton John donned a chef’s hat and manned a barbecue backstage.
7. More people saw Bob Geldof using the F-bomb on TV during his emotional appeal for funds than watched the first moon landing.
8. Phil Collins, who performed at both gigs after flying on Concorde, opened his US set with: “I was in England this afternoon. Funny old world, innit?”
9. One of the more notable absences from Live Aid was Cliff Richard, who could not perform due to a prior commitment at a gospel charity concert.
10. During The Who’s song My Generation, a technical fault happened while Roger Daltrey sang the line “Why don’t you all fade away” – the feed cut and the US audience couldn’t see it.
11. Queen gave the greatest live performance in rock history but almost didn’t perform because Freddie Mercury was worried it could be seen as a political statement. Geldof talked him round.
12. Upon encountering Bowie in a powder blue suit, Freddie purred, “If I didn’t know you better I’d have to eat you.”
13. A young Madonna was described as an “up-and-coming singer”.
14. The Pretenders had to practise in a nearby pub because all the professional rehearsal spaces had been fully booked.
15. The late Paula Yates stopped at a petrol station on the way to the gig to buy some flowers for guest Princess Diana.
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