Memories of Live Aid

July 22, 2010

So I was watching a BBC documentary about Live Aid the other day.  It was really rather good and a lot of fun.
But it makes me feel a little bit sad too.

Let me explain.  At that time I was about 11 and I was as crazy about music then as I am now.  Live Aid was a culturally significant event, but more importantly to me, a musically significant event.  I knew I had to watch it and I was very excited about it.

It was a fantastically hot day.  The telly went on and I remember having the schedule for the days events printed in that day’s Daily Mirror in front of me.  As I was doing so my dad told me we would be going to a wedding reception in a few hours and I shouldn’t get too excited.

This was the first I’d heard of it and it didn’t go down well with me at all.  Who’s wedding reception?  Why?  What sort of idiot would get married on a day like this?  (I didn’t realise at the time that most people spend more time arranging their wedding than Bob Geldof spent arranging Live Aid – 12 weeks apparently).  I begged.  I bargained.  I got nowhere.  I was going to miss the biggest gig the world had ever seen.

When I watched the documentary last night, various talking heads spoke about how it was like the Jubilee.  How the streets were empty.  How every television set was tuned to Live Aid and every window was open blasting out the greatest show on earth.  I honestly have no idea if it was like that.  I was stuck in a church hall, sitting on an orange plastic chair drinking lemonade watching a load of happy people being happy.  Humpf!

I hadn’t thought about this Live Aid debacle in a long time but after this documentary it suddenly struck me.  My parents never went to wedding receptions.  The couple in question weren’t close friends of my parents.  While watching this documentary I suddenly realised why we went to a wedding reception.  The couple in question were regulars in my dad’s local pub who probably realised with mounting horror that their wedding day was going to be usurped by Geldof’s big day.  They probably had images in their minds of a church hall that was empty and a wedding cake that now seemed bigger than necessary.

I guess people in the pub rallied around.  And because of this there was a good turn out and people seemed to enjoy themselves.  And we still gave money to Live Aid like everybody else.

Thanks to my parents (and others) a nice couple got to enjoy a jolly wedding reception.

My parents are nothing if not lovely.

But I still hate them!  Are you reading this mum and dad!  I hate you! Hate you! Hate you!  You destroyed my life that day!  Destroyed it!!!

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