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Live Aid: It was twenty years ago today...

...that I witnessed the greatest concert ever. Live Aid. On that great day I sat stage left along with my girlfriend, Chris, and friend, Jay Friel. We sat in our seats for roughly 13 hours and watched rock and roll history unfold before our eyes. Live Aid Philadelphia

There were so many moments I remember about that day. I recall witnessing the Crosby Stills Nash and Young reunion, Tina Turner performing a duet with Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan made up an acoustic trio with Keith Richard and Ron Wood. Led Zeppelin reformed with Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums, Black Sabbath with front man Ozzy Osbourne performing Iron Man at 10 in the morning, and Bo Didley and Albert Collins joined George Thorogood. Also performing that hot day in Philly were Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Cars, Bryan Adams, Hall & Oates with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, The Beach Boys, Run DMC, Eric Clapton, Madonna, and Duran Duran and so many others.

On the other side of the pond there we watched Freddie Mercury and Queen's greatest moment. Here we were -- three thousand miles away clapping along with the band as they performed Radio Ga Ga. It was wonderful. The Wembley line-up also included Paul McCartney, Adam Ant, Elvis Costello, BB King, The Pretenders, Paul Young, Spandau Ballet, Cliff Richard, Bryan Ferry, Paul Weller, Alison Moyet, Ultravox, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, INXS and my favorite moment of the the entire day - U2. It was during their performance that I fell in love with the band -- specifically during the song Bad. I remember Bono jumping into the crowd and slow dancing with this girl for what seemed like five minutes. It was rock and roll and its best.

One particular non-music memory includes the fact that, for whatever reason, I wore jeans that day and at one point I tried to use a pen to rip a hole in them so that I could make shorts. I was unsuccessful. So, I sat and listened to the music as I watched the shade move across the stadium towards me. Just about the time we were finally sitting in shade Led Zeppelin took the stage. Stairway to Heaven never sounded cooler.

I've seen many concerts - hundreds - and in my opinion July 13th, 1985 the world witnessed the greatest concert ever.

Download/Listen
U2 - Bad (Live Aid)

Paul Altobelli

Home Office, 1219 Martin Ave, Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002, United States