Notes About This Concert
While on tour in Japan in 1985, Queen's auxiliary keyboardist, Spike Edney, was contacted by Bob Geldof, with whom Edney had worked during his time in the Geldof-fronted Boomtown Rats. He was asked to get the band's vibe on performing at Live Aid, and told Geldof that the mood was not at all contrite (being as this was the end of Queen's massive Works! tour, tensions were high). He was asked to get them to agree to it, and, after a bit of badgering on Spike's part, the band finally did.
Despite their reservations -- as revealed in the quotes section below -- the band treated it as any other gig by rehearsing extensively and making sure they were on top form. Considering the show came almost two months after their last live appearance, it was important to them to keep the wheels well lubricated.
The day of the concert, the band were introduced by comedians Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones at approximately 6.44 PM, and ran out onto the stage to a massive reception. Twenty minutes and six abbreviated songs later, the band walked off to deafening applause and cheers, knowing they had just given one of the best concert appearances of their career. The general consensus was that while U2 and David Bowie played amazing sets, Queen stole the show that day. Further, Brian, Roger, and John each commented that Live Aid was the concert that Freddie was able to show the world what kind of a showman he was; while Queen had put on a tremendous show, it was Freddie's energy that was the major contributor.
John Deacon - 1985
"We didn't know Bob Geldof at all. When 'Do They Know It's Christmas' was out, that was a lot of the newer acts. For the gig, he wanted to get a lot of the established acts. Our first reaction was, we didn't know – 20 minutes, no soundcheck! When it became apparent that it was going to happen, we'd just finished touring Japan and ended up having a meal in the hotel discussing whether we should do it... and we said yes. It was the one day that I was proud to be involved in the music business. A lot of days you certainly don't feel that! But the day was fabulous, people forgot that element of competitiveness... it was a good morale-booster for us too, because it showed us the strength of support we had in England, and it showed us what we had to offer as a band."
Brian May - 1985
"We've always had our quiet periods and comebacks. I think Live Aid proved we didn't need backdrops or cover of darkness. Geldof called Live Aid a jukebox, so it seemed obvious to us to simply play the hits and get off."