I can remember these as being really really special events where my favourite comedians would get together to do fun impromptu things – and all in the name of charity.
These are actually the long-running series of benefit shows in the UK. They raise money for Amnesty International. They started in the mid-1970s and were pretty much just comedy shows to begin with, but they soon included musicians in the 1980’s as well.
They’ve been pretty successful, and almost every comedian that is worth their salt and is a legend has taken part. Monty Python did it, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Rowan Atkinson, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Whoever was big at the time did it! The Musicans that have taken part include Bob Geldof, Bono, Sting and Peter Gabriel and they have all cited it as inspiring Live Aid and Live 8!
It’s been a pretty profitable franchise and still runs today! There have been TV specials, Video’s, Movies, Albums, Books. And they have also helped raise profile for other benefits like the Band Aid Trust, the Live Aid Foundation, AIDS & Trade in Africa.
I remember loving these shows, as it showed some of my favourite performers being off the cuff and trying new things. The sense of fun and anarchy came right through the TV screen and infected the me with excitement! They were great! And I have the book and the video when it came out. Really really funny and unique events.
I remember reading a review of the live show that said it just went on and on and on, because everyone was having so much fun! I would have LOVED to have been there!