Live Aid 1985 photo gallery: What's your favorite?

Madonna-live-aid-1985_l Twenty-four years ago today, the original Live Aid concerts brought an impressive lineup of stars to London and Philadelphia to raise money for hunger in Africa. Now, you might argue that the appropriate time to commemorate this event would be next July 13, Live Aid’s proper 25th anniversary. But why wait when EW’s corporate sibling, Life, has just put together such a cool gallery of photos from the 1985 concerts?

Click over for an assortment of youthful-looking megastars. Bono chatting up some policewomen while wearing a ridiculous hat! Ozzy Osbourne bathing in purest Evian! Paul McCartney striking a pose with David Bowie! And, of course, Madonna rocking a serious hairdo and an even serious-er tambourine (pictured above)!

Go check out all 35 snapshots, then weigh in: Which ones are your favorites? Were any of you there at the original Live Aid shows back in ’85?

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  • pai

    Poor Phil Collins, jetted from one show to the other but didn’t make the photo gallery. Seriously what I remember is seeing so many top names having a good time. But it was the Clapton set that really knocked my socks off. I always liked him, but that turned me into some kind of Claptonian forever.

  • Beaver

    I love the B&W photo of Freddie Mercury backstage after Queen’s performance. You can see by the look on his face he left everything out there on the stage, and it showed through in Queen’s performance and the audience’s response. RIP Freddie.

  • PeterBilt The Nature Boy

    The Bowie and Mccartney pic is great. Whats up with Mr. mean Mug on the left in that pic of The Who backstage? Is he being Arty? Does he always look like that? And why the heck is he wearing a leather jacket in that heat?

  • Q97

    Can’t pick a favorite – what an amazing collection of amazing artists. And whatever happened to Sade – she was great.

  • Bobby’s Robot

    Mick & Tina; and Freddie.

  • Howard

    My friends and I were on the field in Philly, and there were a ton of technical difficulties so we missed a lot of moments from England. There was also a banner up to the right of the stage that said “Where’s the Boss?” because people were expecting Springsteen to show. He didn’t. One big highlight for me: seeing the entire crowd air-drumming when Phil Collins did “In the Air Tonight” solo on the piano.
    I would have appreciated the show a lot more if I’d been more into music at the time. But you definitely got a sense of the event if you were there.

  • Rock Golf

    I was there. Took a bus from Toronto and arrived at JFK about 5 am.
    The bathroom situation was so bad that women were going to the men’s room in pairs, one standing guard for the other. Wonder whatever happened to that nobody who begged Bill Graham to open the show.
    Sadly, there were only 2 US acts under 30 at the show: Run-DMC (who came on right after a reunited Black Sabbath) and Madonna who turned booing upon her introduction into a standing ovation within 15 minutes through sheer force of will. made me a believer.
    Patti LaBelle had to fill about 30 minutes while ABC showed highlights from earlier in the day. Her mic died and she still had the Philly audience eating out of her hand.
    The cheers when Phil Collins introduced three friends: Plant, Page & Jones. A standing O for paralyzed Teddy Pendergrass (from a mostly white crowd). The Jagger/Tina Turner on-stage chemistry. A reunited CSN&Y. Too many memories.

  • jane

    Phil Collins not in any shots? He was the hardest working musician that day for sure. My favorite pic…a tie between Freddie Mercury, and Mick and Tina. Talent and un-rivaled showmanship, they all were the absolute best performances from both sides of the pond.

  • jose

    The King of Rock, MR.FREDDIE MERCURY!!!`

  • Melissa

    I was there in Philadelphia for the concert that day!! I was 15. Was one of the best days of my life. Saw such amazing acts! It was also about 100 degrees that day and the lines for the bathroom were close to an hour long for most of the day. But I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and Phil Collins doing both London and Philadelphia in the same day was so totally cool! Most of the best acts were in London, but Madonna was great, along with Queen and Duran Duran (what can I say, it was the 80s).

  • Joao Paulo

    My favorite? Duran Duran.. the best band in the World!! I will be there in Edinburg 16/07!! YES!!

  • Nate

    Madonna all the way, God I love that woman.
    And Freddy Mercury, he truly rocked in ways even Bono wishes he could.

  • Amy

    I was there that hot glorious day. I remember the floor crowd getting hosed down…such a tease for us in the stands sweltering. I remember when Bono came on at noon and just took my breath way. Even though I was in RFK, I felt his presence from Wembley and would have followed him anywhere. I’ve forgotten most of the hundred concerts I’ve been to since then, but Live-Aid was memorable.

  • darolo

    I was there that day. I went all the way from England to see the one and only Madonna. My friends were all going to Live Aid London and thought I was crazy but hell I love that woman. Have always followed her and have seen everyone of her Tours many times. Just seen her 3 times in the Uk and she still rocks!

  • Roxy

    Duran Duran for sure. Where’s their picture???

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