1985’s Live Aid is arguably one of the most iconic shows and fundraisers ever put to stage. Simultaneously performed at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, the gig was attended by a combined total of 161,484 people and raised $127 million for famine relief in Africa.
The Wembley performance alone was graced by the likes of U2, David Bowie, Sting, Phil Collins, Queen, The Who, Elton John and Paul McCarney. A star-studded cast to say the least.
However, there was one notable star missing: Rod Stewart. At the time, rumours suggested that the singer simply didn’t have enough time to get the band together, even though he had just finished a world tour and his version of ‘Some Guys Have All The Luck’ had got to No. 10 in the US the previous year.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Stewart confirmed “[they] were actually supposed to do it”. He goes on to reveal that he discovered their “ex-manager turned it down because [he] wasn’t getting the right news coverage” and wouldn’t put Stewart on the stage unless he got on the CBS news at 10 o’clock. “I only just found out” he went on. “I thought it was weird I didn’t do it.”
Considering the main purpose of Live Aid was to raise money for those in need, this was understandably disheartening to Stewart. “That’s not what it was all about. It was to raise money for kids. It wasn’t about what news channel you were going to be on in America”
Though it’s bleak that we can only dream of Stewart being up on the stage with the rest of Band Aid, the interview went on to debunk some of music and hair’s greatest myths. “The only thing I used to use when I first started getting this ‘bouffant’, as they call it in France, was warm water and sugar… I’ve never used mayonnaise. That’s ridiculous. Can you imagine the smell?”
There you have it.
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Stewart is currently doing the rounds promoting his new album The Tears of Hercules available now.