Andrew Kendall’s Photos of Madonna at Live 8.
Bob Geldof will probably be best remembered not for his vocal stylings with the Boomtown Rats, but for the “Live Aid” concert held (primarily) at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985. Bob is back, this time with what’s being called “Live 8,” a concert to be held in Hyde Park on July 2, with a lineup including McCartney, Sting, Madonna, Coldplay, the Cure, R.E.M., and even Mariah Carey. The event is, in Geldof’s words, “not for charity but for political justice.” It is meant to draw attention to the appalling conditions that exist in many places on the African continent. The concert will be followed, not coincidentally, by the G8 summit in Edinburgh, Scotland; Geldof is urging people to go to Edinburgh to protest on behalf of debt relief and aid for Africa. Oh, yes, U2 will be at Live 8, though that should go without saying.*
What’s interesting to consider is whether concerts and attendant or associated protests have the same cultural resonance that they once did. The fact that there are artists and performers who are willing to forego their usual stipends for a live performance on behalf of people less fortunate has always been a good thing, although one might wonder whether there aren’t PR consultants who are recommending the participation of, say, Sirrahs Paul and Elton (yes, he’s scheduled, too) in order to maintain public visibility, which can have positive consequences on their disc sales. Perhaps it was ever thus. Without the counsel of the high-priced advisor. The old saw has it, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” Only one part of that is correct.