July 11, 2021
In two days, on July 13, it will be thirty-six year since Live Aid was broadcast on MTV, and around the world simultaneously, for sixteen hours. There are so few events in my life that I can recall with such a sense of awe. I am old enough to have seen some of the Apollo missions from my backyard in Florida. And of course a shuttle launch or two. Some things that happened are of course tragic; the horrible events of Sept 11. I dont include the terrorism of the Oklahoma City bombing because we didnt really experience it as it happened.
But events like Live Aid go beyond attending a great concert. It was a rare moment of GLOBAL participation in a belief that we could, or someone could, change the world through actual CARING about other people and by the sharing of talents and gifts. Music carried not only the songs of our time, the music produced that day carried hopes and prayers of over a billion people.
I lived in a small bedroom above a garage in an old house in downtown Orlando, Florida. Windows lined one entire wall, I had a small metal bed, an antique trunk and dresser, and really not much else. The small television set sat on the dresser beside a plant and a small replica of the Eiffel Tower. My roommate downstairs had his television hooked up to big stereo speakers, and as I went back and forth from my room, to downstairs, doing I cannot remember what, the music propelled me through the day. Of course I remember many of the acts, Bryan Ferry, Allison Moyet, Elvis Costello, and throughout the day, Wet Wet Wet, Madonna, Wham!... you know the list.
But still, the performance of Queen is a standout. Not just because of the recent biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" which to me captured the energy so well. But the way I felt that day, its a feeling I have let slip into the back of memory too often. Watching the performance now, whether on YouTube or recreated in the film, I am still moved to wet eyed emotion.
A lot has gone wrong in my life since then. A LOT to be grateful for to be certain. A lot! I'm in no way discounting that. But the feeling of that day can still wipe out so many feelings of frustration or sadness. Not just the music, the collective thought and energy expended by strangers across the globe, has never been matched. If you are familiar with REGs (random event generators that measure fluctuations in random occurrences many believe can be impacted by collective thought,) we can barely imagine how they must have behaved that day. But like anything. If it was possible once, it is possible again. I guess thats what Im really reaching for. That idea of what I once KNEW was possible without a doubt, to be so central to my behavior today that nothing would stop me from achieving my every true wish.
So maybe, let's take a moment and sing a song sometimes. Even in our heads or our hearts, but lets do it together as often as possible.