Bohemian Rhapsody, the 2018 biographical drama telling the story of Freddie Mercury and iconic British rock group Queen, culminated in a twenty-minute recreation of the band’s Live Aid performance from 1985.
The benefit concert was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the relief of the on-going famine in Ethiopia, with simultaneous gigs running at the old Wembley Stadium in the UK, and at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, US.
The legendary concert was attended by around 72,000 people at Wembley, and while many of the UK’s top artists performed that day, Queen’s set stole the show, and was even voted at the greatest live performance in the history of rock in 2005.
Bob Geldof, pictured in New York in February 2020, has been spending lockdown at home with his family, and has confessed to enjoying the time off
Pictured: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Gwilym Lee as Brian May in a scene from the 2018 movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, recreating Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance in 1985
The set was recreated in incredible detail in the 2018 movie, but despite his large involvement in organising the UK’s mega-gig, Bob Geldof admitted this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme that he hasn’t watched Bohemian Rhapsody.
‘I haven’t seen it,’ he admitted on the programme, before describing his experience of visiting the set of the movie with Queen’s guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.
‘I went with Brian and Rodger up to the fields, I think in Hampshire, where they’d built Wembley. The set designs were extraordinary.
‘I went back-stage, and that was really, really weird, because that was exactly the same as backstage Wembley. The detail, walking up the ramp to the stage was the same, so that sensation was very weird.’
For the movie, the Live Aid set was recreated. In the interview, Geldof said that the etail of the set was just like walking into the real thing
Picrured: Freddie Mercury of the band Queen at Live Aid on July 13, 1985 in London, United Kingdom
Pictured: Remi Malek as Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody
When pressed for why he hadn’t watched the film, however, with Radio 4’s entertainment correspondent Colin Patterson saying that lockdown would have been the perfect time to do it, Geldof strongly disagreed.
‘A film about Queen? That’s the perfect opportunity? Lockdown. I watched Godfather One and Two – That’s the perfect time to revisit – do me a favour!’
Geldof also admitted to having not watched the ‘One World: Together At Home’ concert, organised by Lady Gaga, which saw a host of stars perform via video link, which has been called the ‘Lockdown LiveAid’ by many.
‘No, I wasn’t interested. Well done her and everybody for doing it, but I don’t understand the purpose. You know, the pseudo-intimacy of Zoom – There’s no need for us to be Zooming this, it’s just as good on the phone,’ he said, referring to the interview he was doing.
‘The snatches I saw, there was no emotional response from me – Gaga was correct to try and do it. She’s an artist, she felt a responsibility, she got the others to come to the party.
‘And then there had to be a political agenda behind it, which would achieve – what? What was it they wanted?’
The Live Aid dual venue benefit concert was held on 13th July 1985 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The concerts were organised as a follow up to the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know Its Christmas?’, the brainchild of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for the victims of famine in Ethiopia
Legendary: Queen’s set stole the show, and was even voted at the greatest live performance in the history of rock in 2005
Geldof offered some insight into what he had been doing during lockdown. He said that two hours prior to the government announcing lockdown, his band, The Boomtown Rats, had announced a tour of the new record, but confessed to enjoying the time off.
‘The enforced interludes, the guilt free inactivity, means every day’s a Sunday. The night before last we put up a screen outside and made cocktails and wines and made popcorn and watched Godfather I and II into the wee wee hours.
‘I’m well aware that I’m not on the twelfth floor in a two bedroom flat, nor do I forget that so I go on a 58-mile round journey.’
Patterson noted that Geldof had rarely been one to follow the rules, to which the musician said: ‘There’s a higher authority, which is the authority of nature, so like 99.9% of the country, we took that seriously, which is what makes the current embroilment with the government absolutely despicable in my view.’
His criticism of the government didn’t stop there. He went on to note that the coronavirus had also been a distraction from other news as well.
‘Would we have to go back to austerity for at least the 10 years we’ve just lived through, conceivably millions unemployed here. We probably are in a depression. I imagine at the very least the government programme has been kicked into touch.
‘What it’s also done of course is directed attention away from the disastrous Brexit negotiations going on, and I wish this was discussed more.’