Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the globally televised Live Aid concerts for African famine relief, staged in London and in Philadelphia's long-gone JFK Stadium.
It was July 13, 1985: an enormous concert, a fundraiser for African famine relief, a day London and Philadelphia owned the attention of the world.
One of the day's biggest stories — MTV covered him as if he were a president or Pope — was Phil Collins' playing both London and Philly. He did a solo set at Wembley, then hopped a Concorde supersonic jet to New York's JFK Airport and, from there, a chopper to JFK Stadium, where he joined the Led Zeppelin reunion.
Also on the transatlantic flight was local philanthropist Kal Rudman, publisher of the influential, Cherry Hill-based radio-industry tip sheet, Friday Morning Quarterback, which told music-station programmers what records they should be playing.
Rudman had seen the London show, and when Collins learned he was on the flight, the musician insisted that Rudman sit next to him.
Rudman remembers that Collins experienced some jitters, but not because he was on his way to one of the day's most anticipated reunions, live in front of 100,000 people and a global TV audience estimated at one billion.
Said Rudman, "Phil later told me that when he saw me [on the plane], he died and went to heaven. Here he was, sitting next to the guy who determined whether his records were going to live or die. He was rather tongue-tied and nervous."
Singers Phil Collins and Sting are shown on stage during the Live Aid concert held at London’s Wembley Stadium, England, July 13, 1985. Collins will fly on the Concorde to perform at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, USA. The rock and roll telethon concert, to raise awareness for famine victims in Ethiopia, was broadcast around the world and raised $100 million dollars.
© Philly, by Chuck Darrow