Francis Rossi reflects upon Status Quo’s ‘special’ Live Aid performance 35 years on

From Planet Rock.

Status Quo guitarist and vocalist Francis Rossi has marked the 35th anniversary of Live Aid today (13th July) by reflecting upon the momentous concert at Wembley Stadium.

After the Coldstream Guards band opened with the Royal Salute and a brief version of ‘God Save the Queen’, at one minute past midday on a gloriously sunny Saturday 13th July 1985, Status Quo were the first band to grace the Wembley stage.

Live Aid was Status Quo’s first concert since the conclusion of the End of the Road Tour in Milton Keynes in July 1984, which, in Francis Rossi’s own words, ended with everybody “coked-up and hating each other.”

Despite these fraught tensions within the band, Status Quo triumphed during their 14-minute set at Live Aid and had the 72,000 strong Wembley crowd bouncing as they performed ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’, ‘Caroline’ and ‘Don’t Waste My Time’.

Ultimately it proved to be Status Quo’s only show of 1985 and their final gig with bassist Alan Lancaster (except the reunion Frantic Four tour in 2013-2014) and drummer Peter Kircher in their ranks.

Reflecting upon Live Aid on the event’s 35th anniversary today, Francis Rossi said:

“Whenever Quo step onto a stage we strive to give it our best, no one audience or gig is more important than another to the band, but it is undeniable that the 13th of July 1985 was special. There were serious tensions in the band at the time, I arrived in some ways wondering how I’d been persuaded to turn up.

“Some of the other acts were interested in who was going to play last, to headline, whilst we decided to go on first so that we could be done and dusted. Turned out to be a great decision, it was Quo’s music that kicked things off as seemingly the whole world’s attention came to bear to on what Live Aid was trying to communicate.

“It was over in a flash and, whilst I’m not one for nostalgia or dwelling on past glories, at the time it felt important and thirty-five years later it still does.”

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