The duality reared its head in the tabloid coverage. The Sun and Star leapt upon the Tory attacks on the Mandela Day. and editorialised accordingly. but that didn’t prevent them exploiting it by splashing the full story with pictures all over their pages. After the tabloids discovery that pop sells papers. Band Aid was a godsend. Never mind the participants who had drug records as long as their arms, all were reborn in the white heat of Live Aid.
So caught up were the tabloids in this tidal wave ofcompassion, the realisation of the early Eighties that pop stars sell papers and the novel image of the rock star as paragon of virtue (completely mistaken of course. but it‘s easy in the simplified world of the tabloid to ignore a performer‘s part in the deforestation ofthe Highlands when they're getting misty-eyed about the poor folks in a lower tax bracket) that the Sun got together a crew for its own benefit single. in aid ofthe families ofthe Zeebrugge ferry disaster victims.
The charity single has cut across all borders. If it's a well-known enough cause. with well-known enough performers. like the Band Aid single. Ferry Aid and Wet Wet Wet’s recent ‘With A Little Help From My Friends‘ in aid ofChildline, it’ll be clogging up the airwaves for months — unless. that is your name's Boy George and you‘ve released a single attacking Clause 28, in which case it
2 4K FIFE AID 2 i M
The big event of the Scottish music calender this year has to be Fife Aid 2, taking place at Craigtoun Park near Saint Andrews on the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July. Going underthe by-llne ‘David Bellamy’s Festival For The Future’, the festival is the British contribution to Live Earth Day, an international event (honorary adviser: Michael Dukakls) taking in simultaneous concerts throughout the world, all aimed at promoting a greater awareness of the irreparable damage being done to the world around us, and how it can be avoided.
Its predecessor, File Aid for Africa, took place in 1086, inspired by Bob Geldof‘s Band Ald efforts, and was a purely small-scale festival, headlined by Bun Rig. This follow-up, as part of the networked environmental link-up with a potential audience of over one billion people for the three of the ten hours oi broadcast time it has been allotted, concentrates on long-term methods of famine relief, and the preservation of the planet's ecosystem. Unfortunately, British TV will not be carrying the event, though highlights of Fife Ald may be televised
won’t get played. And then on the other end of the scale there‘s small indie groups donating ‘all the proceeds’ from their new single to their favourite cause, whether it be Rape Crisis or CND, even though ‘all the proceeds’ from the record wouldn’t keep your average anarcho-punk band in lentils for a week anyway.
The political implications of the cause weren‘t the only reasons that the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Party became a hot potato. Two
- years after Live Aid the cracks were
showing in the ever-expanding bubble of the benefit concerts. The second International AIDS Day Party, scheduled for the end of May was cancelled after only 1000 out of a possible 9000 tickets were sold, sponsors Durex meeting the outstanding expenses. The problem was that stars were loath to pledge their support, saving their exposure on the benefit circuit either for the Mandela concert or the two-day Amnesty International Festival of Youth show at Milton Keynes, which, as it turns out. didn’t do too well either. The current estimation is that Amnesty may have lost £150,000 on the venture, and the non-appearance ofSting. Peter Gabriel and Eurythmics, long-term Amnesty supporters all, who had wowed them at the Mandela concert only a week previously was noted. Amnesty could quite reasonably claim that the Anti-Apartheid
later in the year. in addition to the numerous bands and other entertainments perionnlng on four stages dotted around Cralgtoun Country Park, the park will also play host to an ecological fair, with displays oi working examples of solar, wind and recycling technologies (including a solar laser show).
Whether by accident or design, the posters seen advertising File Aid, in all their multl-coloured Tolkienesgue splendour, reflect some of the artists attending. Marillion headline on the Saturday, and the seldom-seen Rick Wakeman and Steve Hackett both make appearances the following day. But for those to whom John Martyn, Dslblsa and Jack Bruce are part of a dimly-remembered older brother's record collection, and who perhaps don’t know who Phil Manzanera is, The Sugarcubes, Joe Strummer, Michelle Shocked, Go West, Bun Big, Transvlslon Vamp among others, will all be playing on Stage One, the sound for which is being operated by the same company who did the honours for Live Aid. The smaller stages host too many acts to categorise, let alone name. Suffice to say that theatre, comedy, dance and children’s entertainment are all represented.
Although slow to attract big-name artists at first, as happens with even the largest benefit until someone of sufficient stature confirms (in this case Marilllon), artists are still being negotiated even in the final week’s run-up. Confirmation is hoped from Terence Trent D’arby and possibly one or two others. At this stage, though, the
Movement could have reached a fraternal agreement earlier on in the year. instead of keeping their plans under wraps.
Amnesty‘s next move is to cover all the money lost at Milton Keynes, and really push its way into youth consciousness with a new 20-date world tour, featuring regulars Peter Gabriel and Sting and the big catch: Bruce Springsteen. who despite recent rumours about an affair with his backing singer Patty Scialfa has an uncanny reputation among his fans as a figure of honesty. decency. everything that is good in the American ideal.
In the same week as Bruce Springsteen‘s confirmation it was also announced that Peter Gabriel. whose main interests have been overseas until now. along with Billy Bragg, members ofThat Petrol Emotion now supports a new initiative aimed at withdrawing British troops from Northern Ireland. A concert is planned for 12 August 1989. 20 years after the troops were first sent in. This revolution will certainly not be televised.
Rock Against the Rich. the anti-yuppie crusade run by Class War, and headlined by Joe Strummer has been gathering maximum publicity too. and hits Glasgow Barrowlands on 7 August and Edinburgh Coasters on 11 August. Strummer. unconcerned by Class War‘s violent image (their
campaign against the destruction of London working-class communities by the influx of new yuppie elements generated some very nasty publicity for them). probably delights in the outlaw image ofthe tour. and in the sense of the battle lines being drawn again.
Which brings us back to the old Sixties counter-culture.
In the midst ofall the hooh-hah of the recent Channel 4 retrospective on 1968. Jerry Rubin explained his transformation from yippie to yuppie. trading in a molotov cocktail and a clenched fist for a well-stocked Filofax and a plush Manhattan apartment. It was the old ‘changing the system from within‘ line so beloved ofa whole generation that found themselves thirty years old with nothing to show for opting out and so opted back in again. Was be sincere? Who knows? But his contention was that the lessons ofthe Sixties were not lessons that could be unlearned easily; that the ﬂower-children-turned-capitalists would. after they had accumulated their pile. recognise the moral vacuum ofwealth-gathering for its own sake and make a concerted effort to use their wealth to make the world a better place. Ila! So the yippie activist really was a hippie dreamer after all. Then again, who'd have thought a few years ago that a loud-mouthed Irishmen from a joke punk band would be talked of in the same breath as Mother Teresa?
Trust are unlikely to hear the first query put by John Martyn’s managerwhen approached: ‘Where's Fite?’
Of the funds raised, 10 per cent will go to local charities, 45 per cent will be donated to the Band Aid Trust Fund and the remaining 45 per cent will, under the direction of environmentalist and broadcaster David Bellamy, the patron of the File Aid Trust, go to conservation programmes in areas where famine has resulted from mismanagement of the earth’s resources. One of the greatest problems in Africa, it transpires, is a lack of spare parts, and money will be directed accordingly.
A chilling reminder oiiust why public awareness of these issues needs to be raised was given at a File Aid press conference in mid-July. At the height of Band Aid fever, when millions were digging into their own pockets, the EEC were destroying, and these are their official figures, 411 cauliflowers, 75lbs tomatoes, 448 peaches, 221 lbs pears, 3,170 lbs apples, 511 lbs mandarins, 1,358 oranges and 1,548 lemons every single minute of the year. All that while 100,000 were dying a day of starvation.
Tickets for File Aid 2 are on sale in numerous shops (mainly record stores), costing £15 for both days (£10 cones) and £12 Saturday only (£8 concs). Prices for Sunday have not yet been fixed, but will be by payment at the gate only. Accompanied children under 12 will be admitted free. A campsite, naturally, is available. The festivities commence on Saturday at 10am, and draw to a halt at midnight to recommence on Sunday at 11am until the close of the festival at 10pm.
Another important date iorlive music is 6 August, when Edinburgh’s Meadowbank stadium is the venue for an alternative Glastonbury, though on a miniscule scale when compared with Worthy Farm’s sprawling affairs. The
cancellation of this year’s Glastonbury ‘
CND Festival leaves a hole which has been filled by this all-day event, running from 11am—8pm and featuring chart-topping reggae stars Aswad, East Kilbride's own Roddy Frame leading Aztec Camera, soon-to-be-massive Glasgow group Deacon Blue, Voice Of The Beehive (interviewed in the next issue of this magazine) and The Mighty Lemon Drops, who went off in a sulk when the press said they were nothing but copyists oi Echo and The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes, but have come backfighting.
Tickets are £11.50 each, subject to the minimum booking fee of 50p, from leading record shops.
8'I'ltc List 23 Jul} —- 4 August 1088