In October 1984 Michael Beurk’s report on the famine in Ethiopia was aired on British TV and the great extremes of malnutrition and suffering of a whole generation of people was brought home to us all.
Among those so moved by the enormity of the needs of the people of Ethiopia was Bob Geldorf who at that time was a successful young Irish musician. He felt the need to do something and within days brought a number of musicians and pop stars together and ‘Band Aid’ was formed.
‘Don’t they know it’s Christmas’ was written, recorded and released in record time and what followed was one of the biggest selling singles in UK history. Number 1 for five weeks, easily the Christmas No 1 of 84, and millions of pounds raised. The following year ‘Live Aid ‘ the Wembley Stadium concert meant that the world could longer pass by the tragedy of Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.
Both Band and Live Aid were an inspiration which remains to this day and so the news this week that Bob Geldof is to revive Band Aid and re-record the Christmas classic in aid of the Ebola appeal is truly an inspiration – and how better to celebrate the 30th anniversary one of the greatest achievements in British pop music history by once again reaching out a hand of helping and healing to those who are in such great need.
We, of course, may not have the resources let alone the talent to accomplish such life changing achievements. Then again Bob Geldorf had some work in convincing the media moguls of the day that this could work. His determination paid off because he knew that this was the right thing to do . We too can make a difference when we are moved to do what we can to help those in need.
‘Children in need’ this weekend is just as inspiring and shows what a difference even small acts of generosity and kindness can make. The Good Samaritan could have passed by and left a dying man to his fate, but he didn’t. A young boy could have thought like the disciples of Jesus that his gift of five loaves and two fish was laughable when there were five thousand mouths to feed and yet in giving what he had something miraculous happened.
When I heard the news of the revival of Band Aid I dug out the 45EP. It’s a little worn, the cover is a bit tatty and I haven’t even got a record player to play it now, but it reminds me of the actions of those who did something really spectacular and life changing and who will hopefully with your support and mine do exactly the same again thirty years on !
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