LIVE 8: THE DAY WE'LL NEVER FORGET : IT WAS A DREAM; Bob Geldof Delight at Success of Park Gig

The Mirror (London, England), July 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

LIVE 8: THE DAY WE'LL NEVER FORGET : IT WAS A DREAM; Bob Geldof Delight at Success of Park Gig


Byline: By BARBARA DAVIES

BOB Geldof knew Live 8 was a dream come true the moment Sir Paul McCartney and U2 opened the Hyde Park gig with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Sir Bob said last night: "There was all this optimism and hope that rock music had always promised - exemplified by the Beatles. All that, with the passion of U2.

"Everything came together at that moment. I know it's showbizzy, but even the most hardened people turned away and started crying."

For Geldof, there was also the realisation that three months of effort was about to end in triumph.

The full impact did not hit him until he arrived home at 3am.

He said: "I turned on the telly to watch the Philadelphia concert. It was amazing. I had no concept of what had been going on elsewhere."

Attention now is turned on Wednesday's G8 summit at Gleneagles - and hopes that the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations will pick up the people's message on aid to Africa.

Geldof said: "I hope the G8 will now feel the force of the gale that hit them on Saturday. The awareness about the pornography of poverty in Africa is enormous.

"There can't be a single person in this country who doesn't now know that the G8 summit is taking place, and what the three issues are - trade justice, doubling aid and cancelling debt to the poorest continent in the world, where a child dies every three seconds because of poverty."

He added: "The point of the Live 8 and Make Poverty History coalition is that it's so vast that politicians can no longer take the p*** out of rock stars, when there are also economists and secular people saying the same thing."

Like Live Aid 20 years ago, there was now a "tremendous feeling of goodwill" about Africa.

Geldof said: "It is now for the leaders in Gleneagles to act.

"I think we got right the balance between music and the message. This week we can make a massive difference." Geldof revealed he had asked the Pope to attend or send a video message, but simply got a refusal letter and a signed photograph.

"I got back in touch with him and said I never wanted a signed photograph, I just wanted him to come to London or Edinburgh this week. …

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