Bob Geldof biography
Nearly seven hours into the concert in London, Geldof gave an infamous interview in which he used the word 'fuck'. The BBC presenter David Hepworth, conducting the interview, had attempted to provide a list of addresses to which potential donations should be sent; Geldof interrupted him in mid-flow and shouted: "Fuck the address, let's get the phone numbers!" It has passed into folklore that he yelled at the audience, "Give us your fucking money!" although Geldof has stated that this phrase was never uttered. After the outburst, giving increased to £300 per second.
The harrowing video of dying, skeletal children that had been made by photo-journalists setting their films to the tune of "Drive" by The Cars, contributed to the concert's success.
In total, Live Aid raised over £150 million for famine relief. Geldof was subsequently knighted, at age 34, for his efforts. His autobiography, written soon after with Paul Vallely, was entitled ''Is That It?''. This book achieved further fame for being featured on the GCSE examination syllabus in a following year.
Much of the money raised by Live Aid went to NGOs in Ethiopia, some of which were under the influence or control of the Derg military junta. Some journalists have suggested that the Derg was able to use Live Aid and Oxfam money to fund its enforced resettlement and "villagification" programmes, under which at least 3 million people are said to have been displaced and between 50,000 and 100,000 killed. However in November 2010 the BBC formally apologised to Geldof for misleading implications in its stories on the subject of Band Aid, saying it had 'no evidence' that Band Aid money specifically went to buy weapons.
Commission for AfricaIn January 2004, on a visit to friends in Ethiopia, Geldof came to believe that more people were at risk of starvation there than had died in the famine of 1984/85 which had prompted Live Aid. He rang the British Prime Minister Tony Blair from Addis Ababa. According to the Live 8 programme notes by Geldof's biographer and friend, Paul Vallely, the Prime Minister responded: "Calm down Bob. ... And come and see me as soon as you get back. "
The result was the Commission for Africa. Blair invited Geldof and 16 other Commissioners, the majority from Africa and many of them politicians in power, to undertake a year-long study of Africa's problems. They came up with two conclusions: that Africa needed to change, to improve its governance and combat corruption, and that the rich world needed to support that change in new ways. That meant doubling aid, delivering debt cancellation, and reforming trade rules. The Commission drew up a detailed plan of how that could be done. It reported in March 2005. To force the issue Geldof decided to create a new international lobby for Africa with eight simultaneous concerts around the world to put pressure on the G8. He called it Live 8. The Commission's recommendations later became the blueprint for the G8 Gleneagles African debt and aid package.
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