Tears For Fears explain why they pulled out of Live Aid

18 January 2022, 14:07

By Mayer Nissim

Live Aid was a Who's Who of every major star of the 1980s, but there were a few missing names on the lineup.

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After Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organised the massively successful Band Aid single 'Do They Know It's Chrismas? one of its singers Boy George had the idea for a live concert.

Bob and Midge took up the concept, and immediately got plotting on how to make it as big as possible.

Geldof famously used all sorts of tricks and ploys to enlist bands for Live Aid.

He apparently told Elton John that Queen and David Bowie were confirmed (they weren't), before telling David Bowie that Elton John and Queen were booked (they weren't) a bid to cajole them all to sign on.

But that slightly sneaky approach wasn't completely successful, and was one of the reasons why Tears For Fears – whose song 'The Hurting' was sampled by the Band Aid single – didn't play either show.

"Initially, I was pissed off because Bob had announced we were doing it without even asking us and it was smack in the middle of a year-long tour," Tears For Fears star Curt Smith told NME, saying that Live Aid was "bad timing" for the duo.

He added: "It was the first week off we had.

"We kissed and made up with Bob and did 'Everybody Wants to Run the World' for him [for Sport Aid] afterwards.

"We didn't think us not performing would affect the amount of money they were raising in any way, so we didn't do it so we could have that break."

Asked if they regretted missing out on such an iconic event, Curt said: "No, because we were exhausted.

"I realised we'd pulled out of his huge event, and there was this amusing moment where we were in Hawaii on the day it was happening, and there was a local cover band playing 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' in this little bar.

"I'm like: this or Live Aid? I don't know!"

Tears for Fears were apparently replaced at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

The duo rested up and continued to record and tour, and apart from a brief split at the start of the 1990s have continued playing to this day.

Their seventh studio album The Tipping Point is released on February 25, 2022.

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