Live Aid organizer bob Geldof called a press conference last week to announce his attempt to reanimate his monstrous success of 20 years ago. This time round, the biggest global rock show on earth, punningly called Live 8, will consist of free concerts in Berlin, London, Paris, Philadelphia and Rome on July 2, followed by a public demonstration on the eve of the G-8 conference in Scotland.
The idea is to pressure G-8 participants to help reduce poverty in Africa. But this time Geldof's monster may be out of control. He and co-organizer Midge Ure implored anyone who could to skip school or work to go to Edinburgh (70 km from the G-8 meeting) on July 6.
A headline the next day in the Edinburgh Evening News read "URE GOING TO CAUSE CHAOS," echoing the alarm of local authorities, who may be unprepared for such an influx and forced to rent portable toilets from the Continent. Live 8 downplayed the call to march, but by then faced fresh criticism that although Paul McCartney, U2, Madonna and other rock royalty are signed up, few black performers and only one African will appear.
At the press conference, one participant pronounced himself content, however. Elton John says that at the original gig in 1985, "I was pretty much a self-obsessed drug addict." At least that's one monster slain.