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House on Fire

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The Live 8 Book and competition


The Official Live8 Book
published on 1st August 2005 by Random House/Century

With a foreword by Bob Geldof and over 300 colour photographs, this is the only official Live8 book to be published, and charts one of the most momentous days the world has seen in decades. For every copy sold £5 will go to Live8.

From Geldof's initial reluctance to stage another Band Aid event to the lead up to the concerts around the world and the day itself, this book is a unique record of an extraordinary day witnessed by over 85% of the world's population.

The book will also contain backstage images, exclusive photographs from the concerts around the world, reflections and quotes from the many performers.

Live 8 includes text and pictures reminding us exactly what the day was about and what is now required in the battle towards making poverty history. Includes reflections on the outcome of the landmark G8 summit in Edinburgh.

Price £15.99 - CLICK here to order your copies.

The official LIVE8 Book competition
The competition is now closed.  The winners are:

1. Jonathon Connington from Kilmarnock
2. Bethany Davies from Reading
3. James Fairbrough from Perth, Australia

The Official Live 8 Book
Foreword by Bob Geldof
Copyright Bob Geldof 2005

Three days ago, in the late bright afternoon, I wandered across the scissor-mown lawns at Gleneagles. I found a little clearing amongst some trees and hunched down. Overhead the humming bird helicopters clattered and thumped in the evening air as the world’s most powerful people left what the Secretary General of the United Nations called the most successful and important G8 Summit for Africa there has ever been.

They couldn't see or hear me and I didn't really understand it, but I began to sob. I felt weird, empty.  I don't know… it was over. It was over.

Because of this thing - this concert, event, lobby, protest, gathering, moment. Because of you. And the bands.  And the crews and technicians and thousands of people who made this thing that was Live 8. Because of all this, the men in those helicopters had just written a cheque to double aid to $50 billion for the poor of Africa over the next few years. Unbelievable.

I thought, 'Now we have to make sure they cash it', and we will. We will get them to spend the money, we will name the corrupt who try to take one percent of it and we will speed up the 100% debt cancellation for the poorest countries that was also confirmed at Gleneagles.

I think I cried because I was never sure it was going to work. That billions of us could force the men in charge to move. I was worried that they would remain forever remote, unreachable in the isolated vacuum of their national power. But it did work. In the end there were just too many of us.

In other places in this book you will see what it was all about and what it means for the future of the poorest and weakest people in our world. You already know  how we roared on behalf of those who were mute, how we moved power for the powerless, how we walked that long walk for many who cannot even crawl and how billions of us stood up for the beaten down and put-upon.

We were lead there by our bands, by musicians who articulate us better than we can ourselves. They talk a language understood by all humanity, and they have lead us on this long 20 year journey from Live Aid. In their music is the sum of our longing for universal decency. They communicate dismay and disgust at the daily carnival of dying that parades across our TV screens. In the nightly pornography of poverty hundreds of thousands die annually simply because they are too poor to stay alive.

What a glorious, magnificent day. What a rejection of the defeat of cynicism, I thought as I watched the TV monitor side stage showing me four continents, nine countries and their greatest artists, nine cities and their greatest sites, millions physically present and thousands of millions spiritually there as we watched this one concert, one moment, one idea winding itself around what was truly one world that afternoon. And then I got a bizarre tickling sensation, thinking just maybe this is going to work.

Three days ago, crouched down among the chopper beaten trees of Gleneagles I was shocked that 'the plan' had indeed worked. The Commission for Africa on which I worked was no longer just a theory for the reconstruction of a continents economic life and, as a result, a better life for its inhabitants, it was a paid up reality.

The long walk. Over. The Summit . Over. The concert? The concert plays out daily in my head. The magnificent bands. The brilliant young Turks and the ageless greats. I know them - they are not like what you read. They are not the mean-spirited midgets those tiny thorns of tabloid spite would have you believe. I know them as they appeared on that stage. They are great. And they are good.

As are you. At home. In the parks or street or stadia or squares of the world on 2nd July 2005. This was the day we pulled it off. This was the day the powerful were powerless. When they bent in the force of our noisy gale. When we drowned out their endless No's by our boundless Yes.  Where the promise of 20 years ago was realised. Everything that rock 'n' roll and had ever been about to me, or seemed to suggest or vaguely promised was made real on that beautiful day.

We should never need another event like it.  But if we do, new generations know what must be done and they will not fail. The power of this wild music to call us to gather 'bout the electronic hearth of the TV or PC screen will continue. But will it, can it ever be expressed with such power, such elegance, passion and joy as on the summers day last week?

My phone rang. I'd had it on 'loudspeaker' for weeks because it was constantly in use and I feared imminent brain cancer, ear rot, overheated temples or whatever. Now with the helicopter noise I couldn't hear. I put it on 'normal' and tried to listen. I had to go. I wiped my eyes and stopped myself being shaky. Didn't want to look silly.

That's it for me, I thought, as I clambered into our mini van. On the ground the riot police and machine gunned army waved us past the great security fences. Overhead the choppers thundered away across the glens carrying the men you had made listen.

I will never forget that day. Neither will you. Neither must you. Tell your children you were there. That you watched. That you changed the world. You and your mates. All 3.8 billion of them.  And when they say why? Tell them that you couldn't stand it.  It wasn't fair. It wasn't right. A great injustice was being done. Tell them you were not powerless. Tell them that the bands played and you danced and sang and laughed and in so doing you allowed others you would never see or meet to do the same some day in the future.

We played our hearts out. 'And we played real good for free.' Thanks for everything.

Bob Geldof

-- Edited by Ian at 16:11, 2005-08-03

-- Edited by Ian at 16:12, 2005-08-03

-- Edited by Tina McBain at 20:41, 2005-08-03


House on Fire

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Posts: 147

Nice forward (even though some say they didn't get all they set out to.........)! Live 8 really did achieve many times what Live Aid did in terms of money for Africa, and it's good to see Bob promising to make sure the promises are acted upon.

How many entries did you get for the competition Ian?


Drag Me Down

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Posts: 302

that foreword made me cry (seriously)

i actually cried

It's A Rat Trap..... And You've Bin CAUGHT

Drag Me Down

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Posts: 347

Thanks for posting, Ian...very nice.

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