Watching last night's star-studded American Idol telethon took me back fifteen years. A Concert for Life "“ The Freddie Mercury Tribute "“ took place in London's Wembley Stadium on April 20, 1992. I was twelve and had been a Queen fan for roughly two months, dating back to the theatrical release of Wayne's World.
I have trouble gaging this AIDS benefit's cultural significance. My memory may be skewed by the fact I recorded the concert (VHS); that well-worn tape likely still looms in my parents' basement. The reviews were mixed. The Times of London put it this way: "Def Leppard led a rally call of 'Let's Get Rocked,' which seemed blissfully unaware that anything as unpleasant as AIDS might impinge on a man's urgent need for casual sex."
From a trivia perspective, this concert marked the only time David Bowie ever performed "Under Pressure" live with Queen (well, 3/4ths of Queen). And it was bassist John Deacon's last full concert with the band. Annie Lennox is the only person to sing at A Concert for Life and last night's Idol Gives Back, though Seal and Bono were both involved in both events (and I could be missing somebody else -- let me know).
What follows are a handful of clips I found on YouTube.
David Bowie, Annie Lennox & Queen singing "Under Pressure."
Elton John, Axl Rose & Queen singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Axl Rose & Queen singing "We Will Rock You."
Liza Minnelli leads a rendition of "We Are The Champions."
More clips can be found at YesButNoButYes.