Bob Geldof and Midge Ure rally the troops once more.
By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern
Although I wasn’t even born yet when the first Band Aid charity project, the 1984 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” single aimed at raising funds and awareness for the famine that was ravaging Ethiopia at the time, it’s certainly been an inspiration for most of my adult (and music-loving) life. Spearheaded by the Boomtown Rats’ Bob Geldof and Ultravox’s Midge Ure, it featured a slew of high-profile British musicians and was even revisited 20 years later for a 2004 remake, also for charity. It even spawned the USA For Africa response here in the States.
Today, Geldof announced that he’s mounting a third Band Aid effort to help combat the Ebola epidemic in western Africa; it will be an updated version of “DTKIC?” and will feature Bono, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Underworld, Sinead O’Connor, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, and Elbow, with Paul Epworth producing. More artists are expected to sign on. And Geldof has also enlisted producer Quincy Jones to reprise his USA For Africa role in a new, coordinated American version.
At the announcement press conference Geldof noted, “We called up some of the giants of the past and our own contemporaries, equally giant, and they said they’d come again to the party. For 30 years, we’ve been boring people to death about the great inequalities of the world, whereby 50 percent still live on two dollars a day. That’s disgraceful. It’s ridiculous, and it’s unnecessary. And what they were dying of in 1984 was of course hunger, but they died essentially because they were poor. We know we can contain Ebola; we have the doctors, the nurses, medicines and state systems. We have money. They’re dying again because they are extremely poor. That is radically unacceptable.”