Watch Paula Yates conduct a cheeky backstage interview with David Bowie at 1985's Live Aid mega-gig

David Bowie and Paula Yates backstage at Live Aid 1985
(Image credit: Live Aid YouTube)

Live Aid was one of, if not the most, star-studded concert in rock history. Bringing together the world's most renowned musicians for two charitable performances in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985 over one billion people tuned in to enjoy the performances of Elton John, Madonna, Queen, Santana, Run DMC, Sting, Bryan Adams, the Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Duran Duran, U2, the Who, and Tom Petty, among many others. 

The historic concert was organised by Bob Geldof alongside Midge Ure to raise awareness and funds for famine-relief in Ethiopia, and was broadcast in over 150 nations.

Famously stealing the show was Queen, whose hit-packed set was arguably the most memorable of the lot, even managing to overshadow David Bowie, who was tasked with the unfortunate challenge of going on stage directly after.

Nevertheless, the Starman remained in high spirits, and can be seen reflecting on his performance in this archive interview with TV presenter Paula Yates.

Bowie's Wembley set served as his first performance in 18 months. The sharp-suited musician grooved his way through a short song list comprised of hits such as Station to Station's TVC 15, Rebel Rebel, Modern Love and Heroes, although he had originally planned to duet with Mick Jagger on their collaborative Dancing In The Street, which was released that year in benefit of the event. Unfortunately, the idea was squashed due to technical difficulties. 

In the backstage interview, Bowie stands shoulder to shoulder with Yates, as they affectionally bubble with enthusiasm and bounce to and fro in an almost flirtatious conversation.

"I thought it was absolutely magnificent" says Bowie, before Yates adds "and you picked the perfect songs...Yes you did, because I was screeching!".

He then chuckles, and says: "Were you? So was I! I was screeching too, Paula."

While discussing his recently-released song with Jagger, the presenter questions Bowie over their eccentric dancing in the video. "How come you did all those rowdy dances?" she ponders.

In response, Bowie laughs again and says: "I don't know, we just thought it was the kind of thing one does to Dancing In The Street", before focusing his attention towards the camera and humbly declaring: "And everybody out there, that sent money in, you're the real heroes, because it's easy for me to go out there and sing some songs, it's much harder for you to give money and not be recognised. Good on you!".

Check it out below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.