12/10/1984 at 01:00 AM EST
Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran flew in from West Germany and two U2s from Dublin. Sting, Wham!, Bananarama, Kool and the Gang—the whole bleary-eyed lot of them—poured out of bed to keep a date at the ungodly hour of 10:30 a.m. Late arrival Boy George, who'd scrapped a holiday in France, sported a new short orange haircut, a blue frock and pink lipstick for the occasion. But the summit meeting of British, Irish and two American pop musicians assembled in London for more important business than funk and fashion. They were there to help the victims of the famine in Ethiopia that already has claimed more than 300,000 lives.
Summoned by Bob Geldof, leader of the Boomtown Rats, the musicians formed a one-day-only supergroup called Band Aid. The 37 rockers buried their egos and combined their voices to cut a well-meant but rather bland single called Do They Know It's Christmas? The proceeds, perhaps $1.5 million even though the single is not yet slated for U.S. release, will go toward food and medicine for the drought victims.
"I feel enraged and disgusted by the TV scenes from Ethiopia," explained Geldof, who co-wrote the tune. "If we don't do something, then we are participants in a vast human crime." In his usual acerbic way, Sting might have spoken for the lot of them when he said, "It's difficult to know how much to send to Ethiopia when you're a millionaire. This is going to raise enough money to mean something, but it's a statement as well. We're hoping for a No. 1 record for Christmas."