It’s easy to express what we feel about Bob Geldof, why we celebrate his life and work. and wanted his endorsement. He is a hero of our time. The man who started Live Aid, the greatest example of collaboration in living memory.

He showed the world the positive impact that one man can have,  with an idea, the heart and will to take action and inspire people to come together to make something good happen. He is the inspiration behind this collaboration.

Geldof collaborates and influences, mentoring young potential leaders and social entrepreneurs  who he hopes will work together to make a better more equal world.  Alongside Bono and Quincy Jones he has  audiences with Presidents and Popes. He is  an adviser to the One Campaign started by Bono, who says that all that he has done in Africa was down to Bob. ‘Bob may not believe in God, but sure enough God believes in him.’

Born in Dublin he became  the lead singer of the Rock Band The Boomtown Rats.  A controversial figure who was outspoken about politics and religion, blaming both for the problems in Ireland, he is intellectually rigorous and fluent.

It was an evening late in 1984, when he and his wife Paula Yates were watching a TV news report about the Famine in Ethiopia. The images they saw were beyond comprehension, a humanitarian disaster of such magnitude, they were unforgettable. Somebody had to do something. He wanted to write a song and get all the really big record selling names to form a group to record it. The Group was called Band Aid.

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure co-wrote the song ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. Bob started calling the artists, if he managed to get through directly to the performers  he didn’t have to sell them on the idea, they were willing to be a part of it right away. Trying to go through agents was much harder.

Although the record raised more money than he ever dreamed possible , when he went to Africa after Band Aid he realized what he’d done wasn’t enough, so in 1985 he orchestrated the Live Aid Charity Concert that took place simultaneously in London, England and Philadelphia in the US.

He describes the experience of being onstage, particuarly at the finale. ‘There was tremendous feeling of oneness on that stage. There had been no rivalry, no bitching, no displays of temperament all day. At the end everyone was singing. They had their arms around each other. Elton was crying, everyone was crying. Not the easy tears of showbiz but genuine emotion. Down in the crowd the punters were crying. “Feed the World” exploded out of that stadium and literally shot around the planet’.

Those events Changed the World, raising millions for the millions in need, raising awareness  and getting the masses engaged in something completely unforgettable.

It was the beginning of what became for Geldof an extraordinary life of meetings and pleading and persuading, to change the minds and actions of the most powerful religious and political leaders in the world. Visiting Africa, he came to understand the enormous potential, for him in particular and for the millions who supported him. He could say the unsayable and confront those in power with problems which aid workers and diplomats dared not raise for fear of jeopardizing long term relationships.

‘I represented nobody but myself and the millions who wanted to help. A constituency of Compassion.’

On the Day of the Live Aid concert, the greatest assembly of rock musicians ever, seventeen hours of live music which had been watched by more people than any other event in history. It was 11 pm in Philadelphia and 4 am in London when the biggest concert the world had ever seen ended.

To answer the question Bob says he asked himself so often afterwards….. Was That it ?

Yes That was ‘It’  – but  ‘It’  was only the beginning……….