Even before the first note was sounded, Live 8 concert organizer Bob Geldof was looking forward to the finish line.
“I am waiting for the end,” the Live Aid founder told an MTV audience of young people and Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on Thursday. “I can’t wait. I am just so tired.”
Still, Geldof – whose international lineup includes Jay-Z, Beyonce, Madonna, U2, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Sting, Faith Hill and Tim MacGraw – is proud of the event.
“You will never see this happen again,” he enthused. “It will be the greatest concert ever, (with) all the promise of rock ‘n’ roll, all of it. It is Bob Dylan, the times are a-changing … they have changed. The answer isn’t blowing in the wind, it’s called the Commission for Africa Plan,” said Geldof, speaking on the MTV special, All Eyes on Tony Blair.
Saturday’s concerts – promoting debt relief for Africa and timed to coincide with Wednesday’s G8 summit of world leaders – kicked off in nine cities including London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow and Philadelphia. The concerts aired this weekend over TV, satellite radio and the Internet.
“Nine cities, four continents, one concert, 1,000 artists, all because too many people are dying on one continent and there will be eight men around a table on the 8th of July in Scotland who can put an end to (poverty),” said Geldof.
During the Blair TV special, the British leader fielded questions – coming via satellite not only from youngsters around the world, but from such musicians as Snoop Dogg, Destiny’s Child and Kanye West. West touched the most nerves when he asked why multinational companies, such as those in the diamond industry, do not contribute more to the development of the African countries from which they derive their wealth.
“The big multinational companies that do business in Africa should be open about what they are paying and to whom,” Blair replied. “So we make sure they are not paying money out in bribery and corruption and all the rest.”
Geldof said he was optimistic that the leaders of the eight most powerful nations in the world would not be able to ignore the millions of people who will participate in the Live 8 concerts held across the world.
“We will do our job,” he promised. “You will see the greatest concert you will ever see, and you will need to remember it because the originals with their children, their grandchildren and great grandchildren will all be on one stage.”