Great Moments in TV Music History: Mick Jagger and Tina Turner at Live Aid

Those of a certain age remember back when television options were limited; it was always a treat to see live music pouring out of the TV. At first, there were lots of lip-sync shows such as Where the Action Is, and Shindig and Hullabaloo! seemed like a mixture of live and lip-synced performances.
By 1967-1968, there were more opportunities for real live music from artists who were changing the face of music, such as The Smothers Brothers Show and The Dick Cavett Show as well as the various late-night programs.

Special performances are the ones that grabbed you by the lapels and wouldn’t let you go; they are burned forever into the brain.

I remember watching most of Live Aid on 07.13.85, first from Wembley Stadium in London and then from JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Honestly, only two performances stayed in my brain (and Queen was not one of them; seditionist talk, I know). The first was the Led Zeppelin performance with Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums. Nothing special, but it was Zep.

The other performance, however, will be forever seared into my gray matter. The end of the program, as best I recall, began when Mick Jagger strutted on stage with a blue t-shirt and yellow silk shirt. He sang “Just Another Night” with a crack band led by guitarist G.E. Smith. Then he hit familiar territory with “Miss You.”

Next, Jagger asked, “Where’s Tina?” And out double-strutted Tina Turner! Remember that Jagger learned most of his moves from James Brown and Turner. The duo launched into a torrid rendition of The Jacksons’ “State of Shock,” with them singing nose to nose on occasion. 

Unfortunately, these YouTube clips are separate, and the last one is at once the shortest and the greatest of the four, as they reprise “It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll,” with Jagger assisting in Tina’s “wardrobe malfunction”!


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