David Bailey Images from Live Aid for Auction

George Michel and Elton John (signed by both). Estimate: £2000-3000.

Iconic images captured by acclaimed photographer David Bailey at Live Aid in 1985 go under the hammer at Sworders this month. The 13 images, signed by the artists they depict, were those chosen at the time for a benefit auction. Each is from an edition of just three prints.

Bob Geldof and Paula Yates (signed by both). Estimate: £1000-1500.
Spandau Ballet, signed on reverse by Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Tony Hadley, Steve Norman and John Keeble, estimate £300-£500

Bailey was backstage when ‘the global jukebox’ sprang into life at Wembley Stadium on 13th July 1985. The benefit concert, brainchild of Bob Geldof, was organised at breakneck speed to raise funds for the relief of famine in Ethiopia. The event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, US with a television broadcast watched across 150 nations by an estimated 40 percent of the global population. Backstage, the cream of British rock and pop music from Paul McCartney to Bono, hung out together.

U2, signed on the front by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. £800-1200.
George Michael on his own (signed). Estimate: £4000-5000.

Highlights in the sale depict The Who (signed on reverse by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Kenny Jones), George Michel and Elton John (signed by both), Bob Geldof and Paula Yates (signed by both). George Michael on his own (signed) and the four members of Queen (again signed on reverse by Freddie Mercury, Brian May Roger Taylor and John Deacon).

Printed in editions of just three each, they were sold at auction later in the year as part of a charity event at Sotheby’s.


The large-scale photographs are to be offered in the Out of The Ordinary auction at Sworders Fine Art in Stansted Mountfitchet on July 30th, some 39 years since the event itself. They carry estimates of between £1,000-1,500 (for Geldof and Yates) to £4,000 – 5,000 for George Michael.


Four members of Queen (again signed on reverse by Freddie Mercury, Brian May Roger Taylor and John Deacon). Estimate: £2000-3000.

Sale curator, Mark Wilkinson comments: “For people of my generation, Live Aid was unforgettable, the most impressive live concert they had ever experienced. These striking black and white images, taken by David Bailey, give great insight to life behind the scenes. It is also poignant that a number of these artists are no longer with us today”.

Link to auction here: https://www.sworder.co.uk

See also: Wallace Chan in Shanghai

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