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Stars gather to tape famine relief concert Print-ready version

by Peter Goddard
Toronto Star
February 10, 1985
Original article: PDF

Fans swamp hotel as cabs, not limos, drop singers

"There's never been anything like this before in this country," said Burton Cummings.

"There'll be people on stage who've never been together - Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams." Crates of beer were hauled into special suites at the Westbury Hotel last night as rock fans waited with their cameras in the lobby.

But this was no ordinary rock 'n' roll party.

The only limos that pulled up outside were filled with British Airways crews. The rock stars took cabs. Everyone who has flown into town for today's all-day taping of the benefit recording for Ethiopian famine relief was trying to find ways to save money, not spend it.

Burton Cummings admitted last night that he was there as much as a fan as anything else.

"Sure, there'll be a lot of people who will be worrying about what their hair is like," said the singer. "But there's a lot more to it than that. This is an important occasion. This kind of gathering will never happen again."

Neil Young arrived from Los Angeles at the last moment. Joni Mitchell has been here since Friday. Bryan Adams, who wrote the lyrics to David Foster's melody of Tears are not Enough, had to make last-minute plans to be here. He was in New York last night.

The song being recorded at the downtown recording studio today with 50 star singers is being released in Canada as a single.

However, it will be part of an American album along with the American-recorded song for famine relief produced by Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson's producer.

The combined efforts along with upcoming videos and television specials could make up to $500 million, according to music industry sources.

Today's recording could make up to $500,000 in Canada alone.

"People always look to pop musicians," Montreal singer Baron Longfellow said yesterday.

A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. film crew as well as a Global Television crew are shooting today's session and organizers plan to market both video and television versions of the recording session in the next few weeks.

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