❚ FRESH ON YOUTUBE, the life of “all-round good bloke” Midge Ure OBE, the former engineering apprentice from Glasgow who decided to play guitar. Told for the BBC’s This Is Your Life in 2001. We hear the Stumble demo tape complete with ice-cream van chimes, how for Salvation his name Jim was turned backwards to make Midge (because it was posher than Mij), how he became a teenybop star in Slik, joined “this filthy punk band” Rich Kids in London and co-founded Visage, survived the US tour as a Thin Lizzy stand-in sporting a pink shirt and yellow Aladdin trousers, and being pipped to the No 1 chart spot in Ultravox. Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp describes Midge as “one of the nicest blokes I’ve ever met in the music business” while Gary Kemp believes Midge’s pencil moustache defined the New Romantics stance of the 80s.
And of course we hear of the day in 1984 when Bob Geldof had seen the tearjerking news bulletin about the famine in Ethiopia, and rang his partner, the TV presenter Paula Yates, who was working at Tyne Tees Television and he asked who was appearing on The Tube pop show that week. She said Midge Ure. Put him on, said Geldof, “And I was embarrassed because I’m not having hits, he’s having mega-hits”, and Geldof was trying to propose making the epic charity record by Band Aid [read more at Shapersofthe80s on the song that became the biggest hit in British pop history]. “And Midge said ‘Are you going to write it?’ And I said well I dunno, and he said ‘You write a bit and I’ll write a bit’. An instant solution without me being embarrassed. And within a day a tape came over. He was so enthusiastic.” The rest was Band Aid/Live Aid history.