Love what you do and follow your dreams’ – the lessons from life as a pop legend by Midge Ure at Humber Business Week


Legendary musician Midge Ure - the man behind the iconic 80s band Ultravox and co-creator of Live Aid with Sir Bob Geldof – gave guests of the Humber Business Week IoD Humber Luncheon an insight into his incredible career – and his involvement in one of the biggest selling records and charity events of all time.

The former Thin Lizzy and Visage band member entertained 300 guests as part of the annual event at the KCOM Stadium, even revealing how he’d started penning the iconic Christmas anthem ‘Do they know it’s Christmas? ’on a toy keyboard at home.

It came after he and Geldof had seen TV footage for the first time of the famine in Ethiopia, with them each trawling through their contacts and calling upon the biggest names in pop to record the song together, never really knowing if they’d all turn up on the day itself.

Ure revealed how his mother had urged him to follow his dreams of a life in music, rather than a more traditional working career, when he was young.

And, having being bought his first guitar by his father for £3 (half of his wages), he set out on the road to stardom.

It was that career path which led him and Geldof to act upon the issue of starvation in Ethiopia and release a Christmas single to raise much needed money.

Ure told how they bypassed agents and managers to call upon the support of stars, and acted on desire and determination, rather than careful planning.

He said that despite many people telling them things such as the charity single, and the Live Aid concert across the world would not be possible, they pushed on.

“Focus on the positives, not the negatives, and work with the people who you respect and who respect you,” he told the audience

“We bypassed those who would slow us down as. My entire career has been driven by desire, it has never been planned, and I’ve always acted with no safety net.

“The core elements of a band are exactly the same as business. You have to have the right people, the right product, and love what you do.”

Ure added that he now felt it was time for a ‘new generation’ to take over the mantle from he and Geldof, should another huge concert such as Live Aid be repeated again.

“We made it cool for young people to get involved in charity and be part of it. Now we need a new generation to come along and take over,” he said.


Gary Pepper