DAVID BOWIE, MICK JAGGER, ELTON JOHN, BILLY JOEL, BON JOVI, THE WHO and DESTINY’S CHILD were joined by a host of Hollywood stars, including ROBERT DE NIRO, LEONARDO DICAPRIO, SUSAN SARANDON, JIM CARREY, HARRISON FORD and MEG RYAN at the PAUL MCCARTNEY-organised fundraiser for victims of the NEW YORK terror strikes in the city’s MADISON SQUARE GARDENS on Saturday (October 21).
Watching the stars perform the five-hour ‘Concert For New York’ were 5,000 of the city’s firemen and policemen, wearing their uniforms, as well as thousands of families who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks.
The concert was kicked off by David Bowie, who has made New York his adopted home. He worked through his classic ”Heroes” as well as the Simon & Garfunkel track ‘America’. Bon Jovi followed with ‘Living On A Prayer’.
Many of the big name film stars present appeared onstage to deliver messages of defiant support. DiCaprio and De Niro walked on to introduce a short film directed by native New Yorker Martin Scorsese specifically for the event. “We are here tonight to pay tribute and ensure New York remains the greatest symbol of freedom and unity,” said De Niro. Former US President Bill Clinton and current New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani also made impassioned speeches, the latter being greeted with a two-minute standing ovation during which the audience chanted his name.
The show was closed by former Beatle Paul McCartney wearing a Fire Department Of New York T-shirt. “This is one of the greatest nights for me,” he said, pointing at the assembled rows of rescue workers, “I want to thank you guys for everything you have done on behalf of the British, on behalf of America and on behalf of the world.” He was joined at the close by the entire evening’s line-up for a rousing rendition of ‘Let It Be’. He also played ‘Freedom’, a song written specifically for the event.