Ure, who is planning a special acoustic show at Page One in Glen Cove on Jan. 8, and a short U.S. tour next year to test the waters for a full-fledged reunion of his band, the new wave pioneers Ultravox, says he never dreamed he would still be hearing the song on the radio today.
"It was an important song at the time, and it was important for it to become the Christmas No. 1 [in England] to get attention for Africa," Ure says about the song featuring everyone from Sting to Bono. "But I have a house north of Montreal, and there's a station there that plays nothing but holiday music, and it's hard to believe that 28 years on, that song is still there playing next to 'Silent Night.' "
More important, he says, is that teachers tell students about the back story of the song and its charitable origins. "They're passing the baton on to the next generation," Ure says. "Now, the kids know the reasons. It's just phenomenal."