Esquire (USA) - - 20 LIVES, 20 PER­SPEC­TIVES -

the World” to­gether—writ­ing on in­dex cards the names of ev­ery­one they hoped would join the record­ing ses­sion, fig­ur­ing out who was go­ing to stand where and who would sing what part.

Now, tonight, they would ac­tu­ally record it.

But be­fore that were the Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards, tele­vised on ABC, one of the big­gest nights of the year. Kra­gen’s mas­ter­stroke in sched­ul­ing the record­ing ses­sion was do­ing it on the night of the awards, when so many artists would be in town.

Richie not only was nom­i­nated for eight awards; he was host­ing the thing, too. He was sup­posed to be over at the Shrine Au­di­to­rium by 10:00 this morn­ing for re­hearsals.

It was 7:30.


They would run through the whole show, start­ing with a long open­ing dance num­ber chore­ographed to Richie’s big hit “Run­ning with the Night,” which he would per­form wear­ing a gold lamé suit, sur­rounded by a dozen dancers.

The drive to the Shrine, from Richie’s house up on Fun­chal Road near the Bel-Air Coun­try Club, was about a half hour.

Thirty-five years later, when he’s asked about that day, this is the first thing Richie will say: “Let us first trace the mean­ing of the words delir­ium

and ex­haus­tion.”

His man­ager, Jon Lan­dau, had orig­i­nally told Kra­gen that Spring­steen was a long shot for this “We Are the World” thing. He’d been tour­ing for so long, and he had a break be­fore pick­ing it up again over­seas, and, well . . . Lan­dau would see what he could do.

Then Lan­dau called Kra­gen back a cou­ple weeks be­fore to tell him Spring­steen was in, and the domi­noes be­gan to fall. In­stead of Kra­gen call­ing man­agers and agents all day to re­cruit artists for this pro­ject, ev­ery­body started call­ing him.

Bruce was in. Ev­ery­body wanted in.

10:30 a.m.

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