Cambuslang singer Midge Ure has been honoured with a top award celebrating the best of Scotland.
The 68-year-old was presented with a lifetime achievement gong at the Scotland’s Champions ceremony, organised by our sister title the Daily Record.
It recognised the former Rutherglen Academy pupil for both his music and for his charity efforts, including famously organising Band Aid in the 1980s.
And Midge explained that he couldn’t have imagined the life he has led.
He said: “There are only a handful of people in the world who get to live their wildest dream and I’m fortunate to still be living mine.
“Like other folk, I used to sit at school and think I’m not really good at anything. I could draw, I could paint and I had a voice but how the hell do you make a living out of that? In reality, the only people I had seen coming out of extreme working-class backgrounds were sports people and I was useless at football.
“Yeah, you think, ‘Wouldn’t it be cracking to go in and make a record or be on a stage?’ But even I could not have dreamt up the life I have led. It’s been pure fantasy.
“I could draw a guitar long before I could touch one so my childhood up until I was 10 was a series of entering competitions on the back of cornflakes packets to see if I could win one.”
As well as his music career, which included hitting No 2 in the charts with Ultravox’s synth-pop smash Vienna, Midge is known for nearly 40 years of charity work, campaigning to help those in poverty.
“Organising Live Aid wasn’t brain surgery. I was simply asked: ‘Can you sing a song, play your guitar and get some of your mates to come along’? It is not difficult. The challenge was the heights it reached.
“If I was to blow my own trumpet, I can say it would not have happened if we had not instigated it. Had I not been standing next to Paula Yates on The Tube when Bob called her, ranting about the BBC news report on the Ethiopian famine, Band Aid might never have come about.
“We were the little pebble that started the avalanche but it was the avalanche that made it interesting.
“Then came Live Aid. Bob walked into a meeting with a drawing of the earth and a knife and fork and talked about doing simultaneous concerts on either side of the world – which was a technical impossibility.
“From that point to the day of Live Aid, I had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that it was never going to happen. It was too massive to comprehend but it did and it was magical.
“In my mind, it will never be replicated. You can put a bunch of songs and bands together and it will be lovely but there was an invisible essence at the time that will not be repeated. Through music, we had made caring cool and made it trendy to be charitable. It united people of all ages to a good cause.”
And the singer has no plans to slow down yet, with a new album due out and a tour planned for next year.
He added: “Now I am of a certain age, people keep asking me what I am going to do when I retire?
“In my mind, I have been retired my whole life. Surely you retire from something you don’t like doing to do something you love. I’ve had it in reverse. I’m never going to retire from performing and do something worse.
“I’m not going to stop until I physically have to stop and I still have my voice. I will be walking on to a stage and doing my thing right up to my very last breath.”