Born in Dun Laoghaire, a town close to Dublin, on October 5, 1951, Robert Frederick Xenon Geldof did not shine as a child, concocting his own school reports to appease his father, with whom he had a touchy relationship. His mother died when Bob was just seven years old. After stints as a slaughterman, road navvy, and pea canner, Geldof initially entered the music scene as a journalist on Canada's premier underground rock journal Georgia Straight.
But the music scribe aspired to be on the other side of the fence and, on returning to Dublin in 1975, he and his mates formed a band. Initially called the Nightlife Thugs, they changed their moniker to The Boomtown Rats, naming themselves after a gang in a Woody Guthrie novel.
The Boomtown Rats were signed by Mercury records in 1977,the year punk rock exploded in Britain, and Bob pronounced his ambition: "get rich, get famous, and get laid," showing a mastery of the soundbite that has yet to desert him. The Rats had several years of success, scoring nine consecutive Top Fifteen singles, including the smash hits, Rat Trap, and I Donít Like Mondays. The Rats were the biggest band in the UK during the late 70's to early 80's.