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  Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats

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.

Bob Geldof & Nelson Mandela While The Rats music wasnít a hit on the other side of the pond, Bob's film career got a fillip after he appeared in the 1982 Pink Floyd rock movie The Wall.

But it was not until 1985 that the Irishman really became a household name. Watching the news one night, he was horrified by a report on the famine in Ethiopia. So Bob got on the phone, calling up his extensive contacts in the music world to persuade, cajole and bully them into pooling their resources. The result was the all-star Band Aid and the poignant song Do They Know Itís Christmas?. The charity record went on to sell over three million copies and, thanks to Bobís foresight, an unprecedented 96 pence from each record went to aid relief. On July 13, 1985, came Live Aid. Over 60 acts played for free in London and Philadelphia, one of the biggest live media events ever.

Now a millionaire businessman, Geldof still works relentlessly for the poor and collaborates with friend Bono to publicise Drop The Debt - a campaign to relieve the debts of the world's most economically challenged countries.

Bob Geldof has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times and received numerous awards, including a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his role in helping aid Ethiopians, and the EC gold medal. His music awards include Ivor Novellos, Grammies and BRITs, and for broadcasting they include a BAFTA, the Royal Society and Peabody awards.

The Boomtown Rats

Boomtown Links
  • Geldof Bio
  • boomtownrats.co.uk
  • bobgeldof.info
  • dunlaoghaire.wav
  • Click here to buy the 'Best of Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats' Online

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