- staisilLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Geldof first came to fame in the mid-1970s as leader of the Boomtown Rats, a rock group closely linked with the punk movement. In 1978, they had their first Number 1 single with "Rat Trap", which was the first new wave chart-topper in the UK. The follow-up, "I Don't Like Mondays", was equally successful and also massively controversial, as Geldof wrote it in the aftermath of Brenda Ann Spencer's attempted massacre at her school in San Diego, California at the beginning of 1979. The band wrote the song immediately and it was at Number 1 in the UK before the end of the year.
Geldof quickly became known as a colourful spokesman for rock music. Their first appearance on Ireland's Late Late Show led to complaints from viewers. He had limited success as an actor, his most notable role being in the 1982 film of Pink Floyd's The Wall.
The Rats did not remain for long at the top of the tree, and by 1984 their career had declined sharply. It was in November of that year that Geldof saw a BBC news report by Michael Buerk on the famine in Ethiopia and vowed to do something about it. Aware that he could do little on his own, he called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?".
Geldof kept a November appointment with BBC Radio 1 DJ Richard Skinner to appear on his show, but instead of discussing his new album (the original reason for his booking), he used his airtime to publicise the idea for the charity single, so by the time the musicians were recruited there was intense media interest in the subject.
Using powers of persuasion which have since become a major part of the Geldof legend, he put together a group (Band Aid), consisting of leading British rock and pop musicians, all of whom were at the very top of the industry.
The single was released just before Christmas with the aim of raising money for the relief of the famine. Geldof's somewhat cautious hope was for 70,000 pounds. Ultimately, however, the song raised many millions of pounds and became the biggest-selling single in UK chart history.
The idea was copied in the States a few months later, with the song "We Are The World", co-written by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Geldof's first point of contact Lionel Richie. It topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Geldof attended the recording, which took place immediately after the 1985 Grammy awards, and sang on the chorus at the end.
Not content with the enormous success of the Band Aid single, Geldof went on to organise (and perform with the Rats at) the massive charity concert Live Aid, which raised unprecedented sums for the cause, and travelled all over the globe raising money. He even challenged Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister of the UK, leading to a major re-evaluation of British government policy towards famine relief. In recognition of this work, he has received many awards, including a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. As a non-British subject the Irish-born Geldof was legally precluded from being awarded a full knighthood, and use of the title "Sir". However, he is commonly, if inaccurately, referred to as "Sir Bob Geldof" (and even "Saint Bob" by certain fans).
- Anonymous8 years ago
Punk, New Wave, Rock and Pop.