Monday, January 10, 2011

I Don't Like Mondays

I'm 32 and it's time I start expanding my musical horizons.  While my roots are, and will continue to be, firmly planted in the realm of classic rock, I'm trying to impose upon myself in the new year a musical renaissance of sorts. So as part of this "awakening," I've been dedicating a few hours each day to various stations on AOL Radio that previously went ignored (Deep Tracks and 70's Country were the usual suspects).  In recent months, I've been particularly drawn to the 80's alternative channel which highlights bands ranging from The Pogues to Public Image, Ltd to The Psychedelic Furs, etc. Now, don't get me wrong -- I've always been a fan of the music; my knowledge, however, was somewhat limited to anecdotal tidbits picked up along the way.  

The Boomtown Rats are one of those bands that needs to make it to my iPod.  Led by artist/activist Bob Geldof, The Boomtown Rats were a highly influential Irish punk rock band that  undoubtedly spearheaded the burgeoning punk rock/New Wave movement, both in the U.K. and abroad.  Hardly recognized in the U.S., one of their tunes did achieve some relative success in the States: "I Don't Like Mondays" -- a controversial song about the 1979 Brenda Ann Spencer shooting spree in San Diego, California.  Due to the sensitive nature of the song, U.S. radio stations significantly limited its airplay, despite the fact that it went to #1 in the U.K. single charts. However, their success was short-lived; The Boomtown Rats' popularity faded and predictably, the band eventually parted ways -- purportedly because of  the cliched "creative differences" (though like his good friend Roger Waters, I imagine this had more to do with Geldof's expanding ego and growing political activism). Geldof of course, went on to become the founder of Band Aid, chief organizer of Live Aid, a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and  undeniably, one of the original pop-activists (take that, Bono!).  Though, Sir Bob was not without his critics -- most notably, Morrisey, who had these choice words to say:

"I'm not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical. Or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music."

But most of us will always remember Geldof as Syd Barrett's alter-ego "Pink" in the 1982 film, The Wall.  So, here's to Mondays -- which controversies aside, I can confidently say are universally, not liked by all.

The Boomtown Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays" (Live from The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, Drury Lane Theater, London, 1981)  


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Altough I hate the pompus douchbaggery of people like Geldof, bono, sting and the like, (Geldof especially, because really...the boomtown rats...come on, its not like he was in the Fn beatles)...but..he did play a pivital role in reuniting the Floyd in 2005. So he gets a pass. That's the first time he ever deserved his MBE and "Sir" title.

welcome back.