A to Z: Boomtown Rats

My favorite band, The Hooters, is opening the Philadelphia portion of Live Aid, the African famine relief benefit concert organized by Boomtown Rats lead singer Bob Geldof. I first saw Bob the previous year with his all-star benefit single Do They Know Its Christmas. This all-day concert, on two continents, in two huge stadiums, features most of the hot acts of the 1980s. And my favorite band is included!

I don’t know what time. There is no Internet — I can’t google anything. I decide to wake up extra early so I don’t miss it. I press the remote number for the correct channel, turn the set off, then go to sleep.

7:49 a.m. I awaken. I turn on the TV hoping I didn’t miss my favorite band. A white stage appears on the 19-inch screen and a man with scraggly hair in a blue jean jacket, button-down shirt, and black jeans meanders to center stage. He looks like he just woke up, too, I think.

After my mind wakes a bit more and my eyes focus, I realize it’s Bob Geldof. His band, the Boomtown Rats, plays and soon he begins to sing. As the song goes on, his words paint a horrific picture, one I’d never seen before. I am moved. As a budding writer, I again experience the power of words and of using them to try to make sense of things that often can’t be explained.

I Don’t Like Mondays tells the story of a teenage girl who shot and killed her school principal and a custodian and injured several students in 1979 in California. When asked why she did it, she reportedly said, among other things, “I don’t like Mondays,” and this would liven up her day.

This song was written in response to a tragedy that was extraordinary. Writing this, I realize how so not true that statement is now. The famine problem isn’t solved (mostly due to greed), and the shootings are now commonplace (at least here in America).

That young girl watching Live Aid in 1985 has no idea that things wouldn’t change or be solved, or in fact that some of the problems seem to be getting worse.

I’m glad she doesn’t know.

This post is part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. My theme is Musical Memoir. Each Monday through Saturday, I explore personal memories through my love of music, inspired and coordinated by the letters of the alphabet. Join in the fun and participate in the challenge, or leave a comment and enjoy some conversation. Thanks for reading. Peace.

9 thoughts on “A to Z: Boomtown Rats

  1. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane 🙂
    I fell in love with the entire album that this song is on, “The Fine Art of Surfacing”. “Mondays” is only one of several very powerful songs on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. You brought up a lot of memories with this one. Some good, some not-so-good. I was just as idealistic — or maybe the word I want is hopeful — about how this would bring about change and help heal the world. *sigh* On the positive side, the music was amazing and powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Robin. I know. I had the same feeling when I heard Do They Know It’s Christmas last year. After being sad for a time, I decided being hopeful is still the only way to be. It’s just now I’m not as idealistic about it all. Still optimistic, though.


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