Nobody wanted a musician, they wanted me to be Saint Bob and I couldn’t stand it, says Geldof

BOB Geldof has claimed that his generous charity work has cost him his “pop fame”.

The leader of the Boomtown Rats has been knighted for his fundraising efforts for the poor in Africa.


Bob Geldof helped raise millions for charityCredit: PA: Press Association
Bob on stage with the Boomtown Rats


Bob on stage with the Boomtown RatsCredit: Getty – Contributor

He helped raise millions by crafting the Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas? and historic Live Aid concerts.

But the Dublin native said people saw him then as an activist rather than a singer afterwards.

Bob, 70, moaned: “I was walking down the street, and people were just coming up to me, giving me money, and I was like, ‘fuck you!’

“Nobody wanted me as a musician. They wanted me to be Saint Bob, and I couldn’t stand it.

Moment Adele stops Hyde Park gig to help struggling fan in crowd
Ronan Keating breaks the silence by sharing a heartwarming message for his son Jack

“Old ladies would approach me like 15-year-olds had at the height of our pop fame, reach out to touch me, then burst into tears.

“I was famous for my talent, and whether people liked my songs or not, many recognized them as good and decent.

“But it was for this other thing that I was knighted.”

The I Don’t Like Mondays singer was among a series of stars interviewed for the new book Exit Stage Left, which explores “the curious afterlife of pop stars” after hitting the big time.

Most read in The Irish Sun

While the Boomtown Rats burst onto the scene during the punk era, their appeal waned when new pop groups Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran entered the scene.

Bob explained: “It was all very glamorous. If punk was all about the beauty of ugliness, the next generation was all about the ugliness of beauty.

“They were Thatcher’s children, so what were we doing there? We were largely irrelevant.

Bob has admitted he enlisted his bandmates Simon Crowe and Garry Roberts in a doomed plot to get their single Dave into the charts.

He confessed: “In desperation, I gave Simon and Garry a grand to go to card shops across the country to buy ten copies here, ten copies there.


“I had just had my first baby, I was 30, and I was like, ‘Is this it?’ What a brutal commercial pop music is.

“I had a house in Chelsea, a house in the country, both paid off, but I was worried sick. What would I do now? »

When his music career failed to bounce back, despite the success of Band Aid, Bob made his fortune in the 1990s after co-founding TV production company Planet 24, which made shows such as The Word and The Big Breakfast.

He added: “I’ve never been good looking, so I always wanted to be rich, famous and laid back.

“I wanted to use the platform that fame gives you, and I did.”


But he got a second wind with the Boomtown Rats, allowing him to become a rock ‘n’ roll star again in the recent reunion.

He said, “I didn’t understand that before. I hadn’t realized the disconnect between me – this sane, articulate person who appeared on TV – and this thug who ran the band. “He’s a completely different character – I realize that now.

Inside new Love Islander Jack Keating's family life - and close ties to his dad Ronan
The secret behind Irish pub's cheapest £3.90 pints - and why they'll never change

“Up there on stage, I sing what I like, and I look like an idiot, and I jump around.

“I’ve never behaved like this as a solo performer, and I’m someone else again in my other concerns.”

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure pictured outside SARM Studios in Notting Hill, London


Bob Geldof and Midge Ure pictured outside SARM Studios in Notting Hill, LondonCredit: Hulton Archives – Getty