June 20, 2005

Geldof Will Never Do Lunch In Hollywood Again

I've always admired Bob Geldof - although there were times I didn't know it.

Geldof was, of course, a great seminal punk rocker, the leader of the Boomtown Rats; while the Rats were never huge in the US ("I Don't Like Mondays" never really scraped beyond cult status here), they were big in Europe, and Geldof could certainly have plugged away and developed a career, like so many of his peers who are still chugging away in the bars and clubs and Taste of Minnesota festivals today.

But he walked away from it all, put his money where his mouth was, and devoted (so far) nearly a quarter-century of his life to working for charity.

And unlike so many in show biz, he keeps on doing it.

He's organizing a new set of benefits for Africa - and he's trying to muzzle some of the off-topic Bush/Blair/war-bashing that he expects from the stage:

LIVE 8 founder Bob Geldof is determined to see his international concerts stay focused on the plight of Africa's poor -- and not fall into cliched Bush bashing and global warming rhetoric!

Geldof has ordered show organizers and producers to redouble all efforts to keep LIVE 8 performers "on message" during the July 2 event, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"Please remember, absolutely no ranting and raving about Bush or Blair and the Iraq war, this is not why you have been invited to appear," Geldoff said to the manager of a top recording artist, who asked not to be identified. "We want to bring Mr. Bush in, not run him away."

Do you suppose the egoes of the artists (and "artists") involved can stand being so trammeled? Count the minutes before some clueless leftyblogger (or reporter) cries "censorship".

Do you suppose...?:

"Bob wants no attention on global warming, or the war," the manager warns, "He is very determined, he does not want to lose control of the message... But we have the most unpopular American president since Nixon, soldiers are dying... you are going to see some righteous anger on stage."
I call it 50-50.

Or maybe less:

U2's Bono has been attacked by his rock peers for associating with Bush and Blair. Fellow Irish star Sinead O'Connor says, "I think you risk losing your credibility by going to a party at Downing Street. I would draw a line at drinking wine and eating cheese with the Prime Minister."
Sinead O'Connor? She's still alive?

Idea for you here, Sinead; tear up a picture of Bono onstage. It'll do for your career what your "tearing up the pope's picture" on SNL did for yours, back when you still had one. Here's another idea, Sinead; since Bono, Geldof, Blair and Bush have all done more in the interest of alleviating suffering and misery than a million parallel careers full of your smug, self-satisfied ideological preening, perhaps you should:

  1. Grow some hair
  2. Hack it off
  3. Use it to tie your mouth shut for a while
  4. Learn to be a fully-formed human being who exists as something other than a publicity whore and a grossly wasted talent.
Get on that.

Whew. Back to Live8. I harbor few illusions that Geldof, a european liberal, is a huge Bush fan - but he can recognize objective fact, which puts him head, shoulders and ankles over most in showbiz (or the left-wing blogosphere):

Geldof tells next week's TIME magazine how Bush "has actually done more than any American President for Africa."
Speaking of the show:
Will Smith is host of a hip-hop-heavy show in Philly with 50 Cent and P Diddy headlining
I didn't know Mr. Diddy still actually rapped.

Here's the part that I love on so many levels:

Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols will reunite in London on the same bill as U2, Coldplay, Keane, Madonna, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Sting and Paul McCartney.
The whole idea of the surviving Pistols being on the same stage as Pink Floyd - the dull, preachy, art-rockers and a band that got its start by gleefully peeing on the whole art-rock genre - is hilarious. As is the idea of keeping Roger Waters on topic; Waters' hatred of Reagan in the eighties seemed to descend into obsessive madness after a while.

Posted by Mitch at June 20, 2005 12:21 PM | TrackBack

Mitch I used to love this blog, but we have heat now! How dare you call the greatest rock band of all time "dull, preachy, art-rockers." Ok, I don't know how in the world you can call Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall dull. Or Wish You Were Here, Meddle, Animals or Obscured By Clouds. There is a reason why DSoTM is the greatest selling album of all time, and its not because it was dull.

Preachy, well maybe Waters in his solo work is a bit preachy, but not the Floyd! PF a larger influence on rock music to a broader audience than the Sex Pistols. I know about their influences and who they effected, but the band themselves has one song people might have heard of "Anarchy in the UK" and that is about it. PF has Comfortably Numb, Time, Brain Damage/Esclipse, Wish You Were Here and Shine on You Crazy Diamond, that even people who don't care for their music at least recognize immediately.

As for Waters, he is certainly a little crazy. But he's one of the feel respectful liberals out there, who wouldn't crash someone else's party. He's not Michael Moore at the Oscars. He'll have no problem staying on topic because he believes in the cause.

All we can hope for now is that long awaited reunion tour. I should probably start saving up my money now for this $1000 tickets.

Posted by: CCK at June 20, 2005 01:31 PM

What can I say? I've never liked Floyd (with the signal exception of the first disk of "The Wall", which I actually love). Oh, I'll give them props as musicians - as I've noted in this space before, while I don't like Floyd, I probably play the guitar more like David Gilmour than anyone else I could name.

Posted by: mitch at June 20, 2005 02:34 PM

Geldof has spent enough time in Africa to know what the real tyrants do, how real starvation and poverty looks, and what real corruption-for-profit does to a country. Once you've seen all that, up close, some stupid childish rock star whining about Bush = Hitler probably gets real old, real fast.

Posted by: RBMN at June 20, 2005 05:27 PM

I think you are right on Geldof. I believe he even said something to that effect in the liner notes for the Live Aid DVD.

As for The Wall. I've always prefered the second CD. I love Mother and like Goodbye Blue Sky, and obviously ABitW is solid, but Hey You, Comfortably Numb, Run Like Heal, Is There Anybody Out There and the Trial all ROCK. Even outside the wall is solid.

Posted by: cck at June 20, 2005 06:41 PM

"Surviving Sex Pistols"?? Last I checked, all of the original members of The Sex Pistols were alive and well, and thus "surviving". The only member to have passed on, was not a original member. Sid Vicious was a replacement for Glen Matlock-the original bass player and principal songwriter of the groups biggest hits. Americans seem to have only superficial knowledge of the band, but just assume Sid was an original member. Sid joined after Matlock left and the group had aleady had their debut album recorded, amd was famous. I guess it was too much to expect you to know this!

Posted by: Baboonhead at April 30, 2006 09:25 AM


Pedantism is hardly called for; I'm completely aware of the history re: Matlock and Vicious. But I didn't say "Surviving original members of the Pistols", now, did I? Vicious was a Pistol, and he's dead.

"Americans seem to have only superficial knowledge of the band, but just assume Sid was an original member."

Not in evidence, because it's untrue. All you Brits (?) seem to have only superficial knowledge of reading, but just assume Yanks are ignorant baboons...

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