The Boomtown Rats

Originally called Nightlife Thugs, the band changed their name to Boomtown Rats after a reference in Woody Guthrie's book Bound For Glory, and causeda stir with their abrasive punk and the caustic arrogance of singer Bob Geldof - a former NME rock writer. The Rats moved to London and hit it big in 1977 with their first single Looking After No 1; the first of nine straight Top 40 UK singles, which also included Like Clockwork, She's So Modern, Someone's Looking At You, and Rat Trap which was the first single by an Irish band to reach Number 1 in the UK. It was the 1979 smash I Don't Like Mondays, however, for which they are best remembered - written by Geldof in response to a tragedy in California when a female student started shooting her school mates - though it was unofficially banned in the US. The albums A Tonic For The Troops and The Fine Art Of Surfacing were also major hits, but by the early 1980s their popularity faded, the hits dried up and they split in 1986. By then Geldof had thrown himself into charity work, organising and co-writing the Band Aid single Do They Know It's Christmas and the epic worldwide Live Aid concerts.



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