Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Boomtown Rats: Live in Boston, 1980

"Rat Trap" is our only song to get played on the radio here because American DJ's think it sounds like Bruce Springsteen. But I want you to know (laughs, adopts American DJ accent) that Bruce Springsteen couldn't write a song half as good as this if he tried.
Bob Geldof, to an audience in New York who booed in response.

By 1980, The Rats (or "The Boomers" as their record label tried to brand them) had had their "break-through hit" in North America, "I Don't Like Mondays"(# 4 in Canada but due to an unofficial radio ban, only #73 in the the U.S.). While perhaps the song is a bit cavalier in its portrayal of senseless murder ("sweet sixteen, ain't so peachy keen) there's a sharpness in the lyrics ("the silicon chip inside her head, it switched to overload"), almost unimaginable on today's radio. While this would be the band's last U.S. radio hit, Bob Geldof had just begun to find the spotlight. But let's talk about that tomorrow, shall we?

So here's another scorching live set that proves that Mutt Lange's production was only a minor factor in the band's lethal sound.

Live in Boston, 1980 link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, leave us a comment with your take on "I Don't Like Mondays".

Support the band!







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  2. I've been a huge Rats fan since waaaaaay back in high school. Wrote a paper on how much I admired Bob Geldof for his uncompromising attitude. The teacher thought it wasn't appropriate to admire a rock musician and went out of her way to say as much.
    So some three years later the man spearheads a global event to draw attention to world hunger.
    Never had the chance to tell that teacher "I told you"!
    Thanks for the show. My favorite Rats era to boot!!

  3. it was august '79,i was 19 and was my first holiday in London(in the punk years was like India for the hippies)and Mondays was in all jukebox and in all how i can resist this song?

  4. I was a long distance Rats fan. I bought The US "Tonic for the Troops" on the strength of the back cover photo and a Quote from Paul McCartney of the front. Never got a chance to see them live, though. Thanks for the boots!

  5. Great stuff - and from a show in my hometown, no less! Thanks for posting this.

  6. Cheers for this one Jeff.

    I liked the Rats but I never loved them like alot of other bands around at the time. I'm not sure what it was but I couldn't take em seriously. I like them more now than I did then funny enough.

  7. Brenda Spencer a sad story, which has been repeated a few times since unfortunately. Brilliant lyrics by Geldof on "I Don't Like Mondays" a deserved UK No.1 if you ask me. "They can see no reason, 'cause there is no reason" another fine post Jeff, thanks.

  8. adsr777
    I think part of the reason I became a teacher is because of shit like that. Glad you stood up for Bob early on.

    England '79 was an amazing place, wish I'd been there too.

    I was just re-reading "Is That It" and he mention McCartney was a fan. What was the quote about Tonic? That is my fave BR album

    Great show. Wonder if there was a local opening band. Would've been awesome if it was The Real Kids.

    While I've always loved the Rats, it's true that some of their contemporaries I've come to like more as I get older.

    All week I've been marveling at how good Geldof's lyrics are. Doesn't get the respect he deserves in that department.


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