Boomtown Rats Trivia Print E-mail

JK Rowling is a Boomtown Rats Fan

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has declared on TV that she is a big fan of The Boomtown Rats music, and went to see them play live.

JK Rowkling said "I'd been a fan of The Boomtown Rats from the beginning. I was annoyed when I went to see them in concert as everyone was there to worship at the shrine of Saint Bob, and rightly so, rightly so....[laughing] I was just annoyed because I'd been a fan from the very beginning!"


Rats and Howard Hughes

The 1978 Boomtown Rats album A Tonic For The Troops included the song Me and Howard Hughes. In March 1979 The Boomtown Rats played at the Coconut Grove venue inside the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. This was the hotel where Howard Hughes had lived in the 1920's.


Jim Kerr a fan of The Boomtown Rats


Jim Kerr, best known for being the lead singer of Simple Minds has declared to Hot Press that he is a fan of The Boomtown Rats.

Jim told Hot Press “I really admire Bob for all he’s done and all that he’s become,” Kerr concludes. “But whenever anyone mentions his name I always remember the first time we saw The Rats in Glasgow. I thought they were really fantastic. A lot of the so-called punk bands that we had seen were excitiing but also disappointing. And then came The Rats with a great show, tunes and all that charisma and energy. I really thought Geldof was a great, great frontman.”


Courtney in Love with Boomtown Rats


Courtney Love (singer with the band Hole and wife of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain) has told the Irish Times about living in Dublin and being "in love with The Boomtown Rats".


Boomtown Rats & Thin Lizzy

On the 19th of August 1977 Phil Lynott joined The Boomtown Rats on stage at Moran's in Dublin.

On the 1st of March 1978 The Boomtown Rats drummer Simon Crowe made an appearance as the drummer for Thin Lizzy. The Thin Lizzy drummer couldn't do the show so Simon was asked to appear performing the song Waiting For An Alibi with Thin Lizzy on Top of the Pops.

On the 18th of June 1978, Bob Geldof made a guest appearance on stage with Thin Lizzy at Belle Vue, Manchester.

On the 6th of December 1978 Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats), Johnnie Fingers (Boomtown Rats), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Paul Cook (Sex Pistols), and Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) played a gig together at The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London as The Greedy Bastards. The set-list included The Boomtown Rats song Looking After No.1, plus Pretty Vacant, My Way, Hard Driving Man, and some Thin Lizzy songs. The set-list was Suicide, Waiting For An Alibi, Jailbreak, Back On The Streets, Black Rose, Don't Believe a Word, Are You Ready, No one is Innocent, Black Leather, Route 66, Looking After No 1, Pretty Vacant, My Way, A Merry Jingle, Hard Drivin' Man.

On 17 May 1985 The Boomtown Rats played the Self Aid concert in Ireland. Thin Lizzy reformed for the Self Aid concert after the death of singer Phil Lynott, with a line-up of Gary Moore, Downey, Gorham, Wharton and Bob Daisley on bass. Bob Geldof and Moore handled most lead vocals.


Do you have a copy?

The Boomtown Rats self-titled first album was originally due to have 'Born To Burn' as the 10th track. 250 Promo copies of the album contained the 10th track, but it wasn't on the album release.


Me Tarzan You Jane

Actress Jane Horrocks is a big fan of The Boomtown Rats. She spent her youth wearing pyjamas, and even drew arrows on them to copy the Johnnie Fingers look (on the back of the Banana Republic single).


Roadsign Rat Badges

Bizarrely, each Boomtown Rat had their own Roadsign Badge. Simon Crowe explains "There was a series of these, the idea of which came from our publicist BP Fallon - one day he announced that we should each have a roadsign badge associated / allocated - i.e. Gerry (Yield rt. Of way) Bob (Stop) Johnnie (Low Bridge ) etc.???????? Weird man."


Like a Virgin

On 7th July, 1979 - The Boomtown Rats made a personal appearance in Oxford Street, London, opening the very first Virgin Megastore.


You Sexy Things

On 4/4/79, the Rats performed at the world famous sexy undies shop Fredericks of Hollywood, Hollywood, California. Pink Rats badges were given to those lucky enough to attend.

Simon Crowe told us "We did that gig as a sort of novelty thing - they pushed back some of the displays and we set up and played. We had p.a. speakers on the street, as the shop could only hold a relatively small part of our audience!".

"Raff Ravenscroft who played that sax part on Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty came and played with us. That was in the middle of our first American tour '79."


Swap Shop

The Boomtown Rats made 6 personal appearances on the very popular BBC Saturday morning show 'Multi-Coloured Swap Shop'. The show had an annual awards ceremony called 'The Eric's' - a take-off of The Oscars. The Boomtown Rats won Eric's for being the 'Favourite Pop Group' of 1979/80.

Rats Episodes - 27.10.79 Judith Hann. Boomtown Rats 02.02.80 Boomtown Rats 06.04.80 SWAP SHOP STAR AWARDS 1980 Winners: Boomtown Rats, Sharron Davies, Dick Emery, David Bellamy, Robin Cousins, Grange Hill 05.05.80 MULTI-COLOURED MUSIC SHOW Cliff Richard, Boomtown Rats, Pretenders, Buggles, Dr Hook, The Selecter, Dollar, The Police, Sad Café 08.11.80 Billy Connolly. Bob Geldof. 06.03.82 Boomtown Rats. Mike Harding.


King Henry VIII

When the Rats moved to England in 1976 they were on the verge of securing their first record deal. They moved into a house in Chessington, Surrey. Geldof claimed it was an old mansion which had once been given by Henry VIII to one of his mistresses.


In The Shadows

Robbie Morfitt (guitarist for Vancouver's 'Econoline Crush') recalls when The Boomtown Rats played at Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition Gardens in 1981. "Bob Geldof invited some girls up to do shadow dances, I was all of eleven years old when I attended the show. They had these lights beaming off the side of the stage. So you couldn't really see the girls, but you could see their shadows. These girls started rippin' off their clothes. All of a sudden, the band is turning sideways. This is my first concert, and I'm, like, 'I gotta keep coming to these things!"


By Jovi it's Bon

Jon Bon Jovi on why Bon Jovi did a cover version of IDLM "I Don't Like Mondays with Bob Geldof was recorded just a couple of days prior to the tenth anniversary of Live Aid, and we liked the cultural significance of it."


Warner 'Brothers' Up 'In Arms'

Warner Brothers' big A&R push was for The Boomtown Rats, who they came very close to landing (in fact, the Rats' reps gave Warners every indication they were, indeed, signing into the WB fold before they scurried off to Columbia). It's known that if Warners had succeeded in signing the Rats, they wouldn't have pursued a deal for another, less renowned British band called Dire Straits. Would you Adam and Eve it ?


U2 All Hype

Bass player Adam Clayton turned to Gerry Cott for advice about how to get his band called 'Hype' noticed by the media, and how to get some good gigs. Gerry told him to change the name of the band. The band changed their name to U2.


Ensign

In 1977 Chris Hill and Nigel Grainge formed Ensign Records. Their first signing was The Boomtown Rats. Nigel signed Sinead O'Connor, and The Waterboys. He advised Sinead O'Connor against using the Boomtown Rats manager who was also the manager of Bananarama, but Sinead didn't take his advice. However, the growing UK soul scene also enabled Chris Hill to sign a new generation of home grown R&B talent. Light of the World, Eddy Grant, Incognito, Beggar & Co, David Bendeth, Phil Fearon and Black Slate, all spearheaded the new Britfunk movement whose music exploded through the growing soul family that had grown up around the clubs, all-dayers, and now Weekenders. Chris Hill still organisises (and DJ's at) 'The Caister Soul Weekender' - the world's Longest Running Soul Music Event. The event is held at Vauxhall Holiday Park in Norfolk.


Under The Moon Of Love For The Boomtown Rats

Showaddywaddy found themselves standing almost alone as survivors of the early seventies. Suddenly they were surrounded on all sides by a host of new, raw, exciting groups - The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, The Damned, The Clash.... "Those groups never worried us", says Russ. "I especially liked The Boomtown Rats. They were very different to a lot of them. They had something special".


Revenge

'Revenge' was a trio formed by Peter Hook, bassist for such legendary enigmas as New Order, Joy Division, and Monaco. Hook was joined by a pair of fellow Manchester musicians. Guitarist Dave Hicks, and Keyboardist / computer whiz Chris "CJ" Jones. CJ worked at Strawberry Studios engineering records by The Boomtown Rats.


Kate's Bush Loves The Boomtown Rats

In July 1978, Kate Bush said: "The good thing about people like the Boomtown Rats is that not only is it really good, but it's really exciting and fun, and maybe my things are sometimes a bit too intricate to become fun. They're more picking pieces out and examining them. There's very little music on my album that will make you want to stamp your feet violently and hit your head against the wall."

"In something like the Boomtown Rats, it's the complete energy that knocks you over."


Larry Gogan

DJ Larry started in radio straight from school in the 1960's. He was voted Top DJ in one poll or another for 2 - 3 sucessive years. He broadcast the first radio programme on Radio 2.
.... and the first song ever played on Radio 2 was "Like Clockwork" by the Boomtown Rats !!!


Taking Notes

Apparently during the shooting of the video for 'Someone's Looking At You', Bob Geldof got up on Johnny Fingers' piano and began dancing... A few weeks later, the Rats got the bill - seems the piano was on loan from the studio down the hall - the lender was the pianist for the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.


Keep It Up

The Rats played "Keep It Up" on BBC1's Kenny Everett Video Show with Gerry Cott playing an outsized acoustic guitar (of course it wasn't a prop).


Kinky Music

Bob Geldof did a cover version of The Kinks 'Sunny Afternoon' for the Ray Davis tribute album called 'The Ray Davis Songbook'.


Pogue-Go For Fingers

The Pogues played at Bay NK Hall,Tokyo, Japan on March 5,1992. Joe Strummer, formerly of the Clash, filled in for Shane MacGowan, who was sidelined from the band's six-show Japan tour for reported "health reasons." Strummer brought piano ace Johnnie Fingers on board for a rousing version of "I Fought The Law".


Melody Maker readers' poll results for 1979: Best single:


1. The Boomtown Rats/ I Don’t Like Mondays
2. Tubeway Army/ Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
3. Dire Straits/ Sultans Of Swing
4. Supertramp/ The Logical Song
5. The Police/ Roxanne
6. Judie Tzuke/ Stay With Me Till Dawn
7. Motorhead/ Overkill
8. The Police/ Can’t Stand Losing You
9. Dave Edmunds/ Girls Talk
10. Ian Dury & The Blockheads/ Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
11. Gary Moore/ Parisienne Walkways
12. The Specials/ Gangsters
13. Supertramp/ Breakfast In America
14. Roxy Music/ Dance Away
15. Ian Dury & The Blockheads/ Reasons To Be Cheerful
16. The Ruts/ Babylon’s Burning
17. David Bowie/ Boys Keep Swinging
18. Yes/ Don’t Kill The Whale
19. Blondie/ Heart Of Glass
20. Spyro Gyra/ Morning Dance

 

 

 

 
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