Today Bob Geldof turns 60. Unfortunately for Bob, many people these days know him only as the sire of poorly behaved and awkwardly named socialite Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof. Also known as Lindsay Lohan's understudy, Peaches has been tabloid fodder for years with a seemingly never-ending stream of naked photographs and headlines ranging from alleged heroin use to an apparent five-ish shoplifting incidents. While the fruit of his loins' transgressions may be difficult to ignore, we believe that Bobbo has put more than enough effort into doing good for the world to catch a pass on his birthday, and therefore we're going to focus on his positive contributions as a musician, a journalist, and, most important, an activist.
Bob was born Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof in 1951. He fronted a band named the Boomtown Rats that found themselves lumped in with the punk movement, though they were sonically quite a bit less edgy than that moniker would suggest. "The Rats" saw a great deal of success in their native Ireland and its sounding areas; however, beyond the single "I Don't Like Mondays," they failed to make much noise stateside. Geldof is most easily recognized from his role as Pink in Pink Floyd's epic 1982 film Pink Floyd: The Wall, but his greatest work was as an activist for African famine relief.
Geldof is responsible for gathering the performers utilized and co-writing the 1984 charity-driven megahit "Do They Know It's Christmas?" under the Band Aid name. The song became the fastest-selling single of all time in the U.K. and held the spot of best-selling single until 1997, when Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana overtook it. The massive success of the Band Aid organization snowballed into the culmination of 1980s rockness that was Live Aid relief concerts. Proceeds from these concerts as well as the Band Aid releases were said to have gone in full toward African famine relief, and it is estimated that they had grossed around £150 million.
There are countless debates about how beneficial those donations wound up being as African governments intervened with much of their distribution, but the concerts and releases helped to earn Geldof an honorary knighthood and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Unfortunately, Robert's Irish lineage prevents him from earning a proper knighthood.
Being that Live Aid was inarguably Bob's most important contribution, we are going to celebrate with some of our favorite performances from Live Aid.
David Bowie - "Heroes": Here we find the ever-dapper Bowie absolutely killing it with a band that features Thomas Dolby on synth.
U2 - "Bad": Fellow Irishman, activist, and future One campaign
cohort Bono leads his band through another one of their countless
anthems. Although they're in great form musically, the really interesting
bit here is Bono personally saving an audience member from being crushed
by other fans, and a Miami shoutout!
Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Opening with one of the most grandiose rock songs
ever written, Queen ignited Wembley with this performance. Freddie and
his Pepsi cups had 72,000 people singing every lyric right along with
him in a display of unbridled epicness.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "Refugee": Stateside we had
the pride of Gainesville absolutely on fire with this performance of "Refugee." We have a hard time deciding which is more awesome, the song or
Mick Jagger and Tina Turner - "It's Only Rock n' Roll": Finally
we have Mick and Tina doing the Stones classic, but this performance is
overshadowed by ludicrous costume changes and a serious wardrobe
malfunction that was handled with a serious amount of professionalism.