Bob Geldof (1954)
It was on this date, October 5, 1954, that musician and humanitarian Bob Geldof was born in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. He was one of the founders in Dublin of the Boomtown Rats. In 1984, after witnessing the starvation in Ethiopia, Geldof wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and got some of the UK’s top pop talent to record it, under the name Band Aid. Released in November 1984, the song topped the charts and, as was its purpose, raised a lot of money for relief in Ethiopia.
On 19 Oct 2001, when Geldof was interviewed live on Irish national television’s “Late Late Show,” the recently knighted humanitarian was asked if he was an atheist or an agnostic. Sir Bob Geldof said yes; he then confirmed that he had no belief in an afterlife.
* Performers who recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on 25 November 1984 included Bono (U2), Midge Ure, Adam Clayton, Phil Collins; Bob Geldof, Simon Crowe, Peter Briquette, Johnny Fingers (Boomtown Rats); Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp, John Keeble, Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet); Chriss Cross (Ultravox); Paul Young; John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran); Glenn Gregory, Martin Ware (Heaven 17); Marilyn; Jody Watley; Keren, Sarah, Siobhan (Bananarama); Paul Weller; Peter Blake; James Taylor; Robert Bell, Dennis Thomas (Kool and the Gang); George Michael (Wham!); Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt (Status Quo); David Bowie; Paul McCartney; Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood); Sting; Jon Moss, Boy George (Culture Club). The refrain from the song (written by Geldof and Midge Ure) includes the lines,
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time
Originally published October 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.