Tuesday, February 01, 2005

BA-NA-NA-NA-REP-UBB-ER-LIC: The trouble with politeness is that refusing to be blunt can sometimes blow up in your face. So the Brits decided to give Bob Geldof an award - which is fine - but, because they're not a humanitarian body, they're pretending it's for his musical achievements. Just to spare everyone's blushes, of course: if it was to thank him for his charity work, it could raise questions over why it's taken them twenty years to lob a gong to the Live Aid organiser.

Trouble is, The Boomtown Rats are pissed off, figuring if the prize if for Bob's music, then they deserve a slice too. After all, weren't they as much a part of Rat Trap and I Don't Like Mondays and... well, There's Someone Looking At You.

Geldof has batted away the demands of Gerry Cott and Johnnie Fingers, though, saying the award also recognises "his solo work and leadership of Band Aid." Well, the second part - while almost certainly true - isn't what the Brits claim its for; and as for believing that the solo work deserves some sort of lifetime achievement award - well, you're 'avin a laff, aintcha, Bob?

"My four solo albums have in some cases sold more than the Rats and certainly gathered more critical plaudits, so what about that? The Guardian pointed out about the award, "Would he have got it if he didn't do Band Aid and Live Aid?" and the answer is no, and that's the answer to Gerry, because the Rats wouldn't have got it on their own. Gerry left the Rats before the band ended and had absolutely nothing to do with some of the bigger hits. I don't understand the beef here. It's like saying Sting, who got this award, should have reformed the Police. He didn't. The Rats were a seriously good band. As for them being written out, that's bollocks. I'm doing songs I wrote in the Rats and I'm talking about how good a band it was, and I'm promoting the records from which I hope they will derive much benefit financially. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do that's not Stalinist. "

Oh. Not laughing at all, then. The difference between Sting getting a lifetime achievement award and Geldof doing so, though, is that Sting made something of his solo career after ending the Police. You, Bob, made that Vegetarians of Love record.

Nobody would begrudge Bob his moment on the stage, pumping Chris Evan's hand. But let's not pretend it's got anything to do with music - the award is on a par with one for Harvey Goldsmith or Michael Eavis, not Brian Wilson or Eric Clapton.