Bob Geldof has revisited the time he once sent 1,000 dead rats to radio DJs in the US as a publicity stunt.
Speaking on The One Show, the Irish singer-songwriter and activist discussed coming up with the prank in a bid to help his band The Boomtown Rats make a name for themselves in the US during the 1970s – although he admits it probably did the opposite.
“It was 1,000 dead actual rats which were ordered from the sanitation department of New York City and sent out from Chicago to 1,000 disc jockeys who were busy playing disco in the middle of the ’70s,” he explained.
“On Monday morning there was this dump on the desk of a 1,000 DJs and it was a rat in formaldehyde, in plastic,” he said, before adding: “That was basically the end of The Boomtown Rats in America.”
Watch Geldof discuss the stunt below:
When Sir Bob Geldof first went to America, what freebie did his record label send to 1,000 radio stations?@alandavies1 and @sanditoksvig reveal their answers! Were they right, Bob? 🐀 #TheOneShow | @qikipedia pic.twitter.com/wyowh8LLrT
— BBC The One Show (@BBCTheOneShow) May 27, 2020
Earlier this year, Bob Geldof said he believes another Live Aid could never happen today.
The charity event took place at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1985, and was watched by nearly two billion people worldwide, over 40% of the world’s population. It raised $127 million for famine relief in Africa.
Another concert series of a similar kind, Live 8, took place in eight different locations in 2005.
The pair set up the Band Aid charity in 1984, when they wrote ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ to help fight famine in Ethiopia.
The song was that year’s Christmas No 1 and went on to be the best-selling single of all time in Britain. It has sold over two million copies and raised over £200m for famine relief.