An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.
By John Saleeby
In the Nineteen Seventies The Boomtown Rats were more popular in Great Britain than The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Elvis Costello. But in America they weren't nearly as popular as those bands and if you were less popular in America than The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Elvis Costello you were one seriously unpopular Pop combo. Were The Boomtown Rats as good as those bands? Who can decide these things now that Lester Bangs is dead and I've made a fucking fool of myself with that Acid Logic article about the "Charlie's Angels" Movie? The Boomtown Rats are certainly not as "socially relevant" as The Clash, etc. but if social relevance meant anything I'd be up in Wisconsin protesting for the Teacher's Union and I am entirely cool for that Woody Guthrie Shuck And Jive. And compared to The Sex Pistols The Boomtown Rats are so "Pop" they make Justin Bieber look like --- * which definitely a step in the right direction but doesn't do very much to make anybody want to hear The Boomtown Rats.
*Write your own snotty joke!
I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about The Boomtown Rats --- if you still aren't a Boomtown Rats fan after all these years you will never be a Boomtown Rats fan - You are DOOMED! All I'm trying to do with this article is demonstrate how much cooler I am than any of you will ever be, so . . . Oh, I just coughed up something on my shirt! Let me wipe it up before . . . Oh, it sprouted wings and flew away! Never mind.
The Boomtown Rats' Music has been overshadowed by the Humanitarian efforts of their Lead Singer Bob Geldof who masterminded the Live Aid campaign of the Nineteen Eighties. Huh? What was Live Aid? You know, that whole "We Are The World" mess . . . That record with Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and . . . Oh, you remember . . . "We are the wooooorld . . . We aaare the chiiiiildren . . . " What are you laughing at? I wasn't just making that up! I . . . Anyway, none of that would have happened without Bob Geldof. Yes, it REALLY did happen! Shit! No wonder nobody remembers The Boomtown Rats! Do you remember Lionel Richie? How about Cyndi Lauper? "The greatest gift of AAAAAALLLLL!!!" You punks and your Justin Bieber!
I remember an article about The Boomtown Rats in CREEM that concluded with something like "And here's another reason to like The Boomtown Rats - They're IRISH!" Boy, were those simpler times! After all these years of Bono and U2 being from Ireland isn't even as interesting as being from Los Angeles. But the Irish are a very Rock And Roll bunch of guys n' gals so let's be positive until I ruin everything and start talking about how much I hate The Pogues. UH OH! Did I say something about how much The Pogues SUCK? I'll have Acid Logic Editor Wil Forbis cut that out along with that bit about how I could never tell The Pogues apart from goddam Los Lobos. Jesus! Anyway, The Boomtown Rats all grew up in a very Irish sounding place called Dun Laoghaire . . . When I close my eyes and think of Dun Laoghaire I see a quiet rural village like in John Ford's "The Quiet Man" only with guys banging on drums and guitars while Bob Geldof prances around in a manner guaranteed to get his ass kicked by either John Wayne or Victor McLaglen - Probably both. It probably wouldn't have made for as good a Movie as "The Quiet Man" but if Geldof somehow survived he would have been lot more acceptable to those who didn't think he was quite as "Punk" as Sid Vicious or Joe Strummer. But this fantasy has so little to do with Reality it's just as well that I didn't get to the part about Maureen O'Hara*.
*A dirty joke for Grandpa! Remember it for Thanksgiving.
Aside from Geldof the Traditional Jagger-Tyler-Mercury-Bozo The Clown Front Man, Keyboardist Johnny Fingers was the most interesting guy in the Boomtown Rats. Why? Because his name was a "Johnny Thunders" joke and he always wore pajamas. Today he lives in Japan so there is no telling what the hell they call him or what he wears. Why Japan? I guess the place has some kind of religious significance to the guy because that's where all those cheap plastic keyboards came from in the late Seventies. I always assumed that Finger's pajamas were a tribute to the pajamas Brian Wilson wore all the time when he went crazy. But then I remembered that Brian Wilson was so crazy that he wore the same pair of pajamas for weeks and weeks and had to wear a diaper. Johnny Fingers wasn't that crazy, was he? Maybe that's why he lives in Japan? That's a pretty zany place --- can a guy get away with wearing a diaper in Japan? Don't those Sumo wrestlers wear diapers? When I start my band the keyboard player is going to be named "Johnny Diapers". The only thing holding my band back is that no one wants to be my keyboard player. I have no idea why. Maybe it's my MADE IN THE USA Three Ton Solid Steel keyboard?
Aside from Geldof and Fingers the other guys in The Boomtown Rats were . . . Hold on, I gotta go look that stuff up . . . (Saleeby goes off to look up the other guy's names, notices some Jerry Lewis Movie is on TV, sits on sofa, falls asleep, wakes up a day and a half later) I GOTTA FINISH THAT ARTICLE! Uh . . . (Fumbles through notebooks) . . . Here's a good place to start . . .They all seem to have been really nice guys although Gerry Cott was eventually thrown out of the band for not liking Reggae. It could have been worse - If he had been in The Clash they would have made him take out a prescription to Mother Jones and learn how to field strip an AK-47 while blindfolded. Cott really got in trouble for refusing to leave his hotel room to sing "Happy Birthday To You" with the rest of the guys at a party. I can't say that I blame the guy, can you imagine a bunch of Irish dudes singing a Reggae version of "Happy Birthday To You"? I'd kill myself before I had to listen to "'appy Birthday To Jah", fuck that. He probably would have gone but he was getting undressed. He was Cott with his pants down. Hey, people like it when you make that kind of joke about The Beatles!
So why didn't The Boomtown Rats make it in the USA? Well, Bob Geldof is a Lifelong victim of what that distinguished Medical Researcher Groucho Marx once identified as Foot In Mouth Disease. Lord, that boy got a MOUTH on him! The Boomtown Rats were banned from performing in their native Ireland because of Geldof's attacks on The Church, he is the only man in the Entertainment Industry to praise George W Bush, and - You might want to sit down for this - he once called Russell Brand a "cunt"! Can you IMAGINE? He must have been thinking about Ricky Gervais, right? He was confused, right? But worst of all, Bob Geldof is such a blabbermouth that he went to AMERICA in THE LATE SEVENTIES and put down BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN to a bunch of NEW YORK ROCK JOURNALISTS!!! Hey, Bob, why not put your head on the railroad tracks and say "I think that it's better this way"?* How did Geldof ever get himself into such an awful fix? One of the Boomtown Rat's biggest singles "Rat Trap" sounded a whole lot like about ten million of the songs Springsteen had been banging everybody over the head with for the past few years. But don't get the wrong idea, "Rat Trap" is a terrific record. It only sounds like Springsteen the way chocolate frosting looks like mud on the floor after the dog comes in from outside. So anyway, Geldof went to America with his mouth so big it had to fly over in a separate cargo plane and when he landed at LaGuardia his mouth was reattached to the front of his head by a forty seven man construction crew, right? A big press conference was scheduled with the New York Rock Press - The same bunch of sourpusses who want you to believe that it was DISCO that took all the fun out of everything! - and Bob Geldof walked in all happy to be in America . . . La la la . . . Gonna go to Graceland . . . La la la . . . All ready to do the "Cute Pop Star Interview" thing just like The Beatles did when they first came to America ("What kind of socks do you wear?" "Clean ones!" HA HA HA!!! "What kind of pickles do you like?" "Let's make a DILL!" HA HA HA!!! "Which member of Aerosmith do you like best?" "Tyler Perry! It's so funny when he dresses up like a fat black lady!" HA HA HA!!!) but what was the only thing those mooks wanted to talk about? Bruce Springsteen! So Bob started talking and talking and talking and by the time he stopped for a sip of coffee he was back in Dun Laoghaire sleeping on his Parent's couch. Damn!
*Boomtown Rats lyrical reference!
But I didn't give a fuck, I was the only Boomtown Rats fan in the United States! They never did tour the US but they did come to my house to say "Hi!". Unfortunately I was out at a Queen concert and my Dad said that if they didn't go away he'd kill them. When The Buzzcocks came to our house my Dad broke Pete Shelley's arm "Something's gone wrong again!!"*
*Buzzcocks joke. I'd explain it but ain't it bad enough with all these Boomtown Rats jokes? SHEESH!!
What do you think America? Leave your comments on the Guestbook!
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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