Wake-Up Video: The Boomtown Rats’ ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’

Back in 1985, July 13 became known as “The Day That Music Changed the World” — or at least that’s what Live Aid was called in its marketing materials. Big, sweeping charity festivals are common now, but in ’85 Live Aid was really a revolutionary concept: One day, two main sites, several dozen bands and a single cause. The concerts in London and Philadelphia — featuring memorable sets by Queen, U2, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Sting and Run-D.M.C. — brought in nearly $50 million for famine relief in Africa, and the performances were watched by 400 million people in 60 different countries around the world.

The ringleader in all this? An Irish gentleman named Bob Geldof, who is known best for his charity work (he also organized Band Aid and Live 8, among others). But he got his start in the music business as the frontman of the Boomtown Rats, an underrated band who scored a hit in 1979 with “I Don’t Like Mondays.” For an anthem, it’s particularly dark: Geldof wrote it about a California girl named Brenda Ann Spencer, who opened fire on a school playground because, she told police, “I don’t like Mondays.” We’re not particularly fans of the beginning of the week here at the Newsroom either, but we’ll deal with our frustrations by watching this video.


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