"Life wasn't meant to be easy ...
but was it meant to be this difficult?"
Sir Bob Geldof KBE
(Robert Frederick Zenon 'Bob' Geldof , KBE - Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor, and political activist)
Today I'm pleased to introduce a guy who has had my attention for many decades - Sir Bob Geldof, who first became known as a member of the Irish rock group the Boom Town Rats. However, it wasn't until 1984 when he took on a whole new persona. That was the year Bob toured Ethiopia and Sudan during a massive famine. His articulate descriptions of what he saw in those famines is moving, and his immediate actions to raise the world's awareness of the starving hordes is legendary. If you get a chance, beg, borrow or steal a book that will inspire and enchant you, "Bob Geldof - Is That It?' - Penguin Books 1986.
As a result of his experiences in Sudan and Ethiopia, the greatest rock events the world has ever known, 'Live Aid' and 'Band Aid' were organised - New York (John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia) and London (Wembley Stadium) on the same day, organised by Bob and Midge Ure. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast. Similar live concerts were also organised in Germany and Australia.
Phil Collins appeared on stage in London, then caught a plane and appeared on the New York stage, much to the excitement of all those who attended the concert in both cities. The following are some of the famous stars who gave up their time to support the starving: Phil Collins, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Boy George, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and dozens of others.
A long playing record (LP) was produced as a result of that concert to raise money for the people in Sudan and Ethiopia. This LP was supposedly to be tax-free. However, one lunch time I ran down town to a large and well known record store in Melbourne, Australia to buy one, but found it was more expensive than had been advertised. I asked the shop attendent why it was more expensive. He replied, 'It's the tax.' Without hesitating, I asked for the store manager who arrived fairly smartly. What did I say to him? Simply, I told him in no uncertain terms that the LP was supposed to be tax-free and, if he did not remove the tax, I'd stay in his store and ring every television and radio station and tell them what sharks they were. Fortunately he was smart enough to change the cost of the LP's - on the spot!
My point about the record shop relates to the likes of Bob Geldof ... oops, Sir Bob. What I did is exactly what Bob, Bono and other human rights activists and lawyers have been doing for years - SOMETHING! Yep, taking a personal stand on an issue that matters. There is an old expression which I often use. It is very relevant, 'Bad things only happen because good people allow them to happen.'
Bob Geldof is often described as scruffy, poorly dressed, an old Irish rockstar and other colourful terms. However, behind the facade is a sharp mind that operates like a bear trap. He is articulate and sensitive, and one of the best stand up speakers I've ever heard. So, today I have two videos about Bob Geldof. Sure, he does look scruffy, grey-haired and poorly dressed, but watch his facial expressions and listen to his words. He has more articulation and genuine sincerity than any politician I've ever heard. You can feel the pain and passion in his voice.
You may well ask, 'Why has a rockstar like Bob Geldof become caught up in humanitarian work for the past three decades?' Great question. I personally think it's just the way he is; the way he was born, and has nothing to do with being a rockstar. However, Bob has used his notoriety and passion to achieve great things. In the book I mentioned above, he recalls conversations he had with leaders around the world, seeking money for the great unwashed. The conversations are quite blunt and amusing.
1. Here is Bob addressing the opening ceremony of the 'One Young World' Summit in Zurich, Switzerland in 2011.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlyk951rGtg
2. Here is Bob addressing the opening ceremony of the 'One Young World' summit in 1910. His advice for aspiring young leaders is fantastic. I would recommend this video to your teen kids and grandkids.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaoNCrf938E&feature=related
Question: Do you know of anyone doing great work? If so, let me know. They don't have to be a scruffy rockstar. Oops ... sorry, Bob.
Go, Bob. Love ya work! - CT