Sir Bob Geldof once sent 1,000 dead rats to radio DJs

Julia Hunt
Bob Geldof at a press event in February 2020 (Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Sir Bob Geldof has revealed he once sent 1,000 dead rats soaked in formaldehyde to US radio DJs as a bizarre publicity stunt.

The musician, 68, came up with the odd prank in a bid to help his Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats make their name in America back in the 70s.

But he admitted the stomach-churning stunt might have actually ended the band’s chances of cracking the music scene across the pond.

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Sir Bob said on The One Show: “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.”

“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 added.

The star hinted that his rodent trick did not exactly have the desired effect.

“That was basically the end of The Boomtown Rats in America,” he quipped.

Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats performs on stage in London, 1978. (Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Sir Bob became lead singer of The Boomtown Rats in the mid-70s and the band went on to have their first UK number one single with the track Rat Trap in 1978.

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Their follow up, entitled I Don’t Like Mondays, also topped the charts in the UK and they had a string of other successes in the 70s and 80s.

The band have released seven studio albums, including this year’s Citizens Of Boomtown.

The album is the group’s first in 36 years.