Bob Geldof: ‘If I hadn’t done ‘Live Aid’, I’d have been like Paul Weller or Sting’

Bob Geldof has said that he is convinced he could have enjoyed a solo career on the scale of Sting and Paul Weller if his commitment to fundraising hadn't got in the way. The Boomtown Rats man, who set up Band Aid and the accompanying concert Live Aid back in the 1980s, told the Evening Standard that it would have been "criminally irresponsible" of him not to hold the events, but he does believe it "damaged his music career".

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Bob Geldof has said that he is convinced he could have enjoyed a solo career on the scale of Sting and Paul Weller if his commitment to fundraising hadn’t got in the way.

The Boomtown Rats man, who set up Band Aid and the accompanying concert Live Aid back in the 1980s, told the Evening Standard that it would have been “criminally irresponsible” of him not to hold the events, but he does believe it “damaged his music career”.

Asked if he thought his activism had affected his career, Geldof said: “It’s completely damaged my ability to do the thing I love. If it hadn’t happened I think I would have been able to make the transition from the Boomtown Rats to a solo thing more like Paul Weller or Sting.”

Geldof also said he refused to despair of the music industry, calling it a “truly democratic medium”.

He added that he remained convinced that anyone, whether they were “Posh boys like Radiohead and Pink Floyd” or a “Council estate lad like John Lydon” can succeed.

The singer added that he didn’t believe he was a national icon in the manner of Sir Paul McCartney, adding: “I’m not a national treasure, and have no desire to be”.

Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats are on the bill for the supermarket chain Morrisons’ first ever UK festival MFest later this summer.

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