R.I.P. Garry Roberts
November 09, 2022 06:51PM
Guitarist for the Boomtown Rats. The Rats aren't as well remembered these days as they seemed like they would be back in the day. But The Fine Art of Surfacing was one of the main soundtracks of my junior year in high school, when I first began drawing the ire of my classmates for liking stuff they never heard of. Then the Rats turned up on Fridays playing "I Don't Like Mondays" and "Someone's Looking At You," and a few classmates had to concede "Those guys were good....for punks!!"
Re: R.I.P. Garry Roberts
November 09, 2022 09:09PM
I love The Boomtown Rats. They seem to have been denigrated over time as if from some form of backlash. Maybe that's down to St. Bob and his big mouth. In '79 they were neck and neck with Elvis Costello + The Attractions for my ears. Both bands has wiseguy lead vocalists and insanely talented keyboardists. Roberts was the guitarist who stuck with them after Gerry Cott left after 1981. Their first three albums had a lock on the UK charts, but then something happened in 1981 and their last three increasingly eclectic and accomplished albums fell on deaf ears, though I actually prefer them to the first three!

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
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Re: R.I.P. Garry Roberts
November 10, 2022 01:08PM
SCTV knew about them. They got 'blowed up real good' on the Farm Report and then were in the parody mashup of "The Blackboard Jungle" and "To Sir with Love" - Teacher's Pet.

I first found out about them on the punk compilation album - Burning Ambitions. "Looking After No. 1" on the truly awesome side 3.
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Re: R.I.P. Garry Roberts
November 10, 2022 02:07PM
A very sad loss. I'm not sure where I first heard the Rats -- probably the video of "I Don't Like Mondays" on Friday Night Videos or something like that. But it was the SCTV appearance that made me sit up and take notice of the band. Their performance of "The Elephant's Graveyard" was choice.

The comparison to E.C. & the Attractions is pretty apt ... except that Geldof was more than just a wise-ass, especially when it came to music biz machinations. Like Elvis, the Rats came up with a particularly lightning-in-a-bottle song that didn't get the airplay it should have, because its lyrics criticized the politics of the radio business ("Rat Trap" vis-a-vis "Radio, Radio"). And much like Elvis with his SNL appearance, Bob wasn't willing to make nice and play by the rules. When he learned that a lot of radio programmers were going to be in attendance at a particular show, he introduced "Rat Trap" by lambasting the American radio industry, then turning the spotlight on the programmers and encouraging the crowd to boo.
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Re: R.I.P. Garry Roberts
November 11, 2022 11:02AM
This really saddens me. I cannot imagine my high school years without The Fine Art of Surfacing playing somewhere in the background. What a stunning album! (Great front and back cover art, too.) Seeing the Rats on Fridays (and later SCTV) was a delight. R.I.P.
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