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Sir Bob Geldof speaks to Lorraine

Published: Fri 04 Jul 2014

Sir Bob Geldof speaks to Lorraine
“Being on stage is entirely cathartic”
“I’m walking down the street and suddenly there’s an awareness of her and I buckle”
“I liked being Peaches Geldof’s dad”
“Our family is part of the national soap opera”
Sir Bob Geldof spoke movingly to Lorraine this morning about the death of daughter Peaches, his marriage proposal to long term partner Jeanne Marine and going back on the road with the Boomtown Rats.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly in his first TV interview since Peaches passed away nearly three months ago, the father of four told of the intolerable pain but said he is finding some peace in his music, saying; “It’s intolerable… it’s  very hard as everybody must realise, especially if it happened to them too, and what else do you do, you get on with it.”
He continued; “I’ve always done that and being on stage is entirely cathartic, it just clears your head - just before we came on I was talking to one of your producers and the guy I work with doing telly and stuff and they were saying for years they have done yoga, and I can’t get my head around that at all! But they say ‘no, no, it’s wonderful, you’re chakra’s are...’ next! I just get on a stage and go mad and… if I dwell on the words sometimes I find it hard to struggle through the song because they take on whole meanings that I never meant when I wrote them.”
Speaking about the lyrics to the Boomtown Rat hit ‘Diamond Smiles’, the musician outlined how he sometimes now recognises his late, ex wife Paula Yates and daughter Peaches in the song words, saying; “There’s a song we had that was a big hit, [that] the Rats had called ‘Diamond Smiles’ - it was the one after ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, it was a very big hit and I was writing about a girl I read about in one of the papers, she was a socialite, and she went to a posh party, it was only a small item but it struck with me, and she went to a party and she went upstairs and hanged herself during the party. And it was a tiny little piece and I think that somebody said ‘she was the brightest of diamonds’ and I called the song Diamond Smiles. If I really think about those words and usually I’m in the zone of that song, if I really think about it, it’s too bizarre, it’s too telling whether it’s about Paula or now whether it’s about Peaches, and stuff like that… But other than that you know, you’re on stage and you’re just going for it and you’re so engaged in this moment, you’re so aware of a crowd but not, you’re aware of the band, but not, you’re just lost in this moment, probably like the yoga thing that they've been going on about. When I come of stage I am physically exhausted and mentally clear.”
Managing his loss, Sir Bob told Lorraine of his default position to have things organised but he has found unexpected reminders of his daughter in his everyday life saying; “You could be talking to somebody, you could be walking down the road, and I’ve got to be very careful because this is still very raw… but I’m walking down the road and suddenly out of the blue there’s an awareness of, her… and you know, I buckle and I’ve got to be very careful because walking down the Kings Road there are Paps everywhere so I have to duck off into a lane or something, and blub for a while and then get on with it and that’s it, so I’d imagine that will be there for a long time, I mean what else.”
Talking about feeling overwhelmed by the letters of support from the public, Bob also spoke of his pride of his daughter and the impression she left behind, telling Lorraine; “The nice thing about that was that this young girl had made such an impact, especially on her generation, when the Rat’s got back together last year we went out on tour – I don’t do sound checks because they bore me to death - I was walking around Leeds… and people would come up to me and say, ‘You’re Peaches Geldof’s Dad aren’t you’ and I’d say ‘yes’ [laughs] but I liked it, I liked being Peaches Geldof’s Dad…”
Looking forward to marrying long term partner Jeanne Marine, the 62 year old admitted that the engagement provided some light into the family saying; “I love her to bits, she’s amazing and I certainly would not have got through the last 20 years, there’s just [shakes head]… without her. She never hassled me or anything like that but you know, I’ll do this thing and hey, how lucky she is! Let’s face it! And then Peaches died and things were very bleak and there was… I thought how do we move forward? I don’t mean move on, as I say, time doesn’t heal, it accommodates, it finds an available space in your brain and you can stick that part in there and it allows you to see things in context. And I didn’t want to rush it or anything and I was going to do it anyway and I thought no, we need to let some air into the room, we need to let some light into that air. The wedding thing, if it happens it’ll have to happen before we do this tour.”
Before admitting that even if he will not sing at his wedding, he’s hoping his wife-to-be will, telling Lorraine; “I hope she does [sing at the wedding] because she has got an amazing voice. She was at Glastonbury with Jerry Hall, who’s her great friend, our great friend, it’ll be great but if it’s not October it’ll be next year, spring, there’s no urgency.”
Sir Bob went on to speak of his band of nearly 40 years, The Boomtown Rats, saying; “I love it, particularly I love playing because it… well I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a great band so you’ll have to take that as a given. I think not only did I rediscover the Rats were a great band - you never get it as a kid, you just grow up with these guys and just form a band and that’s your thing but with a gap of time where I played solo stuff and we got back, I hadn’t realised quite how, you know unapologetically I say, how great a band it is, I mean we kill them! In the last six months we’ve taken on all covers, from the most famous to whatever and blown them out the stage!”
And on the ups and downs of his family life being played out in a very public arena, Geldof likened himself to a soap opera saying; “ I think when we show up at the gigs and there’s me wigging out as usual and the band giving it plenty it sort of goes… the problem is Lorraine, that for forty years the family has been sort of part of the national soap opera, I never expected that and people kinda think they know us, and to some extent they do know part of it and bizarrely, and I wish it were other, from the very get-go, my life seems to be incredibly episodic like a soap opera and I’m never aware I’m in the next scene until something happens and I’m already in the middle of it and there’s no getting out of it and you have to move on to the next scene, whatever that it is. And the response to events that happens always take me by surprise, I have the get out that I play with a great band, I don’t want to keep hitting on this and in October we will go out to all these very cool places in the UK, these great cities where people seem to think they are involved in our life - it is the weirdest sensation.”
Speaking about Peaches’ two son’s, and also his feelings towards his own mother, who passed away when he was young, the grandfather told Lorraine that he felt that maybe the ‘Geldof’ life wouldn’t be the best route for the young boys, and gave praise to their other grandparents. Bob said; “My Mum died when I was six or seven, I have no memory of her but as you say, the world has moved on. I am shown photos, I really have no interest in that much because I have no memory of her. So I don’t really remember her and I’m not sure that… they are so small the little chaps that… I’m not sure that they’ll have this craving to remember their Mum, and I think that is healthy. They are young enough, you know this terrible expression, to be able to build an emotion relationships away from the primary relationship with the mother. I know that sounds very cold and empirical but obviously I have had to think about the rest of the family and Tom, their Dad, and Keith and Sue their grandparents who are amazing people and doing fantastically with the guys so, yeah, as I say, I don’t want them becoming wrapped up in the Geldof life, it’s great in some respects, it’s appalling in other times and things but I can dance away free on tour, on stage, I’ve got this great get out and as I say you often don't hear that in the music but maybe you hear it in the ferocity, in the way the music is delivered, maybe the anger at that but also certainly, you can hear the joy that it brings.” 
If information is used please credit: ITV's Lorraine
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