Wednesday 17 July 2019

Bob Geldof on Peaches’ death and music as catharsis: ‘For two hours I forget it’

Sir Bob Geldof is grieving the loss of his daughter Peaches
Sir Bob Geldof is grieving the loss of his daughter Peaches

Natasha Culzac

Bob Geldof has explained how performing on stage provides him with temporary solace and a short respite from his grief following the death of his daughter Peaches.

Geldof, who reunited with the Boomtown Rats in 2013 after quitting to go solo in 1986, suffered a tragedy that no parent should bear when Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose in April of this year.

Speaking to John Wilson from the BBC’s Front Row, he said that for the two hours he’s on stage with his bandmates he is “utterly, utterly lost in it”.

“Somehow you allow this other thing to come out and it is utterly cathartic and so for two hours I forget it, I forget that stuff,” he said.

“The solo thing unfortunately I’m living it and I’m articulating it and I’m putting it, I’m holding it out, that pain thing and I’m staring it and I said ‘I know what you are, I know who are you, you miserable, miserable’ … I don’t want to over-curse… and I can see it like a memory stick is how I visualise it and I insert it back into an available slot in my brain space and that allows you to deal with it.

“But with the Rats, it’s expunged, and there’s a complete clarity afterwards in my head… there’s… I’m empty and until I wake up the next day that stays with me.”

This weekend the band will begin a nationwide tour for the rest of October and early November, performing in Glasgow, Manchester, Portsmouth and Cambridge, among others.

Mother-of-two Peaches died at the age of 25 in her Kent home after injecting heroin – which she had begun using again following a period of being free from the drug, an inquest into her death heard.

Her mother, Paula Yates, suffered the same fate 14 years earlier in 2000.

Attempting to explain how cathartic performing with his band is, and how it helps him to deal with his grief, Geldof added: “I’m just very lucky that I’ve got a way of explaining it to myself through what I write solo and a way of expunging it from what I do with the band and I go for that, I purposefully seek it.

“I commit myself so utterly that by the end I’m physically just exhausted, y’know, I’m not a young kid. And pop is a young man’s art but I am wiped out. Emotionally drained, psychologically the catharsis occurs and financially cool.”

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