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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Geldof shows more charity to rock stars

Bob Geldof with Culture Minister Mary Hanafin at the The Music Show in the RDS, Dublin, yesterday
Bob Geldof with Culture Minister Mary Hanafin at the The Music Show in the RDS, Dublin, yesterday

Shane Hickey

HE is the loudmouth who is rarely impressed with celebrity.

However, Bob Geldof has revealed who among the hundreds of famous individuals he has met left a permanent imprint on him -- and they are definitely not politicians.

The humanitarian and musician told an audience at 'The Music Show', which was run by 'Hot Press' magazine in the RDS, Dublin, yesterday, how a trip on board Air Force One with former US President George Bush was "wild", but that there were others in the past who really raised his eyebrows.

"I am much more freaked out when I am around (deceased American musician) Ray Charles -- much more than when I am around the Pope, who I couldn't give a f*** about," he said.

"Mandela is obviously a massive historic giant and when I meet him, I am just thrilled and nervous.

"But the truth is I am more nervous and thrilled when I am around Bob Dylan or Mick Jagger."

Geldof was being interviewed at the show by Niall Stokes, editor of 'Hot Press', about his life.

Speaking about a variety of topics over the past four decades, Geldof said there had been a period in the 1990s, after his marriage broke up, when the tide turned against him.

He said he was unable to function but later went on to meet his current partner, Jeanne Marine, while in Paris.

Talking about his past as an illegal in Canada in the 1970s, he said immigrants were "vulnerable targets" during times of economic hardship.

The 'Live Aid' founder said there was now a need for Irish people to be sympathetic to foreign workers here because of our own emigration in the past.

"The only possible reason they could be coming here is because they think they are going somewhere better, to better their lives.

"So, yeah, I do feel a sort of proper sympathy for them," he said.

"And then there is the cultural pull we have to have, having asked the world to accept us in, in our tens of millions over the years -- that element, we can't reject that."

However, because of the ease of travel between countries in modern times, people can now return home more easily -- which has been seen with eastern European workers leaving the UK, he said.

Since 'Live Aid' took place, in 1985, the number of democracies in Africa has risen from three to 21, while there was now less conflict there than in Asia, he said.

Irish Independent

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