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Post Info TOPIC: How The Brits Rocked America - BBC 4 - 27 Jan 2012 (aka How The Rats Fcuked Up America)


Loudmouth

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How The Brits Rocked America - BBC 4 - 27 Jan 2012 (aka How The Rats Fcuked Up America)
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ArrGee wrote:

Old news to us (I guess), but in BBC4s upcoming show How The Brits Rocked America, Geldof recalls the Rats failure to break the USA...

We went to a convention of American DJs and were told that our gig was very important to our careers. The gig was going fine and I decided to get down with the kids and big-up punk. I asked the audience what they thought of the DJs (who made up a quarter of the auditorium) who determined what they listened to on the radio. That night we were taken off 60 of the most important US radio station" 

Maybe Geldof has a bit more to say in the program, so set your V+/Sky+


Wonder how things would have panned out if the Rats had become big in America? If Mondays had been a hit there then perhaps the whole of the Rats career would have been different.

Success there would have meant extensive touring and maybe Geldof would have ended up zonked out of his head of coke (all that caffeine!), believing his own publicity, with the band producing a whole different sound and writing about different topics.

It is one of the great imponderables, but I think it is better that their main success was in Europe. I have an idea that success in America would have resulted in inferior, compromised songs and sooner or later the band would have imploded. America is just too big and diverse a country.

 

 



-- Edited by noelindublin on Thursday 19th of January 2012 03:03:18 PM

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Old news to us (I guess), but in BBC4s upcoming show How The Brits Rocked America, Geldof recalls the Rats failure to break the USA...

We went to a convention of American DJs and were told that our gig was very important to our careers. The gig was going fine and I decided to get down with the kids and big-up punk. I asked the audience what they thought of the DJs (who made up a quarter of the auditorium) who determined what they listened to on the radio. That night we were taken off 60 of the most important US radio station" 

Maybe Geldof has a bit more to say in the program, so set your V+/Sky+



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noelindublin wrote:

Success there would have meant extensive touring and maybe Geldof would have ended up zonked out of his head of coke (all that caffeine!), believing his own publicity, with the band producing a whole different sound and writing about different topics.

It is one of the great imponderables, but I think it is better that their main success was in Europe. I have an idea that success in America would have resulted in inferior, compromised songs and sooner or later the band would have imploded. America is just too big and diverse a country.


Like U2?

Had Surfacing been a successful album in the US, then I suspect that thyey would have stuck with Mutt Lange and never have made the album that was Mondo Bongo, or if they did it would have been more guitar based.

One of the problems with being a success in the US is that you can't really change your sound too much.  Red Hot Chilli Peppers sound little different today than they did 25 years ago.  And Foo Fighters keep remaking One by One.  And U2 have made the same album for the last twenty years. Likewise Def Leppard.

I'm not sure the songs would have been inferior, as there were a few stinkers post-Surfacing.  Just different and less varied.



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Loudmouth

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American rock can seem pretty samey and conservative and a lot of those big successful bands just become rock behemoths, churning out the same old sound, year after year. I'm trying hard to think of any American music is like and having a hard time doing that.

Beck is a good example of someone who is constantly changing his sound and I have always admired him. The band Grant Lee Buffalo are pretty good too. Captain Beefheart never had a rule book and were true genius and their albums always sounded different.

If the Rats had been successful in America a lot of their time would have been taken up on extensive touring and I think the subsequent song quality would have suffered as a result of a life on the road. There may have been a compromise in the music in that on becoming successful and making all that effort, it would have been necessary to go along with whatever it takes to continue that success, and the American music business was well known for its shenanigans in that regard.

It would be interesting to hear Bob Geldof talk about how he thinks the Rats career would have panned out if Rat Trap and Mondays had been number one in the U. S.And the other members of the band, of course, as well.



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I guess if they'd made it big in America, we wouldn't be on this forum chatting about them. Part of the fascination (for me) is that they wanted to be different and not just go along with the status quo, and it was always great when Bob said something controversial and didn't suck up to the establishment. And if they had carried on with the same popularity they first enjoyed, they would be seen to have sold out in many ways. And then, in true British fashion, we wouldn't have liked them so much anymore! At least now we're left wtih happy memories and wanting more ........

I think that sort of makes sense - hard to express it though especially on a Friday when the weekend is beckoning

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Maybe the 'tragedy' of the second part of their career ie from  Mondo Bongo  onwards, was that the songs were largely still very good, but the days of big chart topping singles was over.

You are right Lisa, about the thin line between being successful and being just too big. I still believe that there are loads of great Rats songs which a lot of music fans have not heard ie a lot of the Mondo Bongo, V Deep and In The Long Grass output, singles and album tracks.

Geldof sometimes talks about his life as being like a Shakesperian tragedy, and maybe part of that was being in a band that should have had more recognition, purely on the quality of their music.



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noelindublin wrote:

It would be interesting to hear Bob Geldof talk about how he thinks the Rats career would have panned out if Rat Trap and Mondays had been number one in the U. S. And the other members of the band, of course, as well.


I don't think Mondo Bongo would have been released as it stood, it would probably have been rejected by Colombia, and they'd have been sent back to the studio with Mutt Lange.  Judging by the three US remixes on In The Long Grass, they would have ended up on a par with Huey Lewis & The News.

Had they broke the States back in 1979, with two number ones, I suspect they would have lasted longer and there'd have been no Band Aid.  Now there's a thought.



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ArrGee wrote:

Old news to us (I guess), but in BBC4s upcoming show How The Brits Rocked America, Geldof recalls the Rats failure to break the USA...


 As alluded to on another thread there was some previously unseen footage, including various Rats on a luggage carousel and the photo shoot in Fredericks, though in all fairness not enough to get very excited about.  



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Loudmouth

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Something I found with Bob being interviewed  before breaking the USA was known to have failed. This sounds arrogant or is at the least, contraversial. 

 http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/10/direct-news-bob-geldof.html

 



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Mark L wrote:

Something I found with Bob being interviewed  before breaking the USA was known to have failed. This sounds arrogant or is at the least, contraversial. 

 http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/10/direct-news-bob-geldof.html

 


 Interesting snippet from back in the day. Probably a typical Geldof interview from that time in that he always talked up his own band, and that was part of his 'charm'. He wasn't going to earn much respect or airplay for dissing some of Americas biggest groups at the time (Aerosmith, Ted Nugent etc). He certainly wasn't interested in 'cushy numbers' and making friends with the American music  establishment or radio stations, much to his credit.

The NME dubbed Geldof 'modest Bob' with irony, because he always seemed big headed and arrogant.He seemed to be very competitive in wanting to have chart  hits, and almost any other act that stood in his (or the Rats ) way were seen as 'the enemy'. That's why he professed such hatred for The Jam, Clash, Stranglers etc, and was always reluctant to sing their praises, even much later after the Rats had finished.

Full house in Seattle and bombed  in Nags Head, Carolina LOL.smile



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noelindublin wrote:
Mark L wrote:

Something I found with Bob being interviewed  before breaking the USA was known to have failed. This sounds arrogant or is at the least, controversial. 

 http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/10/direct-news-bob-geldof.htm

Interesting snippet from back in the day. Probably a typical Geldof interview from that time in that he always talked up his own band, and that was part of his 'charm'. He wasn't going to earn much respect or airplay for dissing some of Americas biggest groups at the time (Aerosmith, Ted Nugent etc). He certainly wasn't interested in 'cushy numbers' and making friends with the American music  establishment or radio stations, much to his credit.

The NME dubbed Geldof 'modest Bob' with irony, because he always seemed big headed and arrogant.He seemed to be very competitive in wanting to have chart  hits, and almost any other act that stood in his (or the Rats ) way were seen as 'the enemy'. That's why he professed such hatred for The Jam, Clash, Stranglers etc, and was always reluctant to sing their praises, even much later after the Rats had finished.

Full house in Seattle and bombed  in Nags Head, Carolina LOL.smile


Providence! I was stuck there driving in circles for two hours.  My wife, to be at the time, suggested we asked directions, but I didn't so I am still alive.

I don't quite get the competitive thing as far as music is concerned.  I liked pretty much all of the Punk/New Wave bands (well except Generation X) so I never really understood why anyone would want to alienate anyone who liked them by slagging another band. Much like Britpop wars, I bought pretty much every thing by Blur, Oasis, Pulp and Supergrass , so  Blur and Oasis at #1 and #2 was win-win for me.  Unlike Robsh!t & Jerw@ank #1 and Pulp #2. How the fcuk did that happen?



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V Deep

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Makes you wonder what might have been if Mondays had not been banned.I am still not sure who got the song banned,was it Brenda Spencer?.


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Derek The Dane wrote:

Makes you wonder what might have been if Mondays had not been banned.I am still not sure who got the song banned,was it Brenda Spencer?.


 I doubt she had any influence. There was a bit of an outcry in the States at the time. I think they found it insensitive towards the victims. 



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Didn't the family threaten to sue? 



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Mark L wrote:

Didn't the family threaten to sue? 


 I don't know for sure, but quite probably. 



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