The Boomtown Rats Mourn Founder and Lead Guitarist, Garry Roberts

by
Share This:

Boomtown Rats 2020 (L-R): Simon Crowe, Pete Briquette, Bob Geldof, Garry Roberts

Garry Roberts, a founding member and the lead guitarist of the Irish rock band, the Boomtown Rats, best known for their #1 U.K. single, “I Don’t Like Mondays,” died Nov. 9, 2022, at age 72. The band announced his death on their social media platforms, describing his prowess as “a storm of massive considered noise that punched out from his overtaxed amplifiers; and which animated not just the rest of the group but audiences he played to around the world.” The cause of death was not revealed.

In the 1970s and ’80s, the Boomtown Rats enjoyed five Top 5 U.K. hits including a pair of #1s: “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Three consecutive albums also reached the U.K. Top 10. Their final concert during that era of the band’s history took place in 1986. In 1984, their frontman Bob Geldof co-founded Band Aid to raise money for Ethiopian relief. The subsequent holiday single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” was an enormous worldwide hit.

The group reunited several times. In 2020, they returned for an album, Citizens of Boomtown, and tour, with four original members participating: Geldof on vocals, Pete Briquette on bass, Simon Crowe on drums and Roberts on guitar.

Watch the band on tour in 2016

The band’s statement on Roberts’ passing: It is with very great grief that the members of The Boomtown Rats announce the death this morning of Garry Roberts, our friend and guitarist.

On a clear Spring evening in 1975, in a pub in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Garry became THE founding member of what turned out to be a great rock ’n’ roll band, driven largely by that sound of his, a storm of massive considered noise that punched out from his overtaxed amplifiers; and which animated not just the rest of the group but audiences he played to around the world.

For fans he was The Legend – and he was. For us he was Gazzer, the guy who summed up the sense of who The Rats are.

We have known Garry since we were children and so we feel strangely adrift without him tonight. Safe travels Gaz. Thanks for everything mate.

Bob Geldof, Pete Briquette, Simon Crowe, with Darren Beale and Alan Dunne

Watch the video for “I Don’t Like Mondays”

The band shared several tributes to their guitarist. From Queen’s Roger Taylor: “Am really sorry to hear that! Bless him. Gawd, our numbers are thinning along with our hair!”

U2’s Bono wrote, “Gary from the Rats can’t die! That is shocking; I’m so sorry. A band is a second family. WE LOVED NEON HEART WE LOVED THAT BRUTALITY. RIP GARY.”

Roberts was born Garrick Roberts on June 16, 1950.

Related: Musicians that we’ve lost in 2022

  • Sign up for the Best Classic Bands Newsletter




Best Classic Bands Staff
Share This:

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.