I Don't Like Mondays

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"I Don't Like Mondays"
I Don't Like Mondays single cover.jpg
Single by The Boomtown Rats
from the album The Fine Art of Surfacing
B-side "It's All the Rage"
Released13 July 1979 (UK) [1]
October 1979 (US) [2]
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded Trident Studios
Length4:19 (LP)
3:47 (single/video)
Label Ensign (UK)
Columbia (US)
Songwriter(s) Bob Geldof, Johnnie Fingers
Producer(s) Phil Wainman
The Boomtown Rats singles chronology
"Rat Trap"
"I Don't Like Mondays"
"Diamond Smiles"
Music video
"I Don't Like Mondays" on YouTube
"I Don't Like Mondays" on YouTube

"I Don't Like Mondays" is a song by Irish group The Boomtown Rats about the 1979 Cleveland Elementary School shooting in San Diego. It was released in 1979 as the lead single from their third album, The Fine Art of Surfacing . The song was a number one single in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks during the summer of 1979, [3] and ranks as the sixth biggest hit of the UK in 1979. [4] Written by Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers, the piano ballad [5] was the band's second single to reach number one on the UK chart.

The Boomtown Rats Irish rock band

The Boomtown Rats are an Irish rock band originally formed in Dublin in 1975, that had a series of Irish and UK hits between 1977 and 1985. The group is led by vocalist Bob Geldof. The other members of the original line-up were Garry Roberts, Johnnie Fingers (keyboards), Pete Briquette (bass), Gerry Cott and Simon Crowe (drums). The Boomtown Rats broke up in 1986, but reformed in 2013, without Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott.

The Grover Cleveland Elementary School shooting took place on January 29, 1979, at a public elementary school in San Diego, California, United States. The principal and a custodian were killed; eight children and a police officer were injured. A 16-year-old girl, Brenda Spencer, who lived in a house across the street from the school, was convicted of the shootings. Charged as an adult, she pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and was given an indefinite sentence. As of October 2019, she remains in prison.

<i>The Fine Art of Surfacing</i> 1979 studio album by The Boomtown Rats

The Fine Art of Surfacing was The Boomtown Rats' third album and contained the hit-single releases, "I Don't Like Mondays", "Diamond Smiles" and "Someone's Looking at You". The album peaked at No. 7 in the UK Albums Chart in 1979.


Background and writing

According to Geldof, he wrote the song after reading a telex report [6] at Georgia State University's campus radio station, WRAS, on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, on 29 January 1979, killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime; her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day". [7] Geldof had been contacted by Steve Jobs to play a gig for Apple, inspiring the opening line about a "silicon chip". [6] The song was first performed less than a month later.

Georgia State University Public research university in Atlanta, GA, USA

Georgia State University is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1913, it is one of the University System of Georgia's four research universities. It is also the largest institution of higher education by enrollment based in Georgia and is in the top 10 in the nation in number of students with a diverse majority-minority student population around 53,000 including approximately 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the main campus downtown as of 2018.

WRAS (FM) public radio station at Georgia State University

WRAS is a public FM radio station in Atlanta, Georgia. It is licensed to Georgia State University and funded by the university's Student Activity Fee. Its schedule is split between public radio programming from Georgia Public Broadcasting airing from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and college radio programming airing from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The Album 88 and 88.5 GPB Atlanta formats are both available 24 hours a day on separate internet streams, and Album 88 is available full-time on WRAS's HD-2 subchannel.

Steve Jobs American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc.

Steven Paul Jobs was an American business magnate, entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Geldof explained how he wrote the song:

I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Johnnie Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel and I just said 'silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload'. [6] I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, 'Tell me why?' It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn't an attempt to exploit tragedy. [8]

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2018 population of 498,044, it is also the 37th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5 million people and the ninth largest metropolitan in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. Portions of the city extend eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Johnnie Fingers is an Irish keyboardist and co founding member of the new wave band, The Boomtown Rats. He was notable for his attire of striped pyjamas on stage as well as his melodic piano style.

Geldof had originally intended the song as a B-side, but changed his mind after the song was successful with audiences on the Rats' US tour. [8] Spencer's family tried unsuccessfully to prevent the single from being released in the United States. [8]

In later years, Geldof admitted that he regretted writing the song because he "made Brenda Spencer famous". [9]

In 2019 Bob Geldof and Johnnie Fingers reached an agreement in their dispute over who wrote the song, up until then credited solely to Geldof. Fingers received a financial settlement and co-credit. [10]

Chart performance

Despite reaching number-one in the United Kingdom, it only reached number 73 on the US Billboard Hot 100. [11] The song was played regularly by album-oriented rock format radio stations in the United States throughout the 1980s, although radio stations in San Diego refrained from playing the track for some years in respect to local sensitivities about the shooting.

In the UK the song won the Best Pop Song and Outstanding British Lyric categories at the Ivor Novello Awards. [12]

Live performances

On 9 September 1981, Geldof was joined on stage by fellow Boomtown Rat, Johnnie Fingers, to perform the song for The Secret Policeman's Ball sponsored by Amnesty International. A recording of that performance appears on the 1982 album, The Secret Policeman's Other Ball .

The Boomtown Rats performed the song for Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985. This was the band's final major appearance. On singing the line, "And the lesson today is how to die", Geldof paused for 20 seconds while the crowd applauded on the significance to those starving in Africa that Live Aid was intended to help.

At a concert in London in 1995, almost ten years later to the day, Bon Jovi covered the song after being joined on stage by Geldof at Wembley Stadium. This recorded performance features on Bon Jovi's live album One Wild Night Live 1985–2001 , as well as on the bonus 2-CD edition of These Days . Bon Jovi was again joined by Geldof for a performance of the song at The O2 Arena on 23 June 2010, the 10th night of their 12-night residency. Geldof himself performed a version of the song while hosting the Live 8 concert in London, on 2 July 2005.[ citation needed ]

"I Don't Like Mondays" was subsequently covered by Tori Amos on her 2001 album Strange Little Girls and later by G4 on their 2006 album Act Three .

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