Ground control to Major Bob
Bob Geldof is spending this weekend in a space-flight simulator, preparing for his journey to true stardom next year on a private spacecraft. We imagine his space odyssey
But, as with everything Geldof gets involved with, the whole thing went supernova, and now, like an eejit, he’s agreed to save the galaxy and go on a Boomtown Rats reunion tour of the major solar systems at the same time.
“F***!” exclaims Sir Bob. “Eh, Commander, your radio’s on, and broadcasting around the world,” says mission control. “F***! F***!” comes the muffled voice from inside Geldof’s helmet.
Star date: 29.10.14
First stop is a visit to the International Space Station. There hasn’t been a gig here since Cmdr Chris Hatfield performed his reworked version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity just before returning to Earth. Still, the place looks in good nick, with just a few pens and a couple of broken plectrums floating around, and some racy Russian graffiti in the jacks. Bowie sang about “sitting in a tin can”.
But for Geldof this is a “rat trap”, and he’s been caught in its orbit. It’s a challenge to rework the lyrics to suit the outer-space setting, but he manages to borrow a few moon/June and Mars/cars rhymes from Chris de Burgh. The gig goes well: mission control says it’s had 50,000 hits on YouTube, but it was somewhat upstaged by Miley Cyrus’s space-shuttle pole-dance vid.
Star date: 12.11.14
The craft makes a smooth moon landing in the Sea of Tranquillity, and Sir Bob steps proudly on to the lunar landscape. “This is one small step for a Rat – but nothing compared to the giant steps the Moogons of Cygnus 7 have to take every day to get the meagre supply of sodium hydrochloride they need to survive. How long more is the solar system going to stand idly by while aliens literally dematerialise? Send some f***ing money now!” shouts Geldof. “Eh, Bob, you had your radio switched off there, and no one can hear you.”
Star date: 13.11.14
Around to the dark side of the moon to join Danny Boyle and his film crew on location for the follow-up to the 1983 movie of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which starred a younger, pre-Live Aid Geldof as Pink. Alas, production is halted when the lighting crew goes on strike. On the way back, the Rats come across a massive, mysterious monolith, a smooth, rectangular monstrosity that resembles a huge, expressionless plank. “I see they’ve found a home for the Pat Kenny statue,” says Pte Briquette.
Star date: 23.11.14
Answering a mysterious distress signal, the spaceship arrives at a seemingly deserted planet. Sir Bob is sent down to investigate, and discovers row upon row of giant, glowing green egglike pods. One of them begins to open, and a tentacle snakes out. When Bob returns to the ship, a crew member screams: “My God, what’s that on your face?” “Eh, it’s stubble – I forgot my f***ing razor.”