On this day, July 28, in 1979, The Boomtown Rats scored their second UK number one single with "I Don't Like Mondays", which went on to spend four weeks at the top of the chart.
However, did you know a teenage murderer inspired this chart-topping song from the Irish rock band?
In 1979, Brenda Ann Spencer went on a murderous rampage at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California.
When asked why she committed the horrible act, the 16-year-old notoriously answered: “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
Across the country, in Atlanta, Georgia, Irish new wave rocker Bob Geldof and his band The Boomtown Rats were doing an interview when he first heard the news about the shooting spree.
“I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with [Johnnie] Fingers and there was a Telex machine beside me,” Geldof later explained to author Steve Clarke about how the hit song came to be.
“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.’ 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,” said Geldof.
Less than a month later, The Boomtown Rats were performing "I Don’t Like Mondays" live on their US tour. In July of that year, the band recorded it as a single, and the following week, it hit number 1 on the UK charts.
You can listen to "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats here:
*Originally published in 2018, updated in July 2022.