Bob Geldof talks about deaths of Paula Yates and Peaches

Bob Geldof has described the painful moment he had to tell his children that their mother, Paula Yates, had died.

The Boomtown Rats singer was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on the Sunday with Miriam show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.

He also revealed that he “kind of half-expected” the death of his daughter Peaches, and that the memory of her is “with me every second of the day”.

He first described hearing of Paula Yates’s death, and said that there were similarities with his earlier experience of his own father breaking the news of his mother’s death to him.

“I didn’t know what to do when I got the phone call at 10.30 on a Saturday morning,” he said.

“It was Pixie’s 10th birthday, and the children were living with me.”

He added: “We had to hurry because she had to get into her smart clothes to go over to her mum, who was taking her out to lunch for her birthday.”

Geldof said that he “had to pull right back” and respond matter-of-factly when he got the call, before he left the room to gather his thoughts.

He returned later and waited until his daughter had finished opening her presents to break the bad news.

“I walked back into the sitting room, I sort of smiled and said: ‘What have you got now?’, ripping up the presents.

“I sat down and I waited until she finished her presents, and I said: ‘I’ve something to tell you, it’s serious’

“And Fifi made a caustic comment about her mum, and they knew it was something like that.

"And I said exactly what my father has said to me, I said: 'Your Mum died last night'.

He added emotionally: “And that was it.”

He said that her death affected him deeply.

"The leaving me was worse than the dying. I couldn’t understand it, I loved her profoundly. I didn’t understand then that love is not enough.”

Miriam then asked the Live Aid icon if the experiences helped him to deal with the loss of Peaches.

“It’s different,” he said.

“Part of me kind of half-expected Peaches, to be honest with you, the way she was carrying on, there’s nothing you can do about it.

“But she is the one who is with me every second of the day and she is the one who bounds into my consciousness at any moment, especially in any down moment ... when I’m not doing something. She’s very present.”

“That’s incomprehensible to me still. This thing of being forever 25 in my head, that’s unbearable.

“Simply because, that cliché… you’re not supposed to see your children die.”

He went on to say that although he still deals with the grief, his music has proven cathartic.

“I wait for it to stop, that’s the lesson,” he said.

“Time does not heal, it accommodates – but it ain’t accommodating this.”

“So it will out, I’m a lucky man, I get to eventually realise these things in songs and people may disagree or agree about the quality of those songs – that’s completely academic to me.

“For me, that’s it. I don’t wish to write a song about these events or these people, but they will out.

“Is it a catharsis on stage? Yes it is, there’s no question of it.

“I feel afterwards, light, literally light. My head is clear.”


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