The Boomtown Rats Guitarist Garry Roberts Has Died at 72
Garry Roberts, the founding lead guitarist of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats, died this week at the age of 72, according to the BBC.
The group informed fans of his death in a statement that day. No cause of death was given. Roberts was born in Dublin in 1950. The Boomtown Rats' surviving members include singer-guitarist Bob Geldof, bassist Pete Briquette and drummer Simon Crowe.
See the band's full message near the bottom of this post.
"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," the group said on Wednesday (Nov. 9).
They continued, "The remaining members of the band, Pete, Bob, Simon, Darren and Al extend their deepest sympathy to his family and friends."
Recalling Roberts' time in The Boomtown Rats, they remembered, "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."
They added, "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."
The Boomtown Rats began as a pub rock act before combining power pop and new wave in their songwriting to become U.K. hit-makers with tracks such as "Like Clockwork" (1978) and "I Don't Like Mondays" (1979). They disbanded in 1986, but reformed in 2013 with Roberts in tow.
The Boomtown Rats released their latest album, Citizens of Boomtown, in 2020. It's their first studio album since 1984's In the Long Grass, and the final effort to feature Roberts.
Loudwire sends its condolences to Roberts' family, friends and bandmates.