Bob Geldof isn’t renowned for his subtlety. So I was surprised to hear him say on a tv documentary (The Pink Floyd Story: Which One’s Pink?) that in order to get the 4 band members back together again, after their acrimonious disintegration, he couldn’t bring himself to give David Gilmour the ‘hard sell’ to get him to agree to the Hyde Park Live 8 finale. (The background being that the two guitarists, Gilmour & Waters, had long fallen out, seemingly irreparably).
It was a fascinating insight to the lot of a solution salesrep. He met first with the person he suspected was the main block. And he could see in his eyes that he desparetely didn’t want to do the big show. So Geldof goes on to say how he constructed his pitch around 4 simple bullets:
- no-one feels you ever said goodbye as a band properly
- it’s only 20 minutes, just 20 minutes
- let’s have none of this ‘you’re going on tour’, spare me
- don’t tell me that Pink Floyd getting back together won’t seize the world, and be the thing that makes the whole event
Gilmour still said no. Undeterred, Geldof next approached Roger Waters. So he went to the one man that could potentially soften the blocking stance. Several long distance chats ensued between the pair of former band-mates. Later, Geldof received a phone call from Gilmour, quietly and begrudgingly saying ‘yes’.
Geldof then delivers an awesome metric; 20 million kids are now in school ‘cos of what went on that week and emblematic of that week was this signature group burying the hatchet for the cause.