Interview: Kim Clark Champniss. “Joy Division Changed My Life.” Canadian author talks about punk, interview techniques, music and life. And shows what to do when John Lydon walks out of a Sex Pistols interview!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6FLkt9gD7I


9781459739239[1]

One of Canada’s most celebrated music experts, KCC is probably best known as a broadcaster, both on radio and TV. Yet beyond the music there is the man, and his autobiography is a gripping account of a life lived at times in the margins of society where music is a constant companion and driving force. Although it is not a music book per se, it sparkles with particular brightness when Champniss is recounting his teenage dalliances with bikers and skinheads, punks and new wavers as well as night club citizens. In fact, youth subcultures seem to be the signposts on the forgotten byways along which he travelled intrepidly. His enthusiasm for his beloved Fulham FC has evidently never diminished.


 The enthusiasm he had for great disco and soul records throbs in the early part of the book, while his Damascene moment when he encounters Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ reminds us that this was an Englishman in the New World with a box of records under his arm; a man on a mission to play music that inspired and consoled people, or just made them want to dance.


 His razor sharp observations make the characters brim-full of energy, his encounter with a successful academic book seller is Charles Dickens meets Hunter Thompson. Who knew the world of traveling salesmen was more rock and roll than rock and roll itself?




 Naturally, the book made me want to know even more about the man and the music. He was generous enough to answer some questions about his life and work.



KCC Q+A

Music seems to be a guiding, sometimes chaotic, hand in your life why do you think you were captivated by music so deeply and for so long?


 Pop music captured me very early. It never let go. It was a combination of not only the power of song, but of the culture that grows up around it: rebellion, sex, individuality (and, paradoxically, tribal), energy, and the love of dance. To be knowledgeable about pop/rock gave you entre into a new world, valuable currency as a teenager.


 You mention the advent of punk in London, what was it like to sense this new wave of youth culture gathering?


 I had returned to London just after the famous Sex Pistols interview with Bill Grundy in December 1976. My family, and English friend, asked me, the music guy, what my thoughts were on this new thing. At the time I was immersed in disco, and dismissive of what I thought was an extreme element in music. But then I began to see the influences in not only music, but fashion, design, and attitude. Within a year the repetitive nature of disco weighed on me. “What this town needs is an enema” comes to mind. I began to welcome the radical change.


 Punk quickly splintered into ‘new wave’, do you have any particular fond memories of that new soundtrack to the early 1980s?


 As a successful night club DJ in the late 70s I became bored with the repetitive nature of the 4/4 beat. Soings such as “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (Ian Dury), “Ca Plane Pour Moi”(Plastic Bertrand), “Money” (Flying Lizards), and “Planet Claire” (B-52s) began to creep into my music set. The Vancouver Sun came to the club I worked at – took a photo of the small group of new wavers who took the floor when I played those tunes, and then printed a story about Disco on its last legs. Under the photo they had the caption “New Wave punk rockers take over Pharaohs in Gastown”. I lost my job. But New Wave pointed me in a new direction. Joy Division changed my life.


 You are remembered for your excellent documenting of punk rock on TV, can you tell us more about how that came about?


 I was working for the TV show “The NewMusic” in the early 90s. My boss, the late John Martin, when he started the show in 1979, documented the early Toronto punk scene, and the punk bands playing Toronto. (There is the famous 1979 Clash interview at the O’Keefe Centre. The Undertones opened). John wanted me to go through the archives and tell the story of punk utilizing all those great early interviews, plus update them with new ones, which I did. The result was ‘Punk 76-79”. I was surprised by the incredible response. It hit at just the right time.


 What did you learn about punk when doing that?


 I learned just how important Toronto was to the Punk scene in North America. New York, Boston and Toronto were the epicentres.


 Do you recall any punk records/gigs that stand out?


 “Homicide”/999. “London Calling”/The Clash...and of course Joy Division’s music.


 What do you think punk’s legacy was?


 Punk changed the world...not as a musical legacy, but as the D.I.Y. attitude. It de-mystified the music industry. It empowered the creative urge. It empowered the person. It shook up society.


 You have interviewed some of the most legendary, as well as lesser-known acts (I recall you as one of the first people to sense that Alanis Morisette would go the distance…) what do you think makes for a ‘great artist’?


 Talent, luck, right timing, right team, commitment. Context. Things are best understood by the context in which they find themselves. The same applies to artists.


 What makes a great interview?


 Do your homework. Listen. Listen. Listen. Provided the subject is willing to talk, the interviewer can feed off the answers, and then ask fresh questions. Break the media mould.  Hopefully, something fresh is revealed, not just to the audience, but maybe to the subject themselves.


 How did you prepare for them and do any stand out in particular?


 I research as much as I can. I listen to as much music as I can. Here are the interviews that stand out for various different reasons:
 1) Joni Mitchell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oqUYMkOp4M
 2) U2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I7zibFNrF4
 3) Sex Pistols: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6FLkt9gD7I



What advice would you give to anyone considered a music industry career?


 Don’t do it. But if you must, commit to it with all your heart...and be prepared. “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” Hunter S Thompson.

Michael

Gareth Murphy on early punk, entrepreneurs and women

 

One of the best books about the music industry is Gareth Murphy’s Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Music Industry.

More than just a standard history, the book focuses on the individuals who made huge changes to the industry. People who founded record labels, often as D.I.Y. enterprises on a shoe-string budget. It is fascinating, and inspiring, to learn how these people started their labels, made decisions, nurtured talent and brought us some of the music we love the most.

Gareth’s parents were two of the most interesting entrepreneurs of Ireland’s counter-culture. His mother had a fashion stall in the legendary Dandelion Market in Dublin in the 1970s, and his father was a music promoter responsible for bringing bands like the Ramones to Dublin. Crucially they were responsible for staging Dublin’s first major rock festival in 1977. It featured Thin Lizzy, Graham Parker and the Rumour, the Boomtown Rats and the Radiators From Space. As such, it was a key moment in Ireland’s rock as well as punk culture.

In the new issue of Long Live Vinyl magazine, Gareth has a lengthy article on the early punk moment. Just as he did with Cowboys and Indies, he looks at punk with a fresh perspective and highlights the significant contribution of behind-the-scenes individuals like Danny Fields, the early Ramones manager.

Gareth very kindly answered some questions for us about his punk research. Interestingly, he notes that some of the most successful and innovative music entrepreneurs had a background in punk. He also identifies how Richard Branson’s Virgin empire got a major boost from punk.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered/learned when you were researching the piece?

Well, over the last five years, I’ve pretty much been around the block when it comes to punk. I’ve talked to a lot of key players and had to look at punk from different angles – both in the UK and from an American perspective. At the end of it all, what you come away with is a sense of all the mythology. Blagging seems to be a core feature of punk. Punk was, and remains, a great news story. It never sold that many records. I’m sure it’s sold far more newspapers, magazines and documentary grant applications. So, it’s unique in that regard, and you have to cut through the fibs and be forensic.

Writing this piece, I had to condense everything down to a definitive essay. Although I was given 2,500 words, I didn’t have the space to pirouette around diplomatically. I had to pour the main points into the given pages and be damned with it. So I guess what I learned is that I don’t care if I’m offending anyone.

If punk mythology has thrived unquestioned for so many years, it’s because so many writers have stars in their eyes and keep giving these punks free rides. I definitely don’t have any stars in my eyes. Not anymore. It’s a snake pit of professional bullshitters and I can prove it.

What songs/albums from that early punk era do you go back to and listen to most?

It’s the “punk-not-punk” bands that I like the most. The Stranglers would definitely be my favourites to come out of that whole scene.

Although, I really wonder if they count as punk. Listen to their keyboard player, Dave Greenfield, who is very much a virtuoso, almost in that prog tradition that punk supposedly hated. He’s a genius who made many of their songs so good.

Talking Heads are another example of a band who surfed that punk wave, initially, albeit somewhat sideways. I think they were a really important group who I happily listen to today. Blondie I love, but again their best stuff was not punk at all. I actually can’t stand their first punk album. Same goes for Ian Dury. He’s the original London punk, isn’t he? And what a hilarious poet, but the Blockheads were the opposite of punk.

Musically, I don’t really like raw punk. What I do find interesting, musicologically, is how it was a reaction to corporate rock and hippie uniformity. It’s a great story as a cultural event. I definitely get the joke and can recognize how it put energy and meaning back into the music business. As a clothing fashion, I love it, too.

My problem is that I’m a musician, so there’s only so much Sex Pistols or Ramones I can listen to before I get bored. That said, in a party or a particular situation, one well placed joker like “God Save The Queen” or “Blitzkrieg Bop” can work a treat. Very much a question of context and what was happening before.

Your family ‘had a seat at the table’ with those early punk bands…any stories that stand out?

My parents were gig promoters, so the anecdotes I heard tended to be horror stories. The laughter was always mixed with due shock. My father, Pat Murphy, organized that famous Ramones gig in the State Cinema in Phibsboro [Dublin]. He was taken to court because fans ripped up the seats and threw them in the air. The venue was trashed and I think he may have lost money in the end.

Generally, the punk gigs got so violent, they had to get metal detectors at the door, and at one, they found a meat cleaver in someone’s trench coat. Gobbing and stage invasion was in vogue, so bouncers had to guard the stage while being gobbed all over. Apparently, on the front line, punches were flying in all directions.

I was too young to see the gigs, but I do remember the stress at home, because as promoters, my folks were taking all the risk. They were terrified someone would die from a stabbing or being crushed. This was a perfectly reasonable nightmare scenario because at the side door emergency exits, dishonest bouncers were letting people in for cash. The venues were dangerously over-packed and no matter what my parents did, it was always terrifying mayhem. In the Olympic Ballroom, nutters used to dive off the balcony onto the people below.

Were there any women entrepreneurs that have been forgotten about by the standard histories?

I can’t think of any truly game-changer women managers or label heads. The music business has always been male dominated and largely still is. As my mum put it: “women aren’t stupid enough to take such crazy risks.” However, there was the New York journalist Lisa Robinson who in 1975, alerted Danny Fields about the Ramones. She was one of the very first players who sensed something happening. A bit later, there was Linda Stein who, on Danny Fields’ invitation, co-managed the Ramones.

On the fashion side of things, Vivienne Westwood was a key player who proved herself as a successful entrepreneur. But I think it’s in the actual bands that one finds a higher-than-usual proportion of women. I’m thinking of Debbie Harry, Gay Advert, Poly Styrene, Jayne Casey, The Slits, and if one widens the field into new wave and post punk, there’s Siouxsie Sioux, The Raincoats, Chrissie Hynde, Tina Weymouth, Lene Lovich, The Go-Go’s and half of the B-52’s.

There’s no doubt that punk was good for women. And even the subsequent generation of early 80s pop stars, like Madonna, Toyah, Annie Lenox and others, definitely got their cues from the pioneers in the late seventies. In that sense, you can see that punk’s take-no-shit attitude was, in many respects, its single greatest strength.

Who were the impressive entrepreneurs of that era do you think….what traits did they have?

There were plenty of labels to come out of punk. In fact, giving so many people a crash course in business was the the real success of punk and it’s amazing that nobody really says it more often. Stiff, Factory, Fiction, Mute, 99, 4AD, STT, Radar, ZE, Def Jam, Zoo, Epitaph, etc.

People say that punk made Richard Branson because he signed the Sex Pistols, but he already had a chain of record shops and a boutique record label that had scored a massive hit earlier in the 70s with Mike Oldfield. He was already heading for bigger things, but it’s true that Branson learned new tricks from Malcolm McLaren about playing the media. Virgin was a much more aggressive company after punk.

But I think the most interesting examples were obviously Rough Trade and Beggars Banquet. Both were record shops that evolved into labels because of punk. They’re still around today, because what they had were musically literate bosses – Geoff Travis and Martin Mills respectively.

As young shop owners, they learned vital lessons about operating within modest means, keeping up to date, building a community and being genuinely independent. And all these labels, including some new ones like Def Jam, KLF, Sub Pop and others went on to drive hip hop, rave and grunge. They were all run by punk graduates.

Michael

Well, did I do it?

imageIt was during my Christmas break in 2015 that I set myself a challenge – Read 52 Books in a year.  1 a week – should be easy?

It all started with Steven Gerrard – a christmas present

The road to wigan pier followed closely.  George Orwells tale of how we can show a brighter future

As it was the centenary of 1916 Easter Rising there were plenty of books relating to that theme

Jimmy Wren’s The GPO Garrisson was one such story of all the people in the GPO that week

Kieran Glennon’s From Pogrom TO Civil War took in a slightly later time in Irelands Nationalist history

Roger Casement is not only a figure in Irish Nationalist History, prior to (and during)his involvement in Ireland culminating in his trial where he stated “Ireland has wronged no man, that has injured no land, that has sought no dominion over others – Ireland is treated today among the nations of the world as if she was a convicted criminal” he was a British Foreign diplomat.  His most notable work was exposing the slave trade in Congo and the  horrendous slaughter of Peruvian Indians.  The Devil and Misteer casement tells the story of Peru whole King Leopolds Ghost spoke of Congo

Russian troubadors Pussy Riot have had a lot written about them Words Will Break Cement is one of those

Kim Gordon has spoken a lot about how Pussy Riot are strong Women in a band and her Girl In  A Band book tells of her time in Sonic Youth and beyond

Chasing The Scream challenged my perception on the so-called War On Drugs and has really made me think about its relevance

As part of the challenge I asked my kids what book they would like me to read – Pele was my youngest ones choice.  A strange book about a character who exists in a world of stardom and almost seems like an alter ego of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Luca Caioli asked is Messi More Than A Superstar and the answer is very much yes in his mind, interesting that humility is his biggest trait after being a superstar ball player

During Easter Week I decided to take a 360 turn and see how many Ross O’Carroll Kelly books I could cram in this year.  Ross is the obnoxious, sexist beast known to so many Dubliners. The teenage Dirt-Bag years is one of the early ones, his formative college years, a J1 American Visa and the theft of a statue from UCD all get the O’Carroll gloss.

One of the hardest books to read was The Wrath of Cochise, not for the level of detail of the blood feud between the Chiracuau Indians and the US Army but just the level of detail.  Terry Mort has a way with words, and it’s a long way. It was enlightening to read about the ‘White men’ being willing to loose lives in wars and use that as a tactic or about the Irish Bounty hunter James Kirker.  it is interesting that this small island has produced many people who travelled for different reasons and had an impact around the world. Kirker was a hugely successful bounty hunter, willing to work, and kill, for the highest bidder.  There were many Irish recruits into the US Army in the 1850’s – over 30% of those enlisted were Irish hunger having forced them from their homes. Then there were those being sold into slavery, a tale of woe that still continues.

I re-introduced myself to the world of pop punk and Lookout records through Larry Livermores two book and the story of Lookout. Interesting that a label with no initial aspirations other than to release records and get bands heard ended up as a multi million dollar business and the tale of how those millions made people want more. Another label I re-introduced my self to was K Records. Love Rock Revolution, the story of K was published a few years ago but I missed out on it then. It tells the story of Calvin Johnson and K, much like Lookout, a label that saw huge increases in sales when Nirvana got signed but thankfully unlike lookout K is still going.  Sarah records was another label I listened to many bands from and Pop Kiss tells its story with a glorious jangle.

The Lost Women Of Rock Music – Female Musicians of the punk era by Helen Reddington is still altogether too true as it tells the battle females have just to be recognised in rock.. Punk promised to breakthrough  as more and more females joined bands but the establishment re-established its hold and MTV had a different story to tell. It drove it underground

NOFX were a band whose antics when they were in ireland I had blocked out of memory. I knew there was a story around a fireplace and an inscription but the tides of time held no grudges. it was sad to read stories of how fireplaces in other cities, belonging to other peoples parents, were treated with similar disdain. Like spoilt children the drug fuelled lifestyle of nofx left casualties in their wake. We had to run other gigs after they left town, we had to mend a lot of bridges. This book is not surprising in its tome. Pity I like their music so much.

Jack Doyle’s autobiography slowed me down and made me realise I wouldn’t meet my target.  Instead of 1 book a week I went for one a fortnight.  It halved the overall number but still was hopeful and realistic.

This was bropught to fruitiion with somw time over Christmas allowing me to complete my final two.  How Champions Thnk gives some snippets into the mind of sucessful people and it finashed in style with the Aesthetic of Our Anger – a critique of anarcho punk, politics and music.  Although this book is aimed more at an academic audience it is an excellent reflection on the influence of Crass throughout popular culture.

So next year I will try and better this, wish me luck

This years List

1. King Leopolds Ghost

2. The Devil and Me

3. Steve Gerard – My Story

4. Jimmy Wren – The Gpo Garrisson

5. Kieran Glennon – From Pogrom to Civil War

6. Paul Howard – Ross O Carroll Kelly, the teenage Dirtbag years

7. George Orwell – The Road to wigan pier

8. Johan Hari – Chasing the scream

9. Pele – the autobiography

10. Kim Gordon – Girl In  A Band

11. Masha Gessen – Words Will Break Cement

12. The Wrath of Cochise – The Blood Feud That Sparked the Apache Wars

13. Larry Livermore – Spy Rock Memories

14. Larry Livermore – How to Ru(i)n a record label

15. Jeff Alullis – NOFX The Hepatitis Bathtub and other Stories

16. Kevin Prested – Punk USA – The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records –

17. Mark Baumgarten – Love Rock Revolution – The Story of K Records

18. Luca Caioli – Messi: More Than a Superstar

19. Michael White – Pop Kiss – the life and afterlife of sarah records

20 Helen Reddington  – The lost Women of Rock Musc

21.Dave Dictor – MDC

22. The Defects – Nervous Breakdown

23  Michael Taub -Jack Doyle The gorgeous God

24  Adrian Chiles – We Don’t Know What We’re Doing

25 William Macaskill -Doing Good Better

26  Bob Rotella – How Champions Think

27  Mike dines and Matthew Worley – The Aesthetic of our anger

Contributors to ‘In Concert’

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-21-28-40When seeing images from war torn Syria or hearing stories of a people ravaged by war we were moved to try and dom something so we reached out to the music community. I put some of these into Hope *2 fanzine earlier this year but we thought it’d be nice to chronicle the Irish submissions, a secret history of the musicians influencing the bands that influenced us

FROM THE IRISH RED CROSS

5 years on and the plight of Syrians continues. The figures make for shocking reading. In a country with an estimated population of 22.2 million the situation is worsening almost on a daily basis. The number of people in need has increased from 1 million in 2012 to 13.5 million in 2016.

For those that can remain in Syria, regular access to basic needs such as food, water and medical assistance continues to be a challenge. Three in four are currently living in poverty and 5.7 million people are in need of adequate shelter.
Whole neighbourhoods have been destroyed, forcing families to flee in search of safe shelter, but there is little available. When they left their homes, many did so with only the clothes they were wearing. They have nothing else. More than half of those affected are children.
People continue to flee fighting within Syria underlining yet again the dire situation families in Syria are facing. It is vital that they are able to seek protection and support as conflict continues to rage. There are an estimated 6.6 million internally displaced inside the country.
Others are unable to flee and remain under siege as war rages around them. At the start of this year the Red Cross Red Crescent eventually gained access to towns such as Madaya, Foua and Kefraya. The blockade on life saving supplies lasted for months with ordinary Syrian families paying the price.
On entering Madaya our colleague Marianne Gasser, described the situation:
”I was taken to what was euphemistically called the “health centre”. It was, in fact, one room in the basement of a house. Ushered into the semi-darkness, I was met by the sight of limp bodies lying on blue blankets on the floor: elderly people, weak from hunger and illness. There were several children, hollow-faced. I noticed the needle marks on their arms where drips had been administered to try to give them the sustenance they needed to survive.”
The Red Cross Red Crescent is committed to bringing aid to the millions of people affected by this crisis inside Syria. In addition, we are reaching the millions who have fled over the country’s border into the wider region and now wait in refugee camps, uncertain of what their future holds.
https://www.redcross.ie/latest-appeals/syria-appeal/

List of Acts
1 TED CARROLL (promoter, manager, record shop owner and owner of Chiswick Records)
ROCK AND ROLL IN IRELAND AND BEYOND

2 JOE WEADICK (Red Seven/Columbia Showband)
RED SEVEN, LONDON, 1963

3 MARCUS CONNAUGHTON (broadcaster, author)
FLEETWOOD MAC, DUBLIN, 1969

4 BRIAN O’KEALLAIGH (The Gorehounds)
GOOSE LAKE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, MICHIGAN, 1970

5 FERDIA MACANNA (Rocky de Valera, The Rhythm Kings, author)
THIN LIZZY, DUBLIN, 1971

6 GERRY MCAVOY (Rory Gallagher band, author)
RORY GALLAGHER, BELFAST, 1971

7 JOHN MCKENNA (broadcaster)
LEONARD COHEN, DUBLIN, 1972

8 PETE HOLIDAI (The Radiators, Trouble Pilgrims)
ALICE COOPER/ROXY MUSIC, LONDON, 1972

9 CIARAN MCLAUGHLIN (The Undertones, That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah)
PLANXTY, DERRY, 1973

10 NEIL MCCORMICK (author, journalist, musician)
U2, DUBLIN, 1976

11 DAVE SWEENEY (the Max Quad Band, Rocky de Valera and the Gravediggers, the Fat Lady Sings)
DR FEELGOOD, DUBLIN, 1976

12 TONY CLAYTON-LEA (author, journalist, DJ)
IGGY POP, 1977

13 DAMIAN O’NEILL (The Undertones, That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah)
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES/THE HEARTBREAKERS, MANCHESTER, 1977

14 JUDE CARR (Heat fanzine)
THE RADIATORS FROM SPACE, DUBLIN, 1977

15 AIDAN O’ROURKE (The Sinners)
THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977

16 JAKE REILLY (The Blades)
THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977

17 JOHN FISHER (The Dandelion Market)
THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977

18 ELVERA BUTLER (promoter, head of Reekus Records)
FROM THE WHO TO THE STRANGLERS

19 BRIAN SEALES (DC Nien, Tokyo Olympics)
THE STRANGLERS, DUBLIN, 1978

20 BARRY COOKE (Dead Fridge in the Road)
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, DUBLIN, 1978

21 PAUL CHARLES (booking agent, author)
SIGNING THE UNDERTONES, BELFAST, 1978

22 GERRY SMYTH (author)
THE BOOMTOWN RATS, 1978

23 PAT O’DONNELL (The Fountainhead, producer)
IAN DURY, DUBLIN, 1978

24 RAYMOND GORMAN (That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah)
DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS, COLERAINE, 1979

25 DAVID LINEHAN (Aidan Walsh and the Screaming Eagles, Hooligan)
R0CKY DE VALERA, DUBLIN, 1979 + OTHERS

26 RORY STOKES (The Sussed, the Spiders From Kimmage)
U2/THE SUSSED, DUBLIN, 1979

27 FRANK RYNNE (Those Handsome Devils, the Babysnakes)
THE RAMONES, DUBLIN, 1980

28 BILLY MCGRATH (UCD Ents Officer 1975-1976, manager of The Atrix and Stagalee,
TV producer, documentary maker)
U2, LONDON, 1980

29 SÉAN O’CONNOR (The Lookalikes)
THIN LIZZY/THE LOOKALIKES, DUBLIN, 1980

30 PETER DEVLIN (The Devlins, producer, broadcaster)
THE SPECIALS/THE BEAT, THE STARDUST, DUBLIN, 1981

31 PAUL BYRNE (In Tua Nua, producer)
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, DUBLIN, 1981

32 ANDREW BASS (Reveille, producer, studio owner)
U2/REVEILLE, GALWAY, 1981.

33 CÁIT O’RIORDAN (The Pogues, Radiators, PreNup)
U2, LONDON, 1981

34 STANO (artist, musician, composer)
TOM WAITS, DUBLIN, 1981

35 CATHAL O’REILLY (The Shade, Luggage)
KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS, DUBLIN, 1981

36 DEKLAN DACHAU (Paranoid Visions)
THEATRE OF HATE, DUBLIN, 1981

37 CION O’CALLAGHAN (freelance Drummer – Paddy Casey, Shane McGowan)
ROCKY DE VALERA, DUBLIN, 1982

38 COLM O’DWYER (TCD Ents Officer 1991-1992)
U2, 1982

39 PETER JONES (Paranoid Visions)
POISON GIRLS, DUBLIN, 1983

40 DARAGH MCCARTHY (musician, filmmaker: The Stars are Underground)
VIRGIN PRUNES, DUBLIN, 1983

41 WILL WALSH (The Pleasure Cell, The John Wayne Memorial Dancing Lizardmen)
THE SMITHS, 1983

42 ROY WALLACE (Toxic Waste, documentary maker)
TOXIC WASTE, BREMEN, 1984

43 PAT CLAFFERTY (Mexican Pets)
THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1984

44 KIERAN GLENNON (DJ Dr Night Dub)
THE JOHN WAYNE MEMORIAL LIZARDMEN, DUBLIN, 1985

45 HUGO FITZGERALD (Kill Devil Hill)
THE MEMBRANES/THE PLEASURE CELL/KILL DEVIL HILL, DUBLIN, 1985

46 COLM WALSH (manager Intoxicating Rhythm Section, Sultans of Ping)
THE GOLDEN HORDE/THE GOREHOUNDS/BONESHAKERS/PARANOID VISIONS,
DUBLIN, 1985

47 PAUL PAGE (The Whipping Boy)
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, DUBLIN, 1985

48 MICK HEANEY (journalist, DJ)
THE CRAMPS, BOSTON, 1986

49 GARETH MURPHY (author, Cowboys and Indies)
U2, LONDON, 1987

50 REG GORDON (photographer, The Hope Collective)
SO MANY SUNDAYS, DUBLIN, LATE 80’S EARLY 90’S

51 JIM DAVIS (TCD Ents Officer 1990-1991),
PHIL CHEVRON, DUBLIN, 1990

52 PHILIP O’CONNOR (author, journalist, musician, The Banished),
FUGAZI / THERAPY?, DUBLIN, 1990

53 DAVE O’GRADY (promoter, publicist, Gilded ALM),
THERAPY?, DUBLIN, EARLY 90’S

54 SMILEY BOLGER (DJ, promoter Morans, McGonagles, the New Inn)
THAT PETROL EMOTION, DUBLIN, 1990

55 NEIL DOWLING (promoter, Event Ease)
STONES ROSES, BELFAST, 1990/BOLT THROWER, DUBLIN, 1990

56 EDWINA FORKIN (film producer, TCD Ents Officer 1989-1990)
SONIC YOUTH/NIRVANA 1991

57 JILL FORTYCOATS (Mexican Pets)
THE EX/DOG FACED HERMANS, DUBLIN, 1991

58 FINBAR MCLOUGHLIN (Gearhead Nation)
THE EX/DOG FACED HERMANS, DUBLIN, 1991

59 CANICE KENEALY, (Engine Alley)
PRIMAL SCREAM, DUBLIN, 1992

60 SEAN CAMPBELL, (author)
U2, KANSAS CITY, 1992

61 KEVIN MARTIN (promoter, fanzine editor)
MOBY/ORBITAL/APHEX TWIN, CHICAGO 1993

62 JOHNNY BOYLE (Lir, Pugwash, Picturehouse, Marianne Faithfull, The Frames)
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, DUBLIN, 1993

63 BARRY MCCORMACK (Jubilee All-Stars, solo artist)
SWERVEDRIVER, DUBLIN, 1993

64 PHIL UDELL (journalist, State ie, Word-Up Collective)
BACK TO THE PLANET, DUBLIN, 1993

65 EILEEN HOGAN (author, lecturer)
THERAPY?, LIMERICK, 1994

66 PETESY BURNS (Toxic Waste, FUAL, The Outcasts, member of Warzone Collective)
VICTIMS FAMILY/GROTUS, DUBLIN, 1994

67 TOM POLLARD (The Pyrex Babies)
ROLLINS BAND, DUBLIN, 1994

68 KIERAN KENNEDY (The Black Velvet Band)
THE BLACK VELVET BAND, SWITZERLAND, 1994

69 MICHELLE MCCARTHY (marketing manager, Madison Square Garden)
GARTH BROOKS, DUBLIN, 1995

70 WAYNE P SHEEHY (producer/studio owner, drummer with Ron Wood)
RON WOOD, TORONTO, 1990s

71 PAUL McDERMOTT (DJ, zine editor, lecturer)
CATHAL COUGHLAN & NINE WASSIES FROM BAINNE, CORK, 1997

72 IAN PEARCE (Split Red/Los Cabras/The Dangerfields/Comply Or Die)
ABHINANDA, BELFAST, 1998

73 EMM GRYNER (David Bowie/The Cardigans/The Cake Sale/solo artist)
DAVID BOWIE, DUBLIN, 1999

74 COLM O’CALLAGHAN (journalist, broadcaster)
ELVIS COSTELLO, DUBLIN, 1999

75 FRANCES ROE (Jam Jar Jail)
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, DUBLIN, 2001

76 EMMET GREENE (Bandicoot Promotions),
BOBBY CONN, CORK, 2002

77 KIERAN CUNNINGHAM (sports editor, The Star)
CATHAL COUGHLAN, CORK, 2005

78 ROISIN NIC GHEARAILT (M(h)aol)
FLAMING LIPS, 2005/DEADMAUS, 2009

79 EOIN DEVEREUX (author, lecturer)
MORRISSEY, OSTIA, 2006

80 JIM ROGERS (author, lecturer)
CHRISTY MOORE, DUBLIN, 2007

81 CONSTANCE KEANE (M(h)aol)
INCUBUS, DUBLIN, 2007

82 THE LATE DAVID TURPIN (artist)
LAURIE ANDERSON OLYMPIA THEATRE, 2007)

83 PETE MURPHY (publicist)
TOM WAITS, DUBLIN, 2008

84 DES O’BYRNE (The Golden Horde, NYC DJ),
GÉTATCHÈW MÈKURYA AND THE EX, NEW YORK, 2008

85 VONA GROARKE (author, Spindrift),
RICHARD HAWLEY, DERBYSHIRE, 2009

86 ROB FLYNN (The Winter Passing),
HAVE HEART, DUBLIN, 2009

87 ROBBIE ROBINSON (film director, An Irish Exorcism and member of the
Intoxicating Rhythm Section Captain Tripps),
KINGS X, LONDON, 2009

88 AIDAN WALSH (musician, rehearsal room proprietor)
AIDAN WALSH AND THE SCREAMING EAGLES, DUBLIN, 2010

89 DAVE LONG (Into Paradise),
THERAPY?, DUBLIN, 2010

90 BRIAN CROSBY (musician, Bell X1, The Cake Sale, producer)
SUFJAN STEVENS, BERLIN, 2011

91 ELLIE & LOUISE MACNAMARA (Heathers)
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, BLOOMINGTON, IN., 2011

92 MICHELLE DOYLE (Sissy)
THE RAINCOATS, SEATTLE, 2012

93 JUSTIN MCDAID (freelance journalist, Golden Plec)
ENABLERS, DUBLIN, 2013

94 JIM CARROLL (journalist, broadcaster)
THE GLOAMING 2014

95 COLIN COULTER (author, co-editor Ireland Under Austerity)
RUEFREX, 2014

96 SUZANNE RHATIGAN (singer, promoter)
GRACE JONES, COUNTY LAOIS, 2015

97 HENRY CLUNEY (Stiff Little Fingers, X-SLF)
SOLO, BLACKPOOL, 2015

98 JOHN O’FLYNN (author)
MAPPING POPULAR MUSIC, DUBLIN, 2015

99 CLODAGH SPUD (fanzine editor)
RUDE PRIDE/THE SULTANS/TAKERS AND USERS/THE DIVILS
DUBLIN/BELFAST, 2015

100 PAUL PURCELL (DJ, founder of Glacial Sounds record label),
SWING TING, MANCHESTER, 2015

101 MICHAEL McCAUGHAN (TCD Ents Officer 1984-1985, author; The Price of Our Souls: Gas, Shell & Ireland),
JELLO BIAFRA, DUBLIN, 2015

102 GARRY O’NEILL (cultural historian, author)
VARIOUS

103 TERRY O’NEILL (manager of Thin Lizzy and others, promoter and publicist)
VARIOUS

104 ANTO DILLON (editor, Loserdom fanzine)
VARIOUS

105 JAMES HENDICOOT (freelance journalist, NME, Dublin Gazette)
TALKING WITH THE DROPKICK MURPHYS, 2013

The book was compiled, funded and published by two veterans of the Dublin DIY (do-it-yourself) music scene, Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy.
They came up with a simple idea to raise funds for the Irish Red Cross Syria Appeal. Ask people in Ireland’s music community to write about their favourite gigs.
People love talking about gigs. People love hearing about great gigs.
So they asked some of their favourite musicians, writers and behind-the-scenes characters to remember some outstanding gigs. Then they asked friends of friends who asked friends of friends.
This book is a compilation of over one hundred of the best of those gig memories. It includes recollections of gigs that were legendary and influential (Fleetwood, the Clash, Leonard Cohen, the Smiths), as well as gigs that were quickly forgotten. From immaculately presented stadium gigs to ramshackle events in sketchy halls; from showbands to punk, death metal and dance it documents some of the inspiring, brilliant and bizarre events witnessed by Ireland’s music community far and wide.

Quotes from Niall and Michael:
It is a brilliant book. We are proud of it. Look at the brilliant writing. These people weren’t just members of Ireland’s music community, they weren’t just witnesses to spectacular, sometimes life-changing, gigs: they are also outstanding writers.
We thought that it was particularly important to include some of the ‘forgotten heroes’ of the Irish music community. To hear the voices of the people who were ‘there’ who were a major part of the scene but are never included in the history.

In Concert – out now Supporting Irish Red Cross

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-21-28-40It’s been over 12 months in the making but we have finally released In Concert, Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community.

When we first saw the heartbreaking pictures from Aleppo we reached out to those people we know best, our friends in the music community.  Six months ago Hope *2 came out and this featured those in the punk community in an effort to raise money for pikpa lesvos centre.  We held back on many contributions from the Irish music scene as we felt it would be nice for this group to extend their support. The results are In Concert and whilst there are many more who could and deserve to be included we feel this can help form part of a ‘secret history’ of the irish music scene. People like Ted Carroll who founded Chiswick Records, Pete Holidai from Radiators, Cáit O’Riordan from the Pogues, Pat Clafferty of Mexican Pets, Deko Dachau from Paranoid Visions to more recent luminaries like Constance Keane from M(h)aol or Rob Flynn from Winter Passing.  105 contributors altogether speaking of showbands, leonard cohen, the clash, theatre of hate, golden horde, therapy? and so many more including U2.

The book is a benefit for Irish Red Cross specifically in their efforts to assist people forced to flee their homes in Syria

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The Lost Women of Rock Music

Messi – More Than A Superstar

Messi

More Than A Superstar

Icon Books

messi

I’m struck by reading messi, more than a superstar at how much Luca Caioli wants to portray Lionel Messi as an ordinary person. A person with an amazing talent that has just stumbled across this life of fame and (ahem…) non payment of taxes.
His first coach has “never heard him boast about playing well and scoring goals” and that feeling resonates. How many times have we squirmed as someone talks about how good they are. It is part of the Irish psyche to play yourself down. And if you don’t do it there will be plenty of friends ready to knock you off any perch you might build up. Don’t get comfortable.
Then I wonder is that the right thing? Is it just self confidence that allows one to speak of their own ability? If I see a mirror I get an urge to rush past it without looking up. The inverse is the case for my kids. They are comfortable with it. Is one of us wrong?
By page 35 humility has been mentioned on four separate occasions. It reminds me of Gaelic Football in Dublin where players can play for their county in front of 80.000 people but still come back to their club and be one of the gang. I’ve often seen Brian Fenton in St Anne’s park talking to young Raheny players, offering advice and generally being a good guy. It’s no more than you get from most people in the club the only difference is that Fenton is lauded on tv most weeks when he plays. Should that make a difference? Obviously not but how can you stop it? It must be hard work.
The other night I was out for a meal and I saw a little known food critic on the table opposite. I couldn’t help but stare and think of a conversation gong around in the kitchen of the restaurant, or on tables beside us as these people looked to eat their meal in peace. What if this was Messi looking for a quiet curry or out for a quiet walk in the park. Would he be able to have one? Nope, so how do you stay humble in such circumstances?
Of course for it to be any book of relevance when talking about messi, Diego maradona has to get a mention. How infuriating (or flattering) must it be for any great player that comparisons get made big course it is only natural. It’s a sign of quality. Argentina have had many people described as the next Maradona but none given that title as much as Messi. Of course the fact they both possess so much skill on their respective left foot means there is validity to the comparisons.  For me there is only one, of each
Of course with a talent like messi he is always going to be in demand. Whenever talent rises people wish to claim it and make use of it. For a young messi this meant being dragged around as his club and country wanted to use him for their needs. With him in the team you had a better chance of winning. Cause gives us some examples of that conflict. The one option of doing what is best for the individual never seems to be noted though.
Of course boring such a precious talent means every season brings new records and honours. Every season has a litany of special goals or majestic passes. Some of them get mentioned here and the imagery they conjure up is simply breathtaking. I love watching Messi play football, he makes it seem si simple.
As interesting and all that Messis ability to play football is it starts to grate a bit when picking through the seasons. He is a record breaker, his trophy haul is phenomenal his goal scoring record is second to none and the way he can win things for his teams are magnificent. This book reminds us of that. It gives very little background information.  There are no insights into Messis thoughts, no new breakthroughs are announced. This is where it really falls down for me. I know little more about the “Flea” than I did when starting the book. His humility is reaffirmed, that’s for sure but little else.
niallhope

Book of the week – The Devil and Mr Casement

The devil and mr casement
Jordan Goldman
Verso books

casement

Previously i reviewed King Leopold’s ghost, a book loaned to me by a union activist. On return of that I was given a different but similar missive, the devil and mr casement. While King Leopold’s was about the Congo and the suffering imposed on its population the devil moves continent. To South America and Peru.

With one thread between the two, Roger casement. After all it is the centenary of the Easter Rising so why not celebrate one of Ireland’s heroic gun runners by reading of his exploits prior to dealing with the Germans during the First World War in an effort to get arms from them for this countries own war effort.

Casement is a colourful character, one out of kilter in an Ireland of stereotypes. Christened twice under two different religions and gay made him NOT the poster boy for the rebellion, that’s for sure, but through all the torment growing up he knew knew the difference between what he felt was right and wrong.

The devil in this book is the Peruvian Amazon company, listed in the British Stock Exchange, through it’s owner – Julio Cesar Arana, dealing with rubber and about to exploit anyone it can. Geography helped it get a stronghold in an area where few people travelled. An emerging market looking for rubber as car tires, bike tires and many other uses for rubber was being found. There are stories of brutality and torture as the British empire became aware of the plight of people in Peru.

We get used to the language of today and phrases like living wage as being of their time. I have been at many conferences when forced labour and it’s horrendous effects on human beings, prisoners in their own skin, have lights shine on them. It’s certainly not a 21st century phenomena and since slavery has been abolished in some areas over one and a half centuries ago it is something that has continually been part of the global radar. We like to think that the settled western world has no place for such things but we do. As my “no to human trafficking bookmark” constantly reminds me. However it was very much prevalent amongst “respectable” rubber producing companies, most notably the previously mentioned Peruvian Amazon company.

It’s also easy to forget that different times to today were lived under extremely different circumstances. Now I have the potential to communicate with over 50% of the worlds population instantaneously. I can pretty much see where any island is in the world. Many countries secret services can try and get cameras into any of the worlds nooks and crannies. They aren’t quite there yet but it’s getting closer. Whereas a century ago maps were being drawn and vast areas of countries were either unexplored or untraversable. Except for indigenous people and local gangs. Which is where much of the worlds rubber stock came from but always with some man (pretty much always a man) ready to exploit it for profit. And ready to do whatever it takes to hang on and increase it.

So it took a while for word to get around the world on events good or bad. The Peruvian Amazon Company were getting away with indiscretions in the name of business as their product was very much in demand and that demand was being met. However they had some forced labour issues and due to the expansion of the British empire it became the business of the British state when stories of its citizens (from Barbados) being tortured came to light. They set up a committee to investigate. And who better to lead the investigation? Future traitor and leading humanitarian Roger Casement.

Casements work in compiling his report for the foreign office made him almost like an investigative journalist. He hunted people down? Sourced interpreters and spoke to as many as he could whilst hearing tales of decapitation. Casement disgust was mixed with amazement when a domestic murder held so much more credence that this tales of inhumanity it helped shape his belief in justice for downtrodden and lp doubt played a part in his wish to assist Irish Rebels in their future fight against the British empire.

He published a paper on the situation that garnered huge press coverage. How could it not when it stated that the native Indian population nosedived from 50,000 to 11,000 in the years between 1908 and 1911.

This book tells the story in chronological order through extensive research of letter, newspaper article and published journals. I was struck when reading the details of a select committee set up by the House of Commons to investigate the company as it had British directors. Some of the transcripts are mind boggling in their evasiveness but that brought me a century ahead and this small island, formerly fully part of the British empire. We have had our share of select committees and tribunals investigating wrongdoing and corruption. Many answers to these were misleading and quite frankly bizarre. So what has really changed?

Slavery is abolished but we still have forced labour.
Labour laws are in place but we still have people being paid below minimum wage
Health and safety standards are published but we still have negligent workplaces.

We are forever evolving and still have a way to go but thanks to people like Roger Casement change came quicker to some countries.

niallhope

Book of the week Pele – the autobiography

pele – the autobiography

pocket books sport

 

Where i live in Dublin there is a certain footballer who was lauded when Dublin won the all-ireland last year.  This player had taken the championship by storm/ and won player of the year by the seasons end.  We often see him in the local park, walking his dog.  He always has time to say hello to the kids and encourages all he sees to play sport.

i often wonder what really goes on in Brian Fentons head, how hard isit to stay grounded when youve played such a pivotal role in your counties success,.  How do you  keep those feet on the ground when most people you see have already spotted you and either congratulate you on your performances or want to, and you know it.  Im sure you practice outting up a facade and try and remain humble.

now magnify that by one million and you are Pele.  My guess is that many years ago Pele gave in to the temptation to remain humble and one day had an epiphany.  “Im the best footballer in the world, there can be no doubt”  And then you have to write a book….

 

Well this is the book.  Really it should be told King but it is the story of a man better at football than at business who is treated like a king everywhere he goes.  This was published in the 90s but no doubt the focus is more relenting.

Just like a king there are stories of women, not as many enry the 8th but on the way, plenty of children too but with an obvious llove for them.

I read this as my son asked me, never really would have stretched out for it but am glad that i did.  He is some footballer after all.

niallhope

Chasing The Scream

Chasing The Scream

Johann Hari

Bloomsbury Press

Home

chasing-the-scream-3

As a starting point to this review I have one question.  According to the lancet, What is the most harmful drug?
Coincidentally shortly in the week where two people were shot and murdered in separate instances on Dublin’s streets I started reading ‘Chasing the scream’, courtesy of El presidente. Ironically enough this book was given to me as a present by one of the very few adults I know that doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs. When I look in the mirror I see another one. I have never participated and found it ironic ( and still do to a certain extent) that I know people who wish to “smash the system” and will boycott nestle or other companies over dubious business practices but seem to think it’s ok to assist in the profits of alcohol companies or drug lords. Just because I don’t take them though doesn’t mean I can’t see the merit in decriminalisation and the case is made constantly throughout these pages. Just as people who drink alcohol have a 90% chance of becoming alcoholic the figures are similar for drug users. Imagine how different the world would look like if the money was taken from fighting drug crime to treatment centres and awareness
This weeks killings in Dublin were acted out in open spaces with many people acting as bystanders, dragged into events by virtue of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time”. The perpetrators and victims, if media are to be believed, were involved or linked by blood relation to Dublins criminal underworld. Much of this underworld are involved in the sale and distribution of drugs.
And that’s where Chasing the scream comes in. It charts the beginning of the drug war and how just over a century ago department stores were selling heroin nets. We begin with three individuals born into a time when the war on drugs had not yet started but was about to play a huge part in their lives
Harry Anslinger was an FBI agent assigned to what was become the war on drugs. Whether it was a war on drugs or on minorities using them is up to question as much of Anslingers language would not be tolerated today
Billie holidays story is a real tale of wrong place wrong te. Orphaned and destitute
Of course every war has victims. Victims of circumstances and in some cases geography. Soldiers don’t always have a historical reason or a sense of belonging. Sometimes they just fall into it. Chino is one. Destined for a life of destitution, it seems that Chino was always going to end on the streets in a spiral of drug abuse and violence. The war on drugs creates many casualties and drug dealers in many instances are casualties “..exploded and discarded shells, left behind on a global battlefield”. People in their radar can be casualties but the majority of violence isn’t around the action of taking drugs, it’s around the fight for power. Hari explains that in great detail and looking at the recent killings in Dublin only copper fastens that. A fight over territory so that more money can be made. He also speaks to people on all sides, including  those responsible for enforcing the law, however it is noticeable that increasing arrests haven’t led to decreasing number of drug deals
There are other victims written about here. New York, Mexico, Texas. All places with people struggling through life and somehow with a vision for a better world, a world that if it arrives is only temporary. Take Mexico and its 70,000 dead (that’s SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE murdered in a country). What hope is there?  We need hope but with the drug war continuing it is hard to find it.
There is a fascinating chapter on the people who fall into addiction. There is a a theory that says addiction is not about usage it’s more akin to easing pain. The 10% of drug users who become addicts do so for a reason and maybe it’s not down to repetitive use.  Why do addicts keep doing it? we are asked  “because it makes them feel good, and the rest of their life doesn’t make them feel good”. Hari asks why isn’t more time spent looking at the people and their environment rather than biochemistry and the brain. Of course it is a valid point even if you’re sceptical of the underlying reasons. The way we view addicts is another aspect for consideration if someone is being treated for alcohol addiction there is almost sympathy, how different is that viewpoint for a drug addict. Portugese authorities are starting to view their addicts with sympathy. As drug use is no longer criminalised on lisbons streets there is a feeling “we all want to protect our children from drugs, we all want to keep people dying as a result of drug use. We all want to reduce addiction. And the evidence suggests that when we move beyond the drug war, we will be able to achieve these goals with shared success.
Another interesting aspect and a potential solution to assisting addicts and society at large is the idea of a social recovery. We are all in a rush to be consumers. Working more and buying more. This is have devastating effects on our environment but yet we continue. Why not pursue this? Cities like Licerpool, Vancouver and Geneva have all, to varying effects, set up injection clinics where heroin is provided in a controlled environment. This has reduced drug crime and deaths. Why not spend money in this rather than in crime prevention and detention?
Former Swiss president, Ruth dreifuss, is asked what she would say to David Cameron and Barack Obama should they be stuck in a lift together. “You are responsible for all of your citizens, and being responsible means protecting them and giving them the means to protect themselves. There is no group that you can abandon”. Yet it seems those involved in drugs are being abandoned.
As someone who walked the streets to first stop animal experiments in March 1983 and whose feelings haven’t wavered since I’m disappointed to read of tests with rats around the use of opiates. These tests are given ink but I can’t point to their validity. It sidetracked the issue for me and would be far more comfortable if it wasn’t raised.
I finished this book as we entered our general election frenzy and smiled wryly as hari observes “in a true democracy, nobody gets written off. Nobody gets abandoned. The revolution lives”. Some day maybe. To a country near you.
Oh an the answer is alcohol
niallhope