The Ed & Steve show

EdSteve

Ed King (left) and Steve Gaines, RIP

Ed King and Steve Gaines share their birthday today (both the date and the year)  which is pretty freaky when you think about it.  Ed King was guitarist with Strawberry Alarm Clock.  In 1968 Lynyrd Skynyrd opened their show for them on tour.  In 1972 Ed King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd and he helped write “Sweet Home Alabama” and he provided the signature opening riff.

King left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines, the guy with the same birthday.  In 1977 Steve, his sister Cassie and Ronnie Van Zant were tragically killed in a plane crash.

In 1987 Ed King was instrumental in reuniting the band and stayed with them until 1996 when he had to take a break for heart treatment.  The man who counts in the original recording linked below is Ed King.  Happy Birthday.

 

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Cats

BomDem

Bombalurina (Esha Hourihane Clancy) Demeter (Naomi Ryan)

 

Just a quick post to capture a moment from last week when Phoenix productions in Thurles staged Cats.  An amazing performance that took many weeks of hard graft.  Thorough professionals.  This is not a youth musical society, this is Phoenix!

First and foremost this is a dancing show and the cast really stepped up to the plate.  The choreography was first class and would give Broadway a run for its money.  Of course I am a sucker for any show based on great poetry.

All the cats were great but Bombalurina (Esha Hourihane Clancy) was magnificent.  She and her partner in crime, Demeter (Naomi Ryan) were the pillar and post to every set piece in the show. But then I am biased.

 

Catnames

Cats

 

 

Happy Birthday Mark Knopfler

Knopfler

Back in 1977 Mark Knopfler and his brother David founded one of the iconic bands of my experience. Their eponymous first album, Dire Straits, is one of my favourites.  Mark was born on this day in 1949.

Mark went on to work in the film industry.  A lot of people I know have great nostalgia for “The Princess Bride”.  I wonder how many of them know that Knopfler was behind the score?

One of the top 100 guitarists in Rolling Stone Magazines list he is probably most famous for his use of the National Guitar in the “Making Movies” and “Love over Gold” albums.  I saw them in Punchestown during the Love Over Gold tour in July 1983.

A fingerpicking guitarist; Knopfler developed his playing style because when staying with some friends the only guitar he could get his hands on was a wreck with a warped neck.  He had to tune it slack and could only play by fingerpicking.

I will never forget the impact when they came on stage in Punchestown and opened with this one:

Happy Birthday Jerry Hourihane Clancy

21 years ago on this day Jerry was born in Holles Street Hospital at lunchtime.

That morning I asked Louise if I should go to work or not.  We went for a short walk up the road and back and then she told me to go ahead into work.  So off I went.  In the office I got a phone call asking if I would donate blood that day.  I rang home at about 10:30 and asked Louise how she was.  She said nothing was happening (liar).  So I agreed to go to Pelican House to donate.

I was just about finished with the donation when a call came in from the office telling me that Louise needed me straight away.  So they strapped up my arm, called me a plonker and threw me into a taxi home.

I was preparing for the long haul.  You’ve all seen it on TV.  Hours pacing the corridors as nothing happens.  So I made some sandwiches to take with me.  There was the remains of a half leg of lamb which makes some great sandwiches, especially if you have a nice chutney.

Then into the car and off to the hospital.  We parked up the car and walked over to registration.  Louise told the receptionist that she was going to have the baby straight away.  The eye rolling from the receptionist was clearly a practiced move born of many such situations.  Louise couldn’t walk any more, so I got a wheelchair to take her to the delivery ward.

They told me to go t o the waiting room and that I would be there for some considerable time.  I was so glad that I brought the book I was reading.  Unfortunately I never got to read the book, or eat the sandwiches.  Jerry was born about 40 minutes after we reached the hospital.

Once Louise and Jerry were settled I nipped home in the car to make some calls (pre-mobile phone days) and feed the dog etc.  In the car this song came on, and I cried.  Still do.

 

 

This Sporting Life

Joe Dolan

Last Saturday was a night at the dog track in Mullingar with some college buddies and other middle aged guys for a Stag party to consign the last man standing to the wonderful institution of marriage.  In the course of the night I was recommending that a couple of the guys look up this poem.  Pertinent as it is also set in Mullingar.  It is both the saddest and the funniest poem I know about sport.

Sport; by Paul Durcan

There were not many fields
in which you had hopes for me
but sport was one of them.
On my twenty-first birthday
I was selected to play
for Grangegorman Mental Hospital
in an away game
against Mullingar Mental Hospital.
I was a patient
in B Wing.
You drove all the way down,
fifty miles,
to Mullingar to stand
on the sidelines and observe me.
I was fearful I would let down
not only my team but you.
It was Gaelic football.
I was selected as goalkeeper.
There were big country men
on the Mullingar Mental Hospital team,
men with gapped teeth, red faces,
oily, frizzy hair, bushy eyebrows.
Their full forward line
were over six foot tall
fifteen stone in weight.
All three of them, I was informed,
cases of schizophrenia.
There was a rumour
that their centre-half forward
was an alcoholic solicitor
who, in a lounge bar misunderstanding,
had castrated his best friend
but that he had no memory of it.
He had meant well – it was said.
His best friend had to emigrate
to Nigeria.
To my surprise,
I did not flinch in the goals.
I made three or four spectacular saves,
diving full stretch to turn
a certain goal around the corner,
leaping high to tip another certain goal
over the bar for a point.
It was my knowing
that you were standing on the sideline
that gave me the necessary motivation –
that will to die
that is as essential to sportsmen as to artists.
More than anybody it was you
I wanted to mesmerise, and after the game –
Grangegorman Mental Hospital
having defeated Mullingar Mental Hospital
by 14 Goals and 38 points to 3 goals and 10 points –
sniffing your approval, you shook hands with me.
‘Well played, son’.
I may not have been mesmeric
but I had not been mediocre.
In your eyes I had achieved something at last.
On my twenty-first birthday I had played on a winning team
the Grangegorman Mental Hospital team.
Seldom if ever again in your eyes
was I to rise to these heights.

Day record

Aubergine

My first ever Aubergine flower.

Very tired so I am just going to record what I did today and then crash.

Woke up, let the chickens out.  They are working out well.  3 eggs a day from 6 hens.  Keep it up girls.

Breakfast was our own eggs poached on toast.  Espresso coffee.

Dropped Esha to the train station with her friend Clodagh, on their way to see “Angela’s Ashes:  The musical”.

Recycled bottles and jars in Thurles.

Jerry drove myself and Gavin to Clonmel, Jerry to practice driving.  Gavin to buy school books for 5th and 6th year.  Last big shell out on school books!  Also hit the oriental shop to buy black beans, butter beans, pine nuts, turmeric, won-ton skins, pickled vine leaves and chick peas.

Dealz for hardback a4 copy books.

Had to go to the health food store for the sunflower seeds and tofu.

Over to Tesco in Clonmel for printer ink, lotto, wine, peanuts, baguette, pens.

Home for lunch.  Blue cheese, baguette, apple, tea.

Jerry cut lawns on ride on, Gavin cut small lawn with hand lawnmower. Picked, shelled, blanched and froze peas.  Cleaned out chicken coop.  Planted out aubergines.  Gavin fed tomato plants.  I weeded a lot.

Planted out some pot parsley plants.

Trimmed some branches of the horse chestnut tree.

Cut grass on the driveway.

Watched a bit of the tour de france time trial.

Fed the dog, walked the dog, watered the dog, cuddled the dog, gave out to the dog when it bit my toes.

Louise made pizza and focaccia.  Time to crash in front of the TV.

Life is what happens when you are making other plans..……John Lennon