Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spinal Flood.

Did you know I was in a moderately successful late-90s acid-pop-rock fusion troupe called Fust? No... Well read on...

Dave Fanning: You're releasing a Greatest Hits album - 'You Just Got Fust.' - exactly ten years to the day since you first played on my own show in the 2FM studios...

Me: ...I didn't know that. That's funny.

DF: So you'd say it was an accident?

M: Yeah, pretty much. Everything is. The fact is even if any of us wanted to remember something like that, chemically it would have been impossible.

DF: Good times?

M: I'm assured they were. Really we were just fucking around at the start. Myself and Phenyl (guitarist/flautist who left the band in acrimonious circumstances in 2000) were in Waltons and the magic found us, y'know? We felt wedded there and then, chemistry, bam, and we were very drunk which helped, frankly.

DF: Tell me how the rest of the band formed.

M: Shrooms, man. The silent something. But seriously, yeah, we needed a rhythm section and I was always impressed by Oli's finger tapping in the pub so I said fuck it. OC saw it too. Up to that point it was just me and Phenyl laying down what we could but we knew we kinda had to share it around make it big and fuck it to the big boys. Not that we had peers as such. We invented that shit.

DF: Your first gig was at the Mean Fiddler as I rec...

M: Mad shit. We were off our box but the music held. Great fuckin' show man. Luckily somebody had their Marantz handy. None of that MP3 shit back then...

DF: It was 1999. The technology had been...

M: Well we didn't fuckin' know about it. We were just throwin' it out there. Anyway, yeah, we got a recording and brought it to Eno. He told us to get-the-fuck. So we took it to someone else who played it to someone else...

DF: And a deal just like that?

M: No man they told us to get fucked. Still, we believed and eventually it took when we met Muck. He did right by us. At the start.

DF: Of course, there was trouble after?

M: Google that shit man. I'm not going over it again. But he was the man at the start. Got us onto Jools Holland, Jo Whiley, Whiley Fox, Bobcat and Sloane. You know?

DF: No I have no idea who those people are. Anyway, cut to 2000, your first two albums 'Get Fust' and 'Ridicule' have both been lauded. You and Phenyl are at the peak of your powers, the deal with Sony, Slane, Dalymount. Any of this ring a bell?

M: You're getting it man. I don't remember any of that shit. You take any photos?

DF: You serious?

M: Probably. I remember the feeling, and the music was pretty intense stuff and took its toll. The devil's in the details though and he steals that shit away. Bring lawyers into it and anyone would get messed around, you know. Royalties and all that bollocks. Phenyl cleaned up in more ways than one.

DF: Is there a bitterness now?

M: Life's too short but if he comes round my way he'd better have a fucking excuse note from his mother, know what I'm saying?

DF: Not a clue.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Idiots.

Some joy tonight on the teaching front. A small amount. I didn't fuck up much, there were no awkward moments and a stimulating conversation about snooker.

That works for me.

I heard about Russell Brand, that stupid big-haired wankwit, and Jonathan Ross, that stupid floppy-haired wankwit, and their prank on the actor Andrew Sachs on Brand's BBC Radio Two show over the weekend. Appalling stuff.

They left repeated messages on Sachs' (he played Manuel in Fawlty Towers) answering machine, explaining how Brand had done the sex thing with his granddaughter.

Ross started it off by shouting 'He fucked your granndaughter!' while Brand left his initial message, and got worse. It was like two teenagers making a crank call to the quiet kid, high on solvents and crassness.

I wish I hadn't YouTubed it. It wasn't subversive, clever, dry, sarcastic or interesting. It wasn't bawdy. It was just the worst kind of knick-knack, like sticking a banger in a letter box and running away.

Sorry all the expletives. I'm very fucking tired tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

15 minutes.

I'm going to fail blog writing 101 if I sit at this laptop a minute longer, typing nothing.

In the middle of a busy working day yesterday I received a call from a solicitor - I think he said his name was Brendan Scott - telling me that he represented the singer Enya and that she was initiating legal proceedings as a result of my recent blog.

With goals flying in over in England and not a minute to think, I just told him to do one, that I was busy. I was momentarily thrown as I didn't recognise his voice.

The confusion brought on by a busy period in work, allied with the previous night's leftovers, caused a momentary breakdown on my part. I forgot where I was. I couldn't figure out why I was staring at an untyped goal alert. "Could she really have....? No, there's no way, is there....? Jesus. Maybe I'll delete it... What the fuck? What the fuck? Oh wait. Greaney."

He's pulled this kind of stunt before, though I still don't know how he disguised his voice so well. A part of me was disappointed that I wasn't to appear before the courts and plead comedy. That would have been fun, if a little financially crippling in my stupid little world. As things stand, I'll have to get the fucker back.

What's next?

Well?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brennan's bread.

'In the inner sanctum of Enya-world, the two people most trusted above all are Nicky and Roma Ryan, her closest friends. Nicky and Roma are not merely friends, but her lyricist and producer, and not just her lyricist and producer, but the two people who forged Enya; discovered her; nurtured her talent; made her a star; and they continue with every last detail of every record, down to the way she looks in photos...'

I fear for Enya. While being forged sounds very mystical and Lord Of The Rings-ish, it can't be fun being a 47-year-old womanchild, cut off from the Brennans of Donegal, making music that sounds like a bath and wandering around a castle alone.

Not only that, but she has Bono for a neighbour.

"Look over the fence Ali, it's Enya, fellow star of Ireland, our country, our GOD, SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAYYYYYY!!!! Now where are my fucking pop tarts?"

Back to Enya. I can see her now, pottering around in her water-coloured gowns shaped like leaves, keening for Clannad and those days sat at the piano while her brothers and sisters played outside in the sun. She's there sowing the seeds of her secret little language, living among the elves and lilies of her brain when BAM! Nicky and Roma come and steal her away and tell her she can't talk to her kin anymore.

There was a mint to be made. A wall of sound to be built. A womanchild to be cultivated. ENYA TO BE FORGED!!!

(Generic impending doom music) DEH DEH DEHHHHHHH!!!!!

So they make albums and albums of bath music and squirrel away billions and billions of lovely monies and buy a castle in Dalkey.

They let her roam free for the first while, but soon take to drugging her, keeping her like a flower in the attic, feeding her fishheads and only wheeling her out for take after take of garbled secret-language chanting.

One night Enya breaks free. She busts down the attic door. There are gold and platinum records everywhere. She stalks the hallways of a mansion she hasn't seen sober for ten years. Cavernous, empty.

She sees light under the door. She opens it ajar and peeks through.

Roma and Nicky are in full business suits, no longer the loving hippies she believed kept her locked away for her own good.

Roma, lamb fat dripping down her face: "Warners were on. They want more chanting."

Nicky, who looks a bit like David Crosby: "Fuck Warners. We've got Ari Gold at 7. Where are my moccasins?"

Roma: "Beside the bucket."

Nicky: "Did you feed it today? Those fish-heads smell gone-off."

Roma: "Shit. I forgot. I'll go up now. (Calls out) Oh ENYA!!! DINNER'S COMING!"

They hear a sound from behind the door. Enya's cowering, scared senseless. Her world collapsed. TWEED EVERYWHERE!

Roma: "Enya, sweetheart, darling, (secret language-secret language-secret language), me and Daddy Nicky were just putting on a play."

Nicky: "That's right. A play. We were playing Music Mogul. It's your favourite play, remember?"

Enya, clarity coming back to her, becoming empowered, mind clearing, EPIPHANY!: "Fuck you two. I want to speak to the Irish Independent. Set it up."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soon come.

It's all about me. Me me me.

I'm trying to wind down from work, given the fact that I walked out of Setanta Towers roughly 46 minutes ago. It's 00:18 now and I'm back in there at ten in the morning.

I don't understand how I need to wind down, though. My last hour in there was spent picking my nose, bouncing the little spongy basketball off the window, and writing a snooker report. Five very sensible paragraphs on John Higgins beating Ryan Day in the London Something Watches Glasgow Grand Prix Final Rematch The Third Yarrump.

"The trick is in convincing the reader you have slightest fucking clue who Ryan Day is."

Anyway, it's not like I'm overloaded on adrenalin having played to 535 million people at Knobworth (sic). I'm just restless and interesting, trying to figure out what that weird moment was earlier on. A strange feeling came over me as I walked up Hawkins Street and saw the rain sheeting down on the Screen cinema, with the sun as background.

A thought came to me then, a moment of literary largesse, and I can't get it back.

But it soon come.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pleading patience.

That fucked up Friday feeling is here, it's to do with the impending late shift. OK, it's also based in the last two nights of carousing, but it's mostly work.

Dang.

I haven't had words for the last four days, and none come easily to me now. I've even put on 'Master And Everyone,' the album by Bonnie Prince Billy. Normally it soothes me into my writerly ways, but it's not casting its spell as readily today.

Too much on my mind, and too little in it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue.

A lazy day and scattered. A general unwellness. I tend to feel like this after stag parties, though this one was tame by comparison with Johnny's in Liverpool and Owen's over in Galway.

I think I need to stop drinking.

I drink no more nor less than the next man, though the next man is usually lusty for pints. That bastard Irish condition, where you'd sooner go sipping than make your way to Glendalough for a wander, or Stephens Green for a good old sit. Put me in Nearys and I'm a happy man for the duration, put me in the Stags snug with Skehan and I'll show you contentment.

But the next day is always remorse.

I've long since stopped the phone calls, in my cups, to some soon forgotten missus, but I still text.

They're never sloppy, I keep my diction, but I look at them the next day and put my head in my hands.

"What was the bad thing?" I'd say to myself, or to Johnny, before that horrible dawn of realisation. Checking the phone like that lad in the Diageo ad, only I'd have no messages received, just sadness in the Sent Items.

I'm turning 30 soon, and I think there's a lot more out there than that fucked up Friday feeling.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kenny you monster.

Eugh.

I feel unwell. Carlingford was good craic, plenty of booze taken of a Friday night and no recollection of how Kenny ended up in the bed beside me. I checked around for the loss of my same sex virginity, and thankfully all remained intact.

Not that Kenny wouldn't make a fine sire, it's just that the gods of heterosexuality have chosen me as a disciple, and I'm not about to swing the other way. He'd say the same thing.

After morning beers I hit the road with Eric around 1.30 yesterday, and made it back to Charleville Road for 3. It wasn't until 5pm or so that I realised I was still locked, so one Domino's pizza later I took myself to bed, from which I have just risen.

I'm staring down the barrel of a 3-11 shift in Setanta now, happy I didn't embrace folly and stay with the lads that extra night. I'd be monumentally fucked as opposed to just a little peaky, a bit out of sorts. I think I just need a cup of tea.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bluttered.

Right, I'm off to shave and take myself to Carlingford. Kev's stag. If I don't come back alive, tell my mother I love her.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Him.

Me: Nothing? You love nothing?

Him: No. I love no-one, and no thing.

Me: How is that possible?

Him: I don't know. It just is.

Me: I don't understand. How can you not love?

Him: How can you love?

Me: I don't know. I just do.

Him: Well, I just don't.

Me: Do you not find that sad?

Him: I don't feel sad. I don't feel anything.

Me: That is sad.

Him: I'll take your word for it.

Me: Hang on, though. If you know you're not sad, you must know what sadness is.

Him: I used to know.

Me: And if you don't feel love, you must know what love is.

Him: I used to know.

Me: What happened? What do you feel now?

Him: I don't feel anything. Everything happened. You're not being specific.

Me: I have nothing to go on.

Him: I have nothing to say.

Me: How are you here?

Him: I'm here by accident.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Novel concepts.

I've been musing on book titles. I think they're all begging to be greenlit.

'The dos and dos of sexual frisson.' Tagline: Just do it!

'A brief history of history, abridged version.'

'Hey you, behind the bushes.'

'What the blind man saw.'

'Copy and paste.' Tagline: My story.

'Take off your clothes and sing me a song.' Tagline: The story of Ireland's third most prominent burlesque performer.

'Bite me.' Tagline: The truth behind cherries.

'Dennis.' Tagline: The untold story of a very specific otter.

'Why I never rhyme.'

'Withering Frights.'

'The fool and the duck.'

Monday, October 06, 2008

Show me the money.

"I'd happily end our friendship for a sum of money."

I probably shouldn't have offered to pay him off. I knew this wouldn't end well for Radge.

Incroyable!

5X has finally done the decent thing and blogged. What it lacks in conventional narrative, it makes up for in thrust.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Damning Facebook.

Who among you doesn't have a Facebook account? I'm curious. In my group of friends I can think of only one, and I admire her steadfast refusal to socially network.

She's not built for such things, relying on such antequated forms of communication like talking on the phone and chatting face to face. I doubt she's set up on MSN. I doubt she even knows what MSN is. If I told her, she'd probably say, "that sounds great, maybe I'll subscribe. Oh wait, I don't own a laptop or have the internet at home. And I don't want to." I think that's great.

I have something like 130 'friends' on Facebook. Apparently I'm a 'Facebook whore'. Christ, imagine those words spoken ten years ago.

"You're a Facebook whore!"

"I'm neither a face, a book nor a whore. You slut."

Of these so-called friends, I reckon at least 40% are people I've not uttered a syllable to in months or years.

Another 20% would be those I'm casually acquainted with, such as Lynda in work, with whom I've had one proper conversation - at a Christmas party - in roughly three years. The rest is comprised of my actual friends, family and colleagues, persons I can text or email (normally) or call whenever the urge takes me.

So what's the point? As my good friend Julie pointed out recently "it's fuckin' stupid. You write someone an email, then the alert goes to their work email, then they have to log into Facebook to see a mail that could just as easily have gone to their work mail."

She speaks good words.

I update my status regularly, pointlessly. The current one reads '(Radge) is thinking Facebook is great for catching people in a lie.'

I was given the brush-off in the last couple of days, later finding out on Facebook that the excuse was a lie. There was no need for it, I would have accepted the real reason, and it hurt a bit. Nobody likes being lied to. I only ever do it if I cover my tracks very well indeed. I'm considerate like that.

Pre-Facebook, my little heart wouldn't be a little bit broken.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Not quite lockt.

Setanta Towers, this evening.

Me: What you at?

Davros: Meeting Des.

Me: Oh.

Davros: Pint?

Me: Nah. Working tomorrow. Gonna take it handy.

Davros: So, a pint?

Me: No. I'll walk into town with you though.


Exit Setanta. Walking along Townsend Street.


Davros: So, we going to Bowes?

Me: No, not going for a pint. Gonna get some food and head home.

Davros: Where are we going for a pint though?

Me: Nowhere. I'm going home.

Davros: For a pint?

Me: No.

Davros: Right. Fair enough. I'll head into town with you. Have to kill an hour before I meet Des anyway.

Me: Grand so. Bowes?

= = = =

This is a blatant, poor man's rip-off of Gimme's post but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Finghin.

I couldn't write about her without writing about him. At some point normal service may resume.

= = =

Tissue paper hands, a round big belly and a bald head was Finghin, my grandfather. He had a good face, and my granny said that was why she married him. He had a great voice but never sang, a warm heart but I never saw him kiss. He was as stubborn as older gentlemen had every right to be but whatever she wanted, any thing she needed, he gave to her.

When I think of him now he's reading. It infuriated me as a child. I'd walk into that kitchen on the other side with a packet of Eclairs, offer him one, and wait five minutes until he'd looked over every last ingredient, carbohydrate percentage and best before date. I used to think Corn Flakes boxes were written just for him.

He's in my earliest memory, my hand in his, walking around Funderland. I must have been four or five. I used to fall asleep to the sounds of his tummy while he watched Highway To Heaven with her, and constantly harass him to bring me for drives.

"I'm bored!" I'd say. "Read a book!" he'd say. "But I'm only SEVEN!"

"Let me tell you something. Throughout your life, as long as you have a book to read, you will never be bored."

Then he'd relent and bring me to the Phoenix Park with a stick for conkers, or elsewhere, but he never did it without playing the book card first.

He made furniture, the best of which a great big desk that resides in Limerick now. It had four drawers on each side, and a middle one for lighters, pens, ink, papers and nonsense. He even fitted it with a clandestine hideaway for his whiskey. It was so secret that only he and my da knew where it was. My granny's blind eye turned to it. She was gone to bed by then.

He'd come back from "Superquinn's" with random rubbish that would never be heard from again. There was a can of Spam, two unopened cans of McArdles ale and a single packet of Smash in their utility room as long as I knew them.

We used him, myself and the girls, for homework duty. He could never turn us down. He'd start off by trying to talk us through it, but in the end we'd just come back and collect it when he was done.

He got older and weaker but the books and the steady hand remained until the end. The best intellect I'll ever encounter too, even if I live to his eighty years.

He passed away in Limerick on the fifth of December in 1996, five months after my granny. He was in his bed, reading, when it happened.