Friday, November 3, 2006

Happy Surfin' Santa rides again

'Could it be that this was in fact the defining moment for U2, the event or series of events that put the iron in their soul? And if so, how has a lifetime gone by with scarcely a mention of it?'

Here's an amazing story from the histories of the Dublin punk scene and the band that redefined pub-decor in the new millenia. As always, the papers require registration, but it is a free service.

It was the summer of '79, when the Heat was felt by McGuinness

Sunday Independent, Declan Lynch

The other way of looking at this, was the old-time rock 'n' roll way: a fanzine is a fanzine is a fanzine. It is not the New York Times, it has a licence to screw up. Don't fight it.

And this was the prevailing view at the time, as the dispute escalated to the extent that a benefit gig was organised to finance the defence of Heat. It was held in the National Ballroom in July 1979, and as I recall, a great time was had by all.

A band was formed specially for the occasion, called The Defenders. It featured ex-Horslips Charles O'Connor and Eamonn Carr (Eamonn's brother Jude was one of the main men at Heat). Gary Eglinton played bass, Donal Broughan (now an RTE radio announcer) was on vocals along with iconic roadie the late Paul Verner, and Frankie Morgan of Sacre Bleu played keyboards. A selection of Dublin's finest rock 'n' roll characters completed the line-up, which delivered a storming set of classics such as Who do You Love? and It's Not Unusual, joined onstage by guests such as the great Steve Rapid, ex-Radiators and another of the founding fathers of Heat.

The Sinners and The Fabulous Fabrics weighed in, Rocky De Valera and the Gravediggers were also on the bill. The legendary Terri Hooley, majordomo of the Good Vibrations record label in Belfast, came down to lend his considerable moral and fraternal support.

In fact, it was such a vastly enjoyable night all round, it has settled in the memories of many as a coda to the whole punk and new wave era in Dublin, a sort of a goodbye-to-all-that gig which transcended all the unpleasantness which brought it about.

More at the link.

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