The first real Irish international hard rock band was formed in Dublin back in 1969. It was called Thin Lizzy. I was 16 years old, life was good and so was the music. Our band was rockin’. My bandmates and I were busy falling in and out of love. Yes, falling in love was the name of the game. Life was a roller coaster trip each day with school shoved in the middle to spoil our fun.
As I was going' over the Cork and Kerry mountains
I saw Captain Farrell and his money he was counting
I think I met my first American girl that year as well. She was so different from the Dublin girls I knew. Brash, with an “in your face” attitude which totally turned me on! She wanted to have a good time and so did I. I can also remember this as a time when I started to socialise separately from my brothers.
I first produced my pistol and I then produced my rapier
I said stand or deliver or the devil he may take ya
Two of the founding members of Thin Lizzy, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott met while still in school. Lynott, the group’s de facto leader, was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of hard rock music.
When they started off gigging around Dublin they had what we term as a “hard” following.
Musha ring dum a do dum a da.
Wack for my daddy-o,
Wack for my daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar-o
In 1969, the Irish Press (An Irish National Newspaper long since gone) noted that The Ballymun housing project, which had been publicised as Ireland's model new town was to have shopping facilities, office accommodation, an entertainment centre comprising dance hall, cinema, skating rink, restaurants, bars, community centre, meeting hall and swimming pool. By 1974 only a swimming pool, snack bar and two pubs had appeared. It was a case of “Ballymun - community or chaos” (Evening Herald, 13th-16th December 1972)’
Momentous events in the world once again imploded on me. Life outside of Dublin began to matter to me.
On July 21st Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins flew on board Apollo 11 and land a man on the moon for the US.
"Houston... Tranquility Base, here; the Eagle has landed."
For the first time the word death crept into my vocabulary with the announcement that the American death toll in the Viet Nam war had reached 34,000. Millions of Americans participated in a Viet Nam Moratorium Day, with candlelight vigils and prayers for peace.
However, the world was about to change forever.
Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, New York became the second-largest city in New York, when nearly 400,000 young people converged on the area for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. It was the start of a journey of sorts that remains part of me still.
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going?
And this he told me
Woodstock just didn’t impact America, it impacted everywhere including Dublin. I loved the songs, the sense of freedom and the feeling of rebellion. Most importantly it led me to believe that my generation could and would make the world a better place. Were we wrong? That chapter is still unfinished business. Many things changed due to Woodstock which was positive, but my own personal belief is that we lost a lot of our beliefs and ideals to drugs because of Woodstock. This has led to decades of a social evil that still to this day contaminates our world, our kids, and was never intended to “get our souls free.”
Im going on down to yasgurs farm
Im going to join in a rock n roll band
Im going to camp out on the land
Im going to try an get my soul free
Dublin’s night life was now beginning to emerge from the dark ages with the opening of the cities’ first hip night club for young people. Sloopy’s was the place to be! It was opened in 1969 by two enterprising guys (Michael Ryan and Michael Murphy) and was located in D’Olier Street beside the Gas Co. It moved to Fleet Street in 1971-72.
My new American friend made a few visits to Dublin. She was a year older than me and was able to enter the clubs. I could not go with her because of the age thing, BUMMER !!
The world was changing all around me. The beat went on and on. As Dublin changed, so did I. Girls and Rock & Roll were still very important in my life but the outside world had thrown open its doors to me. I wanted “IN”!
We five O’Driscoll brothers took baby steps in different directions, each attempting to find his own way in the streets of Dublin City.
Come with me next week as I enter the 1970’s. Stay with me! It’s been a long road and a hellava good one!
Fast forward to March 2012! What’s on!
St. Patrick's Festival
16th March 2012 – 19th March 2012
The Guinness Storehouse St. Patrick’s Festival
Venue: Guinness Storehouse
16th March 2012 – 18th March 2012
All Ireland Club Championship Final
Venue: Croke Park Stadium
17th March 2012
Dine in Dublin Restaurant Week
26th March 2012 – 1st April 2012
Heres a video just to whet your appetite. There are eight more on the next page as well as number one songs of 1969.
Enjoy. Just hit 'next' in blue below
Slán go fóill,
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