Dec 31 2010

‘Spit on me Dickie’

Published by at 11:42 am under News

(Click on image to enlarge)

It has been many years since I last saw Dickie Rock perform live in Dublin. The first time I saw him on stage was the time he played in St Finbar’s Hall in Cabra West. It was a charity gig in the mid 1950s, put on to raise funds for football jerseys and hurleys for the school team.  Also on the stage that night was Ronnie Drew and the Dubliners. When Dickie Rock and his band played that night the entire hall erupted in a big cheer and lots of couples jumped out into the aisles and started jiving. A Priest was running up and down trying to get them to stop their fornication dancing moves. The lads were strutting their stuff and the girls were crying and screaming up at Dickie. I remember sitting in my seat mesmerized by the sound that came off the stage and the effect it had on everyone in the hall. I think I  may have determined then that someday I’d be on stage. I went back home to Killala Road and Dickie Rock went on to become one of the most famous people to come out of Cabra West.  Some weeks ago I was driving up along the Whitehall Road when I saw a poster advertising Dickie Rock to play in the Regency Hotel cabaret show. (Earlier this year Dickie had contacted me by phone and congratulated me on the publishing of my two books on Cabra.) I contacted the hotel and ordered some tickets for the first night of the show which included a dinner. I arrived early at the venue  as is my usual habit and made sure of course to bring my camera with me. I was seated to the side of the stage which wasn’t exactly the best place to be for taking photographs as the stage lights were blaring in my direction. The band started up an intro and on came comedian Syl Fox to warm up the audience. Syl is a long time in the business and one of our very own Dubs. He blasted out joke after joke at the audience and within minutes had them eating out of his hand. He pulled the audience right into his act by walking to their tables and pretended he knew them from old. Before leaving the stage Syl introduced the main artist of the night…Dickie Rock. Similar to times past, as Dickie walked into the room the audience lifted the roof with a good old Dublin welcome to one of it’s very own. Dickie sang non-stop for one hour and forty five minutes. He covered numbers by all the greats like Elvis, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, John Denver etc. and of course plenty of his own original numbers. His backing group of musicians were truly some of the best musicians in the business, the sounds they produced from their instruments was superb. And all the time my camera is clicking away in the hope that I’d get at least one good photo of the ‘Rock n’ Roller from Cabra West’. For those who may like to know who the band members were here is their names: Drummer – Danny O’Keeffe, Lead Guitar – Dave Murphy, Bass Guitar – Pat O’Rourke, Keyboards – Eugene McCarthy and Adriane Mullen. Overall the night was a great success and the performance by Dickie and the band, in my estimation was second to none.

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