Jun 24 2017

My First Love…

Published by at 12:02 am under News


I first fell in love at thirteen years of age. It wasn’t a girl I fell in love with but the sound that came from my brother’s guitar when I realised that I could actually play a musical note on it. None of my brothers knew how to play the guitar, it had arrived from Santy the Christmas before and there it sat in our front bedroom for ages without anyone giving it any thought at all. From that first note I was hooked because then I began to play a second note, until I could play one full line of a song on one string. I would literally spend hours sitting on the edge of the bed that I shared with my two brothers, lost in a world of musical notes and sounds, playing the same few notes over and over.  Everything in my young life took second place to this new discovery. Sometimes I would take it out into my Da’s  shed in our back yard and sitting up on his old tool bench I’d start off picking and strumming and trying to make sense of it all. It really was a sort of “Mystery of Religion” to me, I only went to Mass to hear the organ being played and to see if I could figure those notes on my one string.

Then one evening, as if by Divine Intervention, I was sent up to the Chipper by the brother for his Ray and Single. On my way back a group of bigger lads were standing on the corner of Fassaugh Avenue and Lower Killala Road playing guitars and singing. At that very moment I thought I had gone to guitar heaven, I stood mesmerized by the sounds that these lads were making from their guitars. But I couldn’t stay too long as I still had the brother’s supper under my arm and if that got cold I was sure to get a box or two from him. So the next night I brought the brother’s guitar up to the top of the road to show it to the big lads. They tuned it up and showed me how to play the chord of D and warned me not to let anyone put it out of tune. It was then that my first love turned into a full time romance, nothing ever sounded, felt or tasted like that first chord I played when I got home. For months I played nothing but that one chord until I had it off to perfection. Then one of the lads showed me a second chord and how to change from one to another without having to stop playing. It wasn’t too long after that when I came upon an advertisement in the paper from a Variety Group looking for singers and musicians to entertain in hospitals and the like. ‘Here…‘ said the Da’ ‘…they’re looking for you to go on stage’. And so off I went playing every Sunday evening as far south as Dunlaoghaire and as far north as Dunboyne, Cappagh Hospital and Old Folks Homes. There has never been a time in my life since then that I haven’t had a guitar or other musical instrument nearby. Once you understand the basics sure you can play almost anything…

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