Crickets Showband Feature ()
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Where Are They Now?
By Thomas Harrington
It was a humble beginning. One day in the mid fifties I came home
from work at the factory and as I opened the living room door I
heard a rock and roll song being played on our little Philips radio.
The song was Rave On from Buddy Holly. I don't know why I
reacted in this way but I went to the dresser in the kitchen and
took out 2 forks and began to accompany the song with the forks on
the kitchen table. My sister Betty said to my mother that I was
crackers. That was my second encounter with rock and roll. The first
was Bill Haley in Rock Around The Clock.
A few days later there was a knock at the door and when I opened it
there was a teenager (Kevin Glover) with an acoustic guitar standing
there. He was a boy who lived a few doors up the street. He said
Tommy your sister told my sister that you play the drums. I was
astounded that my sister should tell such lies to her friend. Come
in I said and we went into the parlour. He prepared to sing and play
a song for me and I said wait a minute. I discovered a short while
before a wooden box under my bed and it came to my mind that I
should get it with the 2 forks. He sang Wake Up Little Susie
(Everly Brothers). He was great!
Within a few days there were many knocks on the door with boys with
guitars wanting an audition. I felt important for the first time in
my life. From then on the cacophony which came out of our parlour at
87 Mellows Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11, Ireland was sometimes very
hard to bear. None of the fellows who wanted an audition became
members of the band. They didn't meet up to our expectations. Why I
However, life became more interesting for me. Then came Jimmy Boylan
with his guitar and wanted to join the band which we were putting
together for a talent contest at the Parochial hall in Finglas
village. My mother was very fond of him so he could play at the
talent contest. Kevin could play his 5 chords very well: C, F, G and
Am and Dm. Jimmy was a beginner. nevertheless, we got the 3rd or 4th
place and suddenly we were well known in Finglas West Dublin 11,
Ireland. The audience was great and applauded nearly non stop for
On the following week I got on the 40 bus and went into town and
bought a side drum for approx. 25 shillings in a
second hand shop in Parnell street or Capel street. The drum was at
least a hundred years old with goatskin. Kevin and I practiced from
then on. Jimmy Boylan wasn't making progress on his guitar so I had
to tell him that we didn't need him anymore. He was so disappointed
and my mother too.
A few months before my brother
Mick had bought a guitar and practiced nearly every day and night. I
noticed that he was progressing very well and I asked him if he
would join up with Kevin and me. For some reason or other he said
no. He didn't want to join up with Kevin and me. I was very
disappointed. Another guitar player was not in sight so I asked my
mother to convince him to join the crickets and he finally did.
Things began to turn out for the better. Mick sang in the choir of
the Christian Brothers School, Strand Street and sang for Pope Pious
the12th in Rome in the early fifties. Later he could sing the songs
of the Platters very well. Kevin didn't want to buy an electric
guitar with amplifier so he backed out. News got around and a new
class of musicians came a knocking at the door. Christy Emmet
(rhythm guitar), Pat McCann (vocals) and Shay McCarthy (lead guitar)
were now Crickets. I think my brother Mick brought them along. They
were already very good musicians and with Mick on the bass and me on
the drums we became a beat and rock band. Then Mick brought along
Dermot Latham (manager). We played a lot of gigs in and around
Dublin for about a year till Dermot decided that the showband scene
was growing so he implemented the Crickets with a brass section to
form a showband.
The brass section comprised of Jack Sherlock (trumpet), Phil Cole
(sax) and Billy Bowles (sax) who had very good compere qualities.
they were also very good musicians from the Irish Federation of
Musicians. We all had to become members of that organisation to play
(work) in Ireland.
We played the main showband circuits in Ireland and the Irish clubs
in London. Then we went to Germany and were one of the resident
bands in the Star Club, Hamburg. We toured the Star Club circuit in
Germany for a year and in early summer 1965 we broke up in London.
Billy went back to Florida, Christy went to Australia, I stayed in
Germany, Mick and Jack stayed in England and Pat, Shay and Phil went
back to the Emerald Isle.
Last but not least I would like to mention two great musicians who
had short (intermezzos) with the Crickets: John Hardy of the best
Dublin showband ever," The Blue Clavons" and Barry Richardson who
played with Bluesville.
Tommy Harrington, Hamburg,
More to come.....
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