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The Story

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 don't know.

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 every act.

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, Germany, 15.04.07

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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006