Delighted to hear that RTE have decided to do an Arts lives on Gavin Friday who if you let him can annoy the shit out of you but at the same time enthrall you with a burst of magic that reminds you that this is no ordinary Dubliner.
This photo i took of the singer, actor, storyteller was in the kitchen of his most amazing house in Phibsborough, on the leafy North-side, i did hear that he sold the house but I’m not sure if he actually did, that would have been a shame. It was like being inside the residence of an Irish writer like Yeats, Joyce or Beckett, Heavy reds and blues darkened the walls and helped with that melancholic over-riding feeling. It was all a front of course , and tied in with the reputation that preceded him. Who isn’t a little strange and wonderful when they are constantly trying to create, i had the pleasure of trying to film himself whilst doing vocal exercises to a German voice training CD, re-enactments of his piece about his “Not coming up the Liffey in a Bubble” a semi-autobiographical journey through a lifetime of Bowie, Paisely, his Da, Jacques Brel and the invasion of Spar shops [which he re-named SPA’s]. There was a discussion about letting the hair down for the shots, he made me think of a Gypsy lover with excellent english and Wildean wit, like a head-case bard on his fifth tavern, mumbling then shouting perfectly…”Would you like some Soup, Aidan”?
Yes i’d love some soup! I think it was butternut Squash or some organic shit, but fuck that i was having soup in Gavin Fridays. This is mad. After some silence there was more photos and seriousness, then talk about this presentation, some of which happened in Newman House on Stephens green, he has a cardinals ring that Bono gave him for his birthday and it was the same ring he kissed when he made his confirmation years and years before, Yes! he did mention Lord of The Ring, we laughed and stored it away, the footage is priceless recalling all this amidst the memories of his Dad who he probably loved and hated equally at the same time, i felt the same way i remember saying, fathers do that.
The show he was working on which eventually would make it to the Spiegeltent for the fringe festival that year was all over the place, making it interesting and very personal, ” What did you think of that?” – Gavin I think it’s honest- i think it’s great. I tagged along for that show too in the original Spiegeltent not the new ones they have now, with the opening night being a who’s who of Irish TV reliables in faded blue slacks and sugar water hair. Gavin’s opening salvo was him in a Celtic football Jersey pissing people off by drinking their drinks off the table as he made his entrance, he went on stage and let them have it about Politics, singing 30’s number from the Weimar Republic and shouting every now and then words of wisdom. It was a great show if not annoyingly relevant, this isn’t real entertainment is it? Yeah it is! like a production you might get in Smock alley or at the Project Arts, something about lighting strikes the world, and here’s the ending. The feeling was rushy and funny, i’d love to see it all over again.
So i meet him every now and then and he asks me if i still have those tapes and i say yes of course i do, “We should meet” Yeah, sorry, he’s busy he’s gotta go, probably to something like that Carnegie hall birthday party U2 threw for him where Ga Ga and Anthony La Jonnies did a turn for him, such delight. He deserves it, he’s brilliant and Dublin rolled into one skinhead Marshall, the joker swinging his big love around the room looking for a free smoke, you can’t beat class and last i heard he’s in a studio after cutting all his hair off in Killiney rockin’ new tunes, probably about the state of the world and the dirtiness of it’s mouth.
Cannot wait to hear that noise.