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Friday, September 10, 2010

Seven things about myself that you might not know

Okay, I'm really not sure I understand the rules of this but two highly attractive and intelligent women - Niamh and Orla - have for some reason decided I should reveal seven facts about myself that are not in general circulation. Be warned - some of these were even unknown to me, they are that far back in time.

1. As a child, I always wanted to be able to put two fingers in my mouth and whistle, but never could, and didn't want to ask anybody else how to do it, in case that gave away how uncool I was. To this day I can't do it, and envy Giovanni Trappatoni when he does it at Ireland matches.
2. As an irritating 12 year old, I appeared in one series of Screen Test, a tv programme hosted by Michael Rodd that tested your powers of observation and general knowledge. I reached the final but finished last.
3. I was heavily into Suzi Quatro before punk came along and wiped every other sort of music (except Bowie) from the universe. I travelled down to London on my own as a 12 year old to see Alice Cooper at the Empire Pool, Wembley. A friend pulled out but I went anyway, spinning my mum a yarn. Seeing a band called Dr Feelgood in concert though was the gig that really sparked my obsession with live music. God, they blew me away...
4. I was the lead singer in a dreadful punk rock band called the 4 Skins. I used to slash my chest and arms with razor blades on stage to compensate for the music. Never made a record, some dodgy live tapes exist somewhere. Not to be confused with another punk band who robbed our name. Sid Vicious once told me to 'F... off" at a Clash concert. I was pogoing on his shoulders at the time. I was also thrown off stage at a Boomtown Rats concert for accidentally knocking over the drum kit.
5. I sparked a bomb scare at Aylesbury Railway Station as a 15 year old, when I mitched off school, left my school bag in the waiting room and spent three days sleeping on the beach in Brighton.
6. In January 1986, I travelled from Dublin to Hong Kong by train, carrying one spare change of clothes in a small holdall, washing my clothes along the way, and spending time in Berlin, Warsaw, Moskva, Irkutsk, Ulan Bator, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou (unscheduled) and of course Hong Kong. I then flew back to Gatwick and caught the train to Holyhead, stopping off to see Crewe Alexandra v Scunthorpe on the way.
7. I smoked roughly 20 a day from around 1976 to April 6th 2003. After reading the Alan Carr book, I gave up and never had the slightest desire to put a fag in my mouth again. As he explains in the book, if your head is in the right place, you don't get withdrawal symptoms.

Yes, some of it sounds interesting but, honest to God, I'm the boringest old fart out at the moment and can't believe some of the above were truly me.

I think I'm supposed to nominate another seven people but I really don't want to, so if you want to have a go, I nominate you.


  1. What an exciting crazy life you've led, tks for this great peek into the past.

  2. Hi Niamh. Nah, it sounds exciting and crazy when you write it down like that but in reality there have been massive periods of mundaneness interspersed with the odd interesting bit.

  3. Ooh, good ones, and unexpected to. Horrendous deja vu on 2 - 4, as I was addicted to Screen Test and so must have seen you, Suzi Quatro married one of our cutters, Len Tuckey, I was addicted to Dr Feelgood gigs and my gang-of-three at uni were called The Three Skins.
    Unfortunately, Alan Carr didn't work for me, but I always stopped the day I found out I was pregnant and never had a single withdrawal symptom. Started again once they were out, though!

    So jealous of Ulan Bator. I dream of going to Ulan Bator.

  4. I feel such a dullard compared to you. (Well, I do have stories, but most of them I would not share with anyone.) I have never smoked. Well, I smoked a couple of Menthols that made me sick, once or twice, but I've never been a smoker.

    Have you seen Ewen McGregor and Charley Boorman's doc about their motorcycle journey across Siberia? It's fantastic!

    Wow...to the Sid Vee and B-Rats. I almost got kicked in the head by the lead Strangler's Doc Martin. Missed me by that much...


    Please e-mail me re the infamous book. I will send out a new one this week if need be. K