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'We got paid in pints - we didn't care about money' - Patrick and Frank Cassidy on a life of music from Mayo to Dublin and the bright lights of LA

When photographer Dylan Townsend moved to LA, he was told by many that he ‘must meet’ the Cassidy brothers; iconic composer Patrick, creator of ‘The Children of Lir’, ‘Mise Eire’, and now a new opera based on the works of Dante; and Frank, his resourceful manager. Together, the brothers are ‘music makers and dreamers of dreams’; they spoke to Dylan about life in Mayo, Dublin and now in LA lockdown

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Dylan Townsend with Frank and Patrick Cassidy

Dylan Townsend with Frank and Patrick Cassidy

Fionnuala Flanagan

Fionnuala Flanagan

Frank Cassidy holds Finn, the brother's dog, while Patrick Cassidy stands next to him. Photo: Dylan Townsend

Frank Cassidy holds Finn, the brother's dog, while Patrick Cassidy stands next to him. Photo: Dylan Townsend

Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan

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Dylan Townsend with Frank and Patrick Cassidy

It's funny the way paths collide, and who ends up guiding us towards our friendships. It was at a dinner in Dublin that I first heard of two brothers who live in West Hollywood - where I was about to relocate to in a week's time. Apparently, it was imperative I meet them. They were, it seemed, very welcoming to new artists in town and would offer me guidance.

Fast forward two months and I am being invited to a 'Taco Bonanza' (very LA) in West Hollywood, where I was told a collection of Irish heads would be gathering. The host, an Irish actor friend, very excited, telling me all about the spices he had put into his meat, as he plastered a taco with home-made assortments. Suddenly, this tiny white dog starts attacking the host's German shepherd. Chaos ensues, tacos everywhere, and suddenly I'm grabbing onto this feisty little dog and protecting him from certain death. That dog was just three months old, but had as much tenacity as the brothers who share his nurturing. You could say it was Finn the dog who finally introduced me to the Cassidy brothers, Patrick and Frank.

Spin forward six months and Patrick has just finished composing the music for Bad Suns, a film the Taco Bonanza host and I produced together in LA. Collaborating with the Cassidys was a real pleasure, and through the process I became very curious about how they got to LA. I heard anecdotes here and there, but I wanted the full story, and so I finally sat down with them - Patrick had been knighted as a Cavaliere by the Italian Government for his contribution to the arts - to hear about their more humble origins in Claremorris, Co Mayo.


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