Wednesday 17 July 2019

The loves of my life... Tom Dunne


Tom Dunne
Tom Dunne
Chloe Brennan

Chloe Brennan

The radio broadcaster and Something Happens frontman chats about his favourite people, places and things.

The person

My wife, Audrey. We met in dramatic circumstances, on the JFK aircraft carrier, on July 5, 1996, and if you will forgive the cheesy nautical reference, it has been a voyage of discovery and adventure ever since. No Audrey would mean no Eva (11) or Skye (nine). Possibly even no Murph, a cocker spaniel of note. An unimaginable world.

The memory

If we accept that the arrivals of my children (July 12, 2006, and July 31, 2008) are memories without equal, then there is a close runner-up. The National Stadium, May 1989. It was Something Happens's first ever big sold-out show. I looked up, and everyone was singing Forget Georgia, and I had a moment. 'We did this,' I thought. 'We really did this.'

The moment of the day

Dinner time with the family, although it is easier to appreciate in photos, after the event, (when the chaos isn't apparent). In between the rows over setting the table, eating the required healthy bits and behaving with manners that don't befit a farmyard animal, it is a lovely time. Trials, tribulations and triumphs are discussed, and the food is almost always lovely.

The hero

John Lennon. Long before the 'Blur or Oasis?' arguments, it was 'Paul or John?' and I was strongly in the John camp. There was an edginess to him, an anger. He was the cool one, the thinker, and the one with the better lyrics. I was broken the day he was shot. My mum woke me with the news, and later I failed a college exam on the strength of it!

The outfit

I bought a new outfit recently. 'It's great, Daddy!' the kids said. 'It's exactly the same as your other outfits!' I should try harder. I like a cool shirt, but left to my own devices, I buy the same one over and over. I love suits, too, which, in my line of work, is actually rebellious.

The accessory

A Tag Heuer watch. I am tempted to say it's 'timeless' but that might defeat the objective. Interesting fact: I took off my watch when we signed a record deal and didn't wear one again till it ended.

The gadget

At the moment, well, since last week, it's a Huawei P20 Pro. I have journeyed from Apple (left in a taxi) to Samsung (a sexy phone) to this. I like phones. Eva has already made a photo of me into a personalised emoji. It looks nothing like me, but is holding a beer, which I find reductive, insulting and cheeky of her.

The bar

The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station in NYC. It was the former business and pleasure lair of John W Campbell. He entertained there in the 1920s, lavishly and at some expense. Somehow, it still feels like the 1920s. His carpet cost $300,000, or $3.5m in today's money, so don't spill a drink!

The friend

Cormac Wright, currently resident in Detroit, Michigan. I met him in the Gaeltacht in 1977. We bonded over punk rock and formed our first band, The End. We weren't allowed to sit together at school, which says a lot. I attended the recent Rolling Stones gig with him. I met him at Connolly Station. Last time I met him there, we were going to Dalymount to see Thin Lizzy. We later had a spice bag; no one else would do that with me.

The beauty product

I use Simple moisturiser and little else. The real star here is the 'Dunne' skin. My mother used to grade her children on which of us got the 'Dunne' skin. I got it. 'You have the Dunne skin,' she used to tell me, reassuringly. Ya can't bate DNA for beauty. The hair requires Sebastian Potion 9 or it loses the run of itself.

The holiday

Club Med. We used to stand outside Club Med holiday resorts and ask, 'What kind of people go there?' It turns out the answer is 'parents'. We are now in year three of our addiction, with, so far, two in France, and this year, Sicily! They are the ideal family holiday: glorious sunshine, great facilities, swimming pools and fabulous food.

The virtue

Loyalty. I have been a member of Something Happens since 1984. I have supported Manchester United since 1970. I have supported St Pat's since before I was born. I am married 16 years. I eat King crisps. I still play vinyl. All of my dogs have been cocker spaniels. I have the same best friend since 1977. What can I say? When you get into my good books, you have to kill me to escape.

The vice

Salty butter. Apparently, it's very, very bad for us and coming to kill us all soon. However, in the hands of an expert, on a little piece of toast, with a cup of tea, ideally around 10am on a sunny day that you don't have to work... mmmmmm.

Something Happens appear at this year's Groove Festival, brought to you by Energia, which returns to Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, on July 7 and 8  groovefestival.ie

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