Sunday 18 August 2019

Frank Coughlan: 'Wonderful - Macca takes on the musical'

 

'It’s wonderful indeed that, at 77, the most successful and prolific songwriter of the past 100 years still wants to strum that guitar, tickle those ivories and risk failing spectacularly at something he has never attempted before.' Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
'It’s wonderful indeed that, at 77, the most successful and prolific songwriter of the past 100 years still wants to strum that guitar, tickle those ivories and risk failing spectacularly at something he has never attempted before.' Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Frank Coughlan

Frank Coughlan

THE performance had just started when I felt the tingle.

It was a peculiar sensation that ran like an electric pulse from the base of my spine through to my neck where it made the hairs stand to attention.

It was, I suppose, the closest thing to a religious experience that I will ever have in this short life, unless Himself makes good on his promise of a second coming and knocks at my door looking for directions.

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But I wasn't in a church and I wasn't looking for a sign at the time.

Instead, I was at a rock gig and I had a warm beer in my hand that was sloshing about in a plastic cup.

We're talking a while back.

A pleasant May evening in 2003, to be precise, and the venue was the RDS.

But it wasn't just any old concert because you can go to any old concert any old time. This was Paul McCartney.

It was also the first time any Beatle had stood in front of a live microphone in Ireland since that famous November night at the Adelphi in 1963.

I hadn't been responsible for any of the giddiness and hysteria at that first concert.

My excuse is that I was seven years old at the time and tucked up in my warm bed at the other end of the country reading the 'Beano'.

In between then and the next time Macca would play Ireland, a few months shy of 40 years later, I had plenty of time to learn my prayers.

While the seventies was my decade by right, and David Bowie my deity of choice, I had been fed a nutritious, vitamin-rich diet of the Fab Four by a wise older brother while I was still in short trousers.

I was at an impressionable age and they were great anyway. I just got lucky. I mean, it could have been The Tremeloes.

The Beatles are still in my ear and in my eyes most days.

They are the soundtrack of my childhood and a big part of the rest of my life too.

Seeing Macca that first time was a special moment in time. I welled up and if I hadn't being wearing sunglasses when he opened with 'Hello Goodbye' I might have been accused of being moist-eyed and emotional.

Well, I was and what of it?

So to learn that Macca is to write a musical, his very first, based on Frank Capra's classic 1946 movie 'It's a Wonderful Life' quickens my heart.

It's wonderful indeed that, at 77, the most successful and prolific songwriter of the past 100 years still wants to strum that guitar, tickle those ivories and risk failing spectacularly at something he has never attempted before.

The show is expected to be in production in the winter of next year and I can feel that tingle percolate at the bottom of my spine already.

Dubs' greatness needs to be truly appreciated

I WENT to Croker on Saturday to watch Cork footballers tussle with unloveable Tyrone and do what they do so consistently and brilliantly, which is flatter to deceive.

Though deflated, we stayed to see how clinically Dublin would dismantle Roscommon.

To sit in the Hogan on this lovely July evening and watch them slip seamlessly through the gears - and they needed only a few of them - was a sight for our sore eyes.

What was missing was any sense of a real contest but that's everybody else's problem.

You should appreciate greatness where you find it, because the gods only give us a rare glimpse of it in any one lifetime.

Five in a row? Keep counting.

Irish Independent

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