"You promised me the ending would be clear/ You'd let me know when the time was now/ Don't let me know when you're opening the door/ Strap me in the dark, let me disappear"
Bring Me The Disco King - 'Reality'
Brendan O'Connor's a huge David Bowie fan - he pulled over the car at a red light and cried when he heard that Bowie had died - so he'll get the reference above, hopefully. Last Friday at 5pm, he disappeared from the Sunday Independent offices after two decades, to be the Radio King. RTE is very lucky to have him.
He is my best friend, and I love him. Really love him.
And I'll miss him. He won't be sitting to the left of me any more, being witty, being warm, being brilliant, being Brendan, being there. Over the years there were hundreds of nights out, even one or two when we made it to the other side to toast the morning.
Brendan and I communicate in our own bizarre, private language. It would take too long to explain here and then it wouldn't be private. He is a great and hugely charismatic and intelligent man who is unique in lots of ways. He'd do anything for you. You could trust him with your life. He would go out of his way for people. All people.
At gigs, I've seen him natter away happily to complete strangers about music and life. He is the ultimate people person: warm, authentic, real, true. He is a great father (to Anna and Mary) and a great husband to Sarah. I can claim some very small part in helping them get together. Back in the mists of time, when I edited a section in the Sindo called Culture Vultures, I got Brendan and Sarah to dress up in Victorian bathing costumes for a photo shoot on Sandymount Strand. That's the first time Brendan and Sarah ever met. They invited me to their wedding a few short years later.
Brendan helped me with a new understanding of expressing emotion. He taught me how to be a better man. He also caught me on the hop a few times. I remember one evening we had agreed to meet up to go to Arcade Fire. I had borrowed some of his aftershave - that he kept in his desk drawer - en route to where we were meeting up before the gig. Brendan popped into the office to discover that his favourite aftershave had been drained by someone. When we met up, he was too much of a gentleman to mention it - even when I was reeking of a certain aftershave.
That's the kind of great man Brendan O'Connor is; you could steal his aftershave and he wouldn't call you out on it.
He is obviously one of the Sunday Independent's greatest ever writers, and he will still be writing for this paper. He writes from the heart as much from the head. He speaks from the heart as much from the head on radio and television, too. That's why people connect so deeply with Brendan O'Connor. They believe him and they believe in him.
Goodbye Brendan. I'll see you every Monday in the park with the kids.