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Celebrity Diary: Dave Fanning

I've met hundreds of musicians over the years but to me, Bob Dylan is God.

Of all the interviews that I've done, the hour and 45 minutes that I spent with him will rank up there as the greatest of all. Having said that, I've followed his tours for years and he's appalling live; Bob is boring. All the excuses people give like 'you just don't get him' or 'he's re-inventing himself' mean nothing. He's f**king around with the songs to the extent that really irritates me. But I'm not looking for a singing jukebox on stage, I still think he's the man and he's just brilliant.

I really love the O2 as a venue, it's just what Ireland needs. I've seen so many bands use it so differently, like Cold Play running all over the audience or Kings of Leon just standing straight on stage, Bob Dylan just doing something like he's in a pub, Eric Clapton trying to make himself look bigger than he is with screens. That always works for me and it's brilliant that we've finally got ourselves a 13,000 capacity venue, which is what we've always needed.


When it comes to Croke Park, it's a different story. I've been asked if I think it's significant that U2 took a while to sell out their third date and I don't at all. First of all, I think it's incredibly ambitious to try to sell a quarter of a million tickets for three gigs in the middle of a recession -- so the fact that they sold out two concerts within ten minutes is astonishing. There's also millions of people of a certain age who want to see U2 now, who don't want to stand in a field and see them as they did that ten or 15 years ago.

It's hard to believe that 2FM is 30 years old this weekend. That's a little fact that not many people know, and probably we're all trying to keep it quiet -- from the very first day, myself and Larry Gogan are the only two still hanging around the place! I don't know how they're celebrating it, because I'm going to a wedding today as my producer is getting married.

As well as my evening music show, I've been busy trying to clear up some work I'm doing for an American TV station about rock stars this week. I can make it sound fantastic but why lie? It's all pretty small beer. It's all my interviews with rock stars like Radiohead and it's all done in high definition for a specific channel in New York. I also got an interview with REM after ringing them up in Georgia. I was talking to Michael Stipe and he was like, 'do you want to come over?' and I said 'yeah' so I went to New York where he lives and we'll do it below 11th Street and said we need to do it near Madison Square Gardens and he arrived with the boyfriend and it was fantastic.

I'm also doing a programme on RTE called the 11th hour, and the 12th programme went out on Wednesday night and that's along the same vein, with a mixture of guests and bands that I've interviewed over the years.


For the next three weeks, I'll be filling in for Ryan Tubridy on the radio and I'll enjoy that. It's not that different from what I do in the evenings and I love that, at 10am, I'm done for the day-- it's fantastic.

I've also been to see a lot of bands lately, I went to see six new bands for the finals of the IRMA and then before that, it was Bob Dylan in the O2 and Eric Clapton the week before.

Apart from music, soccer is my other big passion and I follow it religiously so I stayed at home on Wednesday night to watch the Champions Leagues Final. I absolutely love the midweek European soccer, especially after Christmas when the semi-finals come up and it starts getting really good.

On a more serious note, I've also been absolutely horrified about some of the things that have come out this week about the religious orders.

When they finally came out and said something, it was simply 'f**k off, we're not giving you any money'. It's absolutely outrageous what's going on, some of these 18 organisations should be made illegal, like the IRA, and every single thing they have and own should be taken from them. They should be stripped of every single asset they own as, looking at the horrors that have been unfolding from these people in the last ten days, it has totally appalled me.

We're talking about some 150,000 people under the age of 12 who were traumatised for life by guys who are supposed to do the right thing and have done the complete



I'm also freaking out about one other thing. I told Harper Collins I'd write a book and I've got to have it done very soon. I was told that,to be out by October, I have 100,000 words to do and I've written about 2,500 so that has to take some priority.

It's all going to be terribly, stupidly nice, it won't be this warts-and-all book because I know too many skeletons!

I know where all the bodies are buried, could give you the real stories about all the stars!

Still, the book deal I've been offered is nothing close to Gerry Ryan money, that's a little big bigger.

I have found it quite cathartic writing the book, but it's not like I'm getting a shovel and dredging up all this stuff from my past, it's all going to be nice and light -- I promise.