Friday 15 December 2017

Off The Ball: Mick fuses passion for Banner and Boss

Bruce Springsteen may call the shots on stage but there's only one real boss in Clare - Davy Fitzgerald
Bruce Springsteen may call the shots on stage but there's only one real boss in Clare - Davy Fitzgerald

Producer Mick McCarthy is a passionate man, but there are two things that he would lay down his life for: Clare hurling and the music of Bruce Springsteen.

In the anxious days before Clare's first All-Ireland final in 11 years, Mick has been toiling furiously to fuse those twin loves into a piece of timeless art.

He's spent much of his time out of the office over the last three weeks penning a Clare hurling anthem inspired by the music of The Boss.

There were many false starts. There was '(You Can't) Cover Me', an uplifting ode to the slipperiness of Darach Honan. There was 'Johnny 10', which sees the prison blues of the song 'Johnny 99' from the Nebraska record transformed into a thumping homage to half-forward John Conlon.

In the end, Mick settled on 'Bannerland', a 13-minute cover of Bruce's magnum opus 'Jungleland' that manages to include references to Biddy Early, both Lohans, PJ O'Connell's mullet, Len Gaynor, Willie Clancy, Marty Morrissey and The Stunning's first album.

If he can just find a Banner native to play CLAREnce Clemons's remarkable sax solo, he might just have a version ready to go live on YouTube this week, or failing that, Saturday's 'Up For The Match'.

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