U2NEWS: August 23, 1998 Part III

Who needs bathrooms? ([email protected])
Sun, 23 Aug 1998 09:36:17 -0600

(There are 3 pictures: 1 of the Band from the Pop album era with the quote:
"U2: pine furniture, sandals, white boots, money to burn." 1 of Edge's house
with the quote "Pretty in pink: Edge's house in Dublin" and 1 of the Clarence
with the quote: "The Clarence Hotel, Dublin; Bono's car parked on double
yellow line: very rock 'n' roll".)
>From The Irish Times:

                            Talkin 'bout my generation

                 Kevin Courtney reminisces about summers past
                         with some other Slane veterans

                I remember my first trip to Slane. The year was 1981, it was
                the inaugural concert at Slane Castle, Thin Lizzy were top of
                the bill and they were supported by a young Dublin band
                called U2. There were no CDs, mobile phones or laptop
                computers, and no Britpop, hip-hop or drum'n'bass. I didn't
                have a VIP laminate, an Access All Areas badge, or a
                backstage pass. In fact, I didn't even have a ticket. So myself
                and a friend crawled under a barbed wire fence, dodged into
                the woods, and came out somewhere along the back wall of
                the Castle. After some deft footwork, we found ourselves
                smack dab in the VIP area, which was something like
                Rodney and Del Boy ending up at a reception in Buckingham
                Palace. We grabbed a glass of champagne, and were just
                about to tuck into the hors d'oeuvres when we were spotted
                by a security guard, who shouted, "Oi! How did you get in
                here?". Abandoning our expensive plonk, we bolted towards
                the main area and managed to lose our pursuer in the crowd.
                We arrived near the stage just as a youthful U2 were going
                on to play tracks from their début album, Boy, and we
                thought to ourselves, sure isn't it a great oul' rock'n'roll
                world. Nowadays it's much more boring - I just flash my
                lammo at the gate and I'm ushered through to the inner
                sanctum, where I'm force-fed caviar and Dom Pee while
                Denise Van Outen chatters in my ear. But sometimes I long
                for those days of my youth, when cheap thrills like cider,
                soggy sandwiches and sneaking into Slane were all I needed.

                Eyewitness: Dave Fanning

                Broadcaster Dave Fanning has been at every Slane event
                since 1981. This year, he will be introducing the acts on
                stage, along with No Disco presenter Uaneen Fitzsimons

                `I remember the first Slane, standing backstage and watching
                Phil Lynnott arrive by helicopter. There wasn't such a big
                vibe about hanging around the castle - everyone was either in
                the crowd or backstage. 1987 was memorable because I
                was seeing one of my favourite people fail miserably - David
                Bowie. That was also the year I got my binoculars nicked.
                The Rolling Stones in 1982 was like a great big circus, and
                the stage had these two big catwalks that spread right out
                into the crowd like a pair of wings. When Keith Richards
                walked down one of the catwalks, he was standing just 50
                yards from us, and that was cool. Bruce was the biggest
                thing going in 1985, but Slane was the biggest crowd he had
                played to up till then. Bob Dylan did a solid enough gig in
                '84, but he played as if he was in the Baggot. Queen was the
                first Slane where it rained, and there was a bad vibe with the
                crowd down the front, because there were so many people

                Eyewitness: Leslie Dowdall

                Leslie Dowdall was the singer with In Tua Nua, who opened
                for Bob Dylan in 1984. In Tua Nua's lineup also featured
                Steve Wickham on violin, who later joined The Waterboys.
                Leslie is now a solo artist, and her début album, No Guilt No
                Guile, features the hit single, Wonderful Thing. Her second
                album, Out There, is released at the end of the month

                `I have a huge recollection of playing Slane. We couldn't
                believe our luck - it was one of our first outdoor concerts,
                and it was an amazing day. We were young, not very well
                known, and so we were thrilled to be playing Slane in front
                of 50,000 people. We had just one single out at the time,
                Coming Through. "After we played, Bob Dylan invited me
                and Steve Wickham backstage to meet him. We were
                thrilled - Dylan was a legend to us. He asked us to come on
                stage and sing with him - I was up there with Dylan, Bono,
                Van Morrison and Carlos Santana. I didn't own many Dylan
                records, so I didn't even know the song he was doing,
                Leopardskin Pillbox Hat. I said to Bono, `what'll I do?' and
                he said, `just sing la la la!'

                "The most embarrassing thing about the day was the dodgy
                outfit I wore. It was designed by someone who is now
                famous - I won't mention who - and it looked like a cross
                between a Venezuelan wedding dress and something out of
                Dallas. It had massive shoulder pads, an ostrich feather,
                pencil skirt, big high heels and earrings that looked like CDs.
                I don't know what I was thinking - I suppose I wanted to get
                dressed up because it was our big gig. It was a beautiful day,
                the sun was out, and we thought we'd landed."

                Eyewitness: B.P. Fallon

                B.P. Fallon was conducting his own radio show, The B.P.
                Fallon Orchestra, in the year Dylan rolled into Slane. As
                befits Fallon's status as a friend to the stars, he was spotted
                having dinner with Dylan in a city centre restaurant after the

                `Dylan was the most memorable one for me - he had a great
                band which included Mick Taylor (ex-Rolling Stones) and
                Ian McLagan (ex-Faces). I watched from the side of the
                stage, and Dylan was rocking. The best moment was when
                he and Van Morrison sang It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

                "The worst Slane was definitely David Bowie - all that Glass
                Spider rubbish and those dancers. Terrible. I didn't go to
                Queen on principle, because they had played in South Africa
                during the apartheid régime. I saw The Rolling Stones gig,
                but it wasn't a patch on their current tour, which is a great

                Eyewitness: Eamonn McCann

                Journalist Eamonn McCann was writing a music column for
                The Sunday World at the time Bruce Springsteen performed
                at Slane with no support act

                `I've been to practically every Slane, and they've all had their
                moments, but I would probably say that the most exciting for
                me was seeing Bruce Springsteen for the first time.
                Springsteen had the ability to handle a huge crowd, and this
                was the biggest crowd I'd ever seen. Absolutely gigantic. He
                played a four-hour set, but there wasn't one dull moment.
                You really felt at one mind with the crowd, and when he
                played an acoustic set in the middle of the concert, the entire
                crowd was completely entranced. Rock'n'roll doesn't get
                much better than that. I was moving between the main crowd
                and the VIP area, what I call `the white people's section'
                where the elite were hanging out, and the class distinction
                was very pronounced at Slane that year - after all, it is a
                lord's castle. It was better to be in the crowd and among the
                people. That's the real test of a performer's authenticity, and
                Springsteen passed the test, of course. "Another memorable
                gig for me was Bob Dylan's, because I was standing at the
                side of the stage, with Bono and Paul Brady, and thinking
                this was one of those great moments. That was also the year
                I was passed a joint by a leading member of the Fine Gael

                Eyewitness: Billy McGuinness

                Billy McGuinness plays guitar with Aslan, and when the band
                played Slane in 1987, as support to David Bowie, they were
                being hotly tipped to follow U2 into international stardom. It
                all went a bit awry for them, however, and their many ups
                and downs have been charted in a recent no-holds-barred
                biography by Damien Corless, entitled Aslan's Crazy World.
                The band has just released a Best of . . . compilation, and
                will soon be releasing a remixed version of their best-known
                song, Crazy World, in the UK.

                `It was all a bit of a blur, because we only had a half-hour
                set. I said to the crowd, `it's great to be playing in Lord
                Mount Charles's back garden', and that quote was picked up
                by the media. We had just done our début album with EMI,
                the same company Bowie was on, and that's how we got the
                gig. Now we're back with the same company after 10 years
                - it's amazing how things come around! Slane was the biggest
                crowd we'd ever played - we've played Féile since then, and
                supported Bryan Adams at the RDS, but that Slane gig was
                still the biggest. It was a great vibe, mingling backstage with
                people like Peter Frampton, and the sun even shone. We
                tried to meet Bowie backstage, because he was our biggest
                hero, but we couldn't get near him. We didn't mind, though -
                it was just wonderful to be there, playing in front of all those
                people. "There's no Irish band playing Slane this year, and I
                think that's sad. There should always be an Irish band
                opening Slane. It doesn't matter who it is, I just think
                someone from home should get a chance. We go on about
                helping young bands, but we haven't even got one Irish band
                playing. It'll be the first big gig I've seen where there's no
                Irish bands - even the Big Day Out had Junkster. "I
                remember we watched Big Country, who were supporting
                Bowie as well that day, but really we were just caught up in
                the whole vibe of playing Slane. We thought, `this is our big
                break, and we're gonna take on the world'. There were
                international scouts over from the UK to watch us, and we
                thought we were going to go all the way to the top.

                            Slane: a musical history

                1981: Thin Lizzy, U2, Hazel O'Connor, Rose Tattoo, Sweet Savage,
                The Bureau.

                1982: The Rolling Stones, The Chieftains, George Thorogood &
                The Destroyers, The J.Geils Band

                1984: Bob Dylan, Santana, UB40, In Tua Nua

                1985: Bruce Springsteen

                1986: Queen, Fountainhead, The Bangles, Chris Rea

                1987: David Bowie, The Groove, Aslan, Big Country

                1992: Guns 'N' Roses, Faith No More, My Little Funhouse

                1993: Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Van Morrison, The Saw Doctors,
                James, The Blue Angels

                1995: REM, Oasis, Spearhead, Sharon Shannon, Belly, Luka
Condensed from The Irish Times:
(Prarit's note: The entire article can be found at :

          http://www.irish-times.com/irish%2Dtimes/paper/1998/0815/fea20.html )

Lord Mount Charles has gone through fire - and litigation - to make the concert
at his family estate happen this year, as he tells Katie Donovan

`You need that crossover appeal that will attract a wide
audience, and The Verve certainly have it in songs like
Bittersweet Symphony and Lucky Man. I went to The Point
to see them in concert and was deeply impressed." Henry
Mount Charles is aiming to attract 50,000 to this year's
concert in Slane.

Back in 1981, at the first Slane concert, which featured Thin
Lizzy and U2, there was an audience of 18,000: "You need a
hell of a lot more than that today, otherwise we'd all be
bankrupt." The biggest attendance for Slane was in 1985,
when Bruce Springsteen attracted a crowd of 100,000.

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