Rude Awakening


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We made this album while Desert Storm was showing on TV in 1991. The M50 Toll Bridge was new in Dublin and it was mostly recorded in Co. Meath. Bill Whelan of course, had an electronic tag from day one!

The photo session for the front cover was shot on top of Manhattan building in New York. The photographer took pictures as though it was a film. The shot would be set up for about 45 minutes before the picture was taken. I was very disappointed in the photo that Green Linnet chose and was never shown the alternatives.

I had flown to London just before the recording started to buy a Takamine guitar as I loved the sound that Arty McGlynn got from his Takamine pick up. It was converted into an 8 stringed instrument in ingenious fashion by Chris Larkin in Co. Kerry and I used it on this album. However, the neck was a bit wide for a bouzouki and it now resides in the attic.

I had written most of the songs in the few months previously. They are nearly all about heroes of mine. I had read everything available on Raoul Wallenberg and was convinced, as were many of the authors of these books, that he was still alive in the Gulag system, sightings of him having been reported so many times by prisoners who had been released. It was a couple of years later, after the dissolution of the USSR, that a former high ranking KGB man came out and said unequivocally that he had been executed in 1947. His death or otherwise is still largely unexplained and though my song might be out of date now, I am extremely moved by whatever his fate might have been.

My song, "The Whole Damn Thing" for which Bill Whelan wrote the tune, is a little bit obscure and I never got it together to play it live, more's the pity.

Sinclair Lewis was a very popular novelist in the 20s, 30s and 40s. His books "Main Street" and "Elmer Gantry" were to be found on my parents book shelves. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930. I wrote the song after reading a large biography on him. His biographer seemed to have little sympathy with him which made me a bit sad, so I wrote him a song! I like it very much!

I visited 'Micheal Dwyer's Cottage' in Co. Wicklow a few times. Well it wasn't his cottage, it was the cottage he made this unbelievable escape from. I also read most of what was available on this subject.

This album got very little push from Green Linnet for whom it was recorded. They just said it was eloquent and left it at that...

Produced by Bill Whelan

Musicians are :
Bill Whelan, Rens van der Zalm, Arty McGlynn, Davy Spillane, Carl Geraghty

Track list:
1. Never Tire of the Road
2. Raoul Wallenberg
3. James Connolly
4. Viva Zapata
5. The Whole Damn Thing
6. Rude Awakening
7. Micheal Dwyer's Escape
8. Douglas Mawson
9. Allan McLean
10. Love to be with you