No Air Guitars Or Graces



Do you remember the Summer of 1985?

When Frilly was on fire?

Frilly Keane writes:

We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun….

I know ye all have hedges to cut, Barbie-queues to scrub, scratch, scour and scorch, windows to shine and mould to scrape off the flip-flops, so I’ll keep it tidy.

Summer’s here.

Posh kids, and second level rest-of-us not doing exams are eyeing up dinner time today with the itchy drool of a toddler that hears the Ice-Cream van. It’s been a long week made even longer with weather reports and a Donegal Postman’s promise of a long summer.

Needless to say I won’t be planning an’ting much since we’re already out’ve the Munster Championship.

But this was always the weekend when dates were coloured in and away locations agreed. In and around the run up to this weekend was when the funny tummy came in as we overthought the League displays, last year’s u-21s, and lined out our “one’s ta’watch out for” in the June July, ideally August at least, and please please Mother Mary and all your moving statues, September ahead.

This was also the week of the annual staging of the “don’t rule out Galway” singers.


But for once I’ll be keeping my Season’s Sunday’s untenanted. It’s the nature of the game, I know, and there’s always next year; I know that too, too well. I’ve already accepted the evolution of age blended with responsibility, and that my gallivanting and blaggarding weekends are behind me.

But my Sunday in Thurles is very hard to replace.

The sangwiches, the bottles of Lucozade, the beeping at fellow travellers’ flags that would start at the Red Cow, the winding drive in from Templemore. The parking. The Nordie lads arriving in flash cars for a bitta’ Munster Hurling Master Class…My heart is broken.
‘Thur’s ur’ V now!

Whatty’bout ye?

How’s the big’mon?

It’s over.

Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees….,

I’m fierce maudlin lately, it must be the menopause. Ha. It awaits us all. But the fussing about Bruce reminded me of an experience everyone should have. June Bank Holiday 1985 I got on a double decker at the Grand Parade and went to Slane.

If pushed, I’d have to admit I’d probably never even heard of him before then, I was given a ticket, and sur’ everyone one else was going. Besides, the Mam and Dad were down the ‘van opening it up while I was under study orders. Sur who’d know? There were no phones to tell on me.

I’m on Fire” was played again and again and again; and when the batteries ran out of the cassette players, we sang it. The Langers on that double decker must’ve been just like me, along for ride since we only had the one Springsteen song between us.

And that the only sangwiches to be had were either banana or egg. The smell, the tingfoil, the ten Major that lasted ‘till the Curragh, the comrades; the unforgettable beauty of our very own convoy that was smeared until it reeked of “We’re On the One Road, Singing the One Song.”

So whether tis Championship matches, Euros, Festivals, Fleadhs or Come-All-Ya’s that will feature in your Summer and the Summers ahead of ye; one day that road trip will slow down, shorten, get bumpy with complications, thin out of friends and recognisable faces, and eventually stop; and you won’t even notice.

So burn it up while you can. Leave your marks and make memories that will live with you like tattoos, because I wouldn’t change a bit’ve mine.

This is a very hard thing for me to put my name ta’ since I’ve a young’wan who has already decided that this new thing, the gap year (wtf), is when she’ll hit the road with a Bucket List (annunder new thing btw); from February to November, from Mardi Gras to Glastonbury to Pamplona to Macy’s Thanksgiving. Just like I did; albeit a bit grander and a big bit more comfortable.

Me nerves (and my poor mother…) but at least hitchhiking went the way of those old cassette recorders.

Have a good one lads, and in the words (kinda) of that lad to the class of ’97, sun cream and plenty of it.

Frilly Keane’s column appears here every Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pic: RTÉ

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8 thoughts on “No Air Guitars Or Graces

    1. Waddy Dilson

      I actually forced myself to read all of this.
      It’s utter nonsense.
      It’s unadulterated rambling train of thought of a middle aged mentaller.

  1. Boba Fettucine

    Is there any chance of printing an English translation of this?

    And while you’re at it, could you also get the Campaign for Plain English people to have a word with the music reviews guy? His ‘hotly-tipped four-piece have been turning heads’ drivel is agonisingly poor.

    Even better ditch these columns entirely (and the failed electoral candidate Mammy socialist) and go back to pictures of dog poos that look like Ireland.

    Thank you.

  2. The Key of G

    First they despise you
    Then they ignore you
    Then both

    Cheers Frilly and thanks for all the sandwiches

  3. Anne

    I’m not gone on all this lamenting for the past and nostalgia.

    Back in my day we had no mobile phones either. We have them now.. Stop living in the past. Move on like.

    The good times now, are as good as the good times then, if you want them to be.. Thurles was and still is a bit of a sh*thole… The crack wasn’t all that mighty either, that’s you just being depressed telling yourself it was. Move on. Stop living in the past.. did I say that already?

    I could have it all wrong now and this post might be about the future or something else entirely… in that case, nevermind.

  4. Otis Blue

    I remember getting one of those double decker buses from Connolly Station to Springsteen in Slane. Despite the many stops for lads to jump a fence and relieve themselves, rivers of piss ran from the front of the top deck every time the bus trundled up an incline.

    Eh, good times?

  5. Mulder

    Blog, blog, should start a blog, well suppose it is a blog.
    Good writing.
    The 1980s were a grim time , with emigration and lot other problems.
    But many folk had a good time and lot of laughs.
    If Charlie Haughey, had attended that concert by the Boss, would he i ponder been playing air guitar, or sipping champagne and olives in the casual charvet shirt, with the casual italian jacket.

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