It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you the sad news that our beloved Joe Nicholson (right) passed away last night after a short illness. Joe will be known to many, as he was the keeper of the gate so to speak, manning our box office vigilantly.
From top: Whelan’s, Wexfor Street, Dublin 2; Joe Nicholson (right) with Townes Van Zandt and friend in Whelan’s in the 1990s; tweet last week
The great and the good of the Irish music industry packed Mount Jerome Chapel in Dublin last Saturday at the funeral of Joe Nicholson.
Joe was synonymous with Whelan’s bar, having worked as the gatekeeper of the Wexford St music venue for many years.
Previously, he had worked as a tour manager and a driver for innumerable visiting artists, including Bob Dylan, Al Green and Elvis Costello. A warm-hearted larger-than-life character with an encyclopaedic knowledge of rock’n’roll, Joe was unmistakable at the door usually in his trademark black fedora.
The musical tributes at the funeral service came from Leslie Dowdall, who sang the moving ‘Spirit In The Night’; Mundy, who delivered a fitting version of ‘If I Needed You’ written by one of Joe’s musical heroes Townes Van Zandt; and a rousing rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ by Paddy Casey, Declan O’Rourke, Mundy, Alice Jago, Leslie Dowdall and Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Mundy also recited a poem ‘Goodbye Big Joe’ he wrote to honour his old friend’s memory.
By all accounts, Damien Rice stormed it in Whelan’s last night.
Were you there?
How was it for you?
We knew him when he was just Paddy Field…
For most of an enthralling and hugely generous 150 minute set, Rice performed alone with his guitar…His sound was also embellished by the judicious use of pedals, adding colour and depth to the music. The word for now is that Damien Rice is back – and back to his best. Long may it continue…