15th. November 2012
I go into the mater Hospital tomorrow the 16th of November for a bowel operation. Hopefully this will be the end of the problem
My two pictures here are of a large house in a place called Cultimo outside Bremen in Germany where I played this year.. Neo Nazis wanted
The other picture is really a fragment of a long lost picture of me clowning around in O’Donohughes pub with Johnny Keenan and John Curtis
Hopefully my problems will be over soon, take care.
Well the bad news is that I'm going to have another operation. But please God this will be the last one.
July 16th. 2012
Mick Fitzgerald and the Bacha Trio. Streetwise.
Tipsy Sailor and the Wild Geese:
Mick Fitzgerald - SESSION Irish Stories
April 23rd. 2012
My new album, "Still Live" is now available at Claddagh Records.
By the time you read this I will have completed the sixth bout of chemo, the half way mark. So far all going well.
Also I’m very happy to say that I have a new live CD coming out next week. It can be got in Claddagh records to buy or download and www.claddaghrecords.com. Just me and my guitar and a gang of people. Am happy with the way it turned out.
Pictures are the CD cover and the poster for the play which starts in “The New Theatre” on the 16th of April.
Listen to Yesterday:
Listen to Still Live:
My fourth bout of chemo means that I am one third into the treatment. I can tell you that all the good wishes I have received from you have gone a long way to making me feel better.
I haven’t been sitting back either, I was in New York before Christmas where I did an actors workshop with James Noble (The Governor in Benson and the Priest in Airplane 2 among a lot of other things); I did a wonderful little film in the “Titanic Quarter” of Belfast called “Where the ships came in”. My co-actor was Neil Woods and it was written and wonderfully directed by Samuel Steele. It is one of a series of short films to be shown by U.T.V during its centenary year of the Titanic. Hopefully I will also be in Ulick O’Connor’s “Executions” in “The New Theatre”, Temple Bar in April. As I speak it is still in its infancy but fingers crossed.
Musically I played in Munich and will be going to Hamburg in March. So thank God I am still very much keeping busy. Pictures this time around are the “Global Music Awards” I picked up in 2011, me outside “The Dakota Building” on 8/12/2011, John Lennon’s anniversary, plus a “still” from “Where the ships came in”
See you soon
In spite of a major health scare over the last while, I have had a productive time. Two TV programmes appeared quite close together , "Shaor Sinn O Ole” on TG4 and “The man in 301” on Network 2.I went to New York and did a Theatre workshop with James Noble (who was the Governor in “Benson” and the Priest in “) Airplane 2”0. I came home and read two parts in Ulick O Connor’s brilliant play ”Executions” at the “New Theatre” directed by Ronan Wilmot.
The New Year won’t be plain sailing though because on 9/1/2012, I commence chemotherapy. The procedure goes on for 6 months and won’t be an easy time. But the medical staff are bending over backwards to work around any stage, TV or musical performances that I have to do. The chemo is precautionary as the cancer has gone, but the fear that there may be tiny rogue cells banging around means they will give me the procedure just to be sure . But there is no reason why I shouldn’t be around for many more Christmases . I’m a lucky dude.
The pictures this time round are me and James Noble at the theatre workshop, myself and patrolman Tim Cohn in Central Park on 8th of December 2011, John Lennon’s anniversary, we actually sang ”I am the Walrus” much to the amusement of the crowd. The third picture is of myself and Alan Williams, The Beatles first manager who in his own words was the man who “gave The Beatles away“.
So in reality I am open for business for 2012 and I wish everybody a peaceful Christmas.
First of all much thanks for all the great wishes. To begin with the cancer has all but been beaten. The chemo is to make sure there are no lingering tiny cancer cells hanging around, in other words this chemo will ensure that I will still be a grumpy old bugger when I'm in my eighties or maybe aged 103.
The hospital has promised to work the treatment around any work schedule that I have although it will be painful enough.
Anyway on the plus side I actually won two "Global Music Awards". One for "vocals" on "Streetwise" and the other for my reading of "Irish Folk Legends" on the CD "The Enchanted Lake".
Also I'm heading to New York on December 4th where I will attend a workshop by the brilliant character actor James Noble. You may remember him as the Governor in the long running "Benson" and as "Father Flanagan" the priest in "Airplane 2".
Also I will be doing a Ulick O'Connor play in "The New Theatre" very soon.
The pictures are of my Godchild Rebecca at her first birthday and a gig in Germany (open air in Lever Kausen) a couple of months ago.
So again I'm going to be fine, the chemo starts in January and I'm going to be around for a long time yet.
To finish, where would I be without you all?
I’m going in to hospital on Friday for an operation. I have kept this to myself for the last month until it came close to the time. It is a small cancerous growth on my bowel which thankfully was detected very fast and I will be right as rain in a short while. But an old prayer never went amiss so the more the merrier.
In the meantime I did my mini-tour of Germany last week and it was really a great time. When we were playing in Dorsten near Essen there was a minor earthquake going on outside. Need I say the place rocked.
Pictures are of myself and former Irish Manager Eoin Hand (a fine singer) in O’Donoghues pub and one of me in Germany last week.
Anyway I will keep you up to date on the operation.
I had a major setback in June when I got a viral pneumonia and that took the wind out of my sails, I can tell you. I had to pull out of rehearsals for a play and stand down for a Feature Film.
Thankfully all is better now and I was able to play a Protestant minister in a ghost story for TG4 called “Ainsprid” (Apparition) which is coming up shortly. In the next two weeks also on TG4 I play a father in a Docu-Drama called “Fuath na Fuaime” ( Hatred of Noise). This is the first script I have ever done in Irish for Film.
Musically my new C.D “Streetwise” is out and thankfully doing great. Also I recorded an Album of Grimm’s’ “Irish Folk Tales” in Germany. Both of these are available through Claddagh Records in Dublin and online also.
Ahead of me I have a mini German tour in September. A “live” album has also been recorded and is being mixed as I speak. So thankfully I’m back in the swing of things.
Pictures are me with Gerry O’Connor and Brigid Heffernan on “Streetwise” in “Sonic Studios”, Stoneybatter, Dublin
My new CD 'Streetwise' will be on sale in Claddagh Records and Dolphin Discs in Talbot Street from this weekend. Sorry about the delay but i was knocked down by a virus. I am on my feet again and ready to roll thank God. Hope you enjoy it.
Mick Fitzgerald and the Bacha Trio
This is a nearly a fully mixed track called "Never Said" from my new CD "Streetwise" which is due out in April. It is the first time that I have ever arranged Strings."
As I write, the Play “Men are from Stonybatter, Women frm Phibsboro” has finished its revival in the “New Theatre”. Great to report that it broke “Box Office” records at the Theatre and was a great success.
I went to Waterford just after the Play and a little Film in Irish for TG4 called “Fuath na Fuaime”. I have to admit that my Irish is rather rusty but I managed to get it done without too much difficulty. Also, unusually,I made an appearance on an RTE programme for the Deaf called “Hands On” as a Politician (they used footage from a previous programme that I had done). When it comes to Politics I tend to go deaf anyway. However it was a really well put together programme.
Now I am getting ready for a Comedy Feature Film called “We’ve got Balls” based on American Football being played over here. I play an ex Coach with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever,a right Pratt.But these are always the great characters to play.
I fly out on the 19th of March to Munich in Germany to read some “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” with an Irish connection, (one of the brothers Grimm took a great interest in Irish Fairy tales and had them translated into German).The stories are for a CD in English and German along with Music on the Harp and I even get to sing in Irish…a song that I got from my Mother called “Turus go Tir na nOg”.
The CD is nearly finished thank God. Gerry “Banjo” O Connor did his bits at the end of January and true to form they are great. Brigid Heffernan as I write will be doing backing vocals on two tracks and there are a host of wonderful musicians to make up the “Bacha Trio”.
Pictures in this Blog include Gerry O Connor and myself recording in “Sonic Studios” (which believe it or not are in Stonybatter), me and Glen Hansard (from the film ONCE) after singing some songs together in O Donoghues Pub, Hamburg Germany in thje snow just before Christmas,the “Beatles Museum”, Hamburg and the cast of “Men are from Stonybatter, women are from Phibsboro”.
Until next time, take care,
December 31st. 2010
"Can I wish you all a Very Peaceful and Happy New Year in the best way that I can...with a song called New Year's Day. Much thanks to you all."
December already…where did time go when we were not looking? Seems like only yesterday that I was wishing everybody a “Happy New Year 2010”.
As I write this I am about to go to Germany on the 10th to play in Hamburg and Hannover. I choose the right weather too it would seem.Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire,this is like jumping for a snowball into an Avalanche. It may reach 20 degrees below in Hamburg while I am there.
Speaking of Germany, I will be going back to Munich in January to record a reading of some of “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” (The lesser known ones) for a C.D. They will also be recorded in German of course and the project is seen as an excellent way of teaching English to children over there. There will also be two live tracks coming out on a Vinyl Record from Cologne from a gig I did there last May.
We are finishing my third C.D. in the new “Sonic Recording Studios” in Stonybatter in Dublin. My great friend Gerry “Banjo” O Connor will be stepping on board to play “Viola” of all things. We have a few other special things up our sleeves as well.
Meanwhile I started a Docu-drama about a raid on the “Magazine Fort” in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 1938. This will be ongoing until March. Also a film I did in Wexford in January was shown at the “Contro-Sguardi Film Festival” in Porugia in Italy last month. I will back from Germany from my reading sojourn in January just in time for rehearsals for the Play,”Men are from Stonybatter, Women from Phibsboro” which is coming back to “The New Theatre” in Dublin in February by popular demand.
The Photographs in this little Blog are a scene from the award winning Short Film Bridie and Arthur”, a shot of myself, Johnny Keenan, Frank Cullan, Eoin Kenny and Martin Denning at a wedding in the 80’s and one of me and Kieran Halpin on a nameless night in Slatterys of Capel Street.
As I wont be back to Ireland until the 16th of December, it is probably the best time to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year, oh and be careful out there.
As I write, the “Quare Fellow” has gone to “The Pavillion” in Dun Laoire and the Driocht in Blanchardstown to really good houses. Its been a wonderful run since the beginning of July and now here we are on Tour.
We have a break until October 26th when we do the last week of the tour in the “Civic Theatre” in Tallaght. That will be 60 performances in all.
When you read this I will be in Munich in Germany for a gig. I leave on the 23rd and get back on the 25th just in time to start the Play on the 26th.
The new CD will have all sorts of surprises including 3 live tracks from Cologne in Germany which were remixed by Paul Staunton in New York.
I go back to Germany to play in Hannover and Hamburg in December and we are trying to get the CD ready in time.
This year I was lucky to attend the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival and my pictures are more or less centred around it. Me at the Graveside, and with Rodney Crowell and Chris Keenan at a ceremony on the Sunday Morning of the Festival…..and in memory, a picture of me and Johnny messing about in O Donoghues in the mad old days.
God, the next time we speak it will be almost Christmas. Good grief where did the year go?
Brendan Behan’s The “Quare Fella” has proven to be a huge success in the “New Theatre”, Temple Bar. We will now run until September 4th and will run in the Pavillion Theatre (Dun Laoghaire), The Civic Theatre (Tallaght) and An Driocht (Blanchardstown) in October. I enclose two pictures here, myself and Ben Reynolds in a scene from the play and myself and Ulick O’Connor. Ulick lectured the cast on Brendan Behan and to me he is one of the great unsung heroes of this country. Among his many talents he was a boxer and at 83 years old still holds the Irish record for the quickest knockout – 4 ½ seconds.
Musically believe it or not I have 7 tracks ready for a new CD. One of the tracks “In the morning” was the first thing I ever recorded and the recording has been kindly given to me by EMI for inclusion on the new CD. The track came from a vinyl album “The Universal 10 years on”. It was a celebration of a Folk Club that saw many a name, Sonny Condell, Leo O’Kelly, Don Baker, Donal Lunny, Shea Healy and even me make their bones. It’s nice to post the track up again.
I will be going to Germany to play in “Munich” in October before coming back to do the “Quare Fella” again. I will play in “Hannover” in December. As I speak the “Ulster Bank” advert is back on TV for its last run. So God has given me a good year so far. I also enclose a new picture of the gig I did in May in Cologne in Germany with the group “Wonderwall”.
Oh I almost forgot "Claddagh Records" will distribute my book "Session" starting in the next month. Also I did a short film for Paralell Films/Bord Scannán na hÉireann called "Dummy" which is R.T.É bound.
See you soon,
Where do I begin ? As I write, my first book of short stories has been published. “Session” has been released in English and German through “Songdog” Publishing House in Vienna and can be ordered here through Read Ireland.com, who are based in Clontarf.
Musically, I went to Georgia, U.S.A. in March and got some nice photos. One was a hungry bear (a young one) from the back window of where I was staying. He was up after hibernation and was heading straight for the trash cans. We were not going to argue. I also include my great friends from the “Georgia Mudcats” – Lisa , Tom and Jim (Pat another member was missing). The other two pictures are me and Lisa in Athens, Georgia, at avenue called “The 40 Watt Club”, where R.E.M. and the B52’s started their careers and I also came upon a beautiful Ford motor car from 1930 which is in perfect workingorder.
I also did my first gig in Germany in Koln after 25 years and it was great to be there again. My book sold 120 copies on the night and it was a great night all round. I shared the gig with the German All girl group “Wonderwall” and we got together at the end to do a couple of songs. My great friend Gabrielle Haufs shared the stage with me and translated all my verbal mumblings. Two of my songs “Is that yourself that’s in it” and “New Year’s Day” will be released as live recordings on a compilation vinyl album and C.D. Releases will be sold in the U.S.A., Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan. I enclose also a picture of all of us on the stage (Mayer Originals (c)).
In Theatre I managed to secure a great part in Brendan’s Behan’s the “Quare Fella”, directed by Ronan Wilmot. It will be performed at the “New Theatre” in Temple Bar. I will have a combination of two parts, the “Governor” and “Holy Healy”. It will run for July and August. Also I have a play (a new one) in the same Theatre, starting June 1. This one is called “Men are from Stoneybatter, women from Phibsboro”. It looks like being a busy summer.
To finish, a little film I did called “Bridie and Arthur”, picked up four different awards and is one of the most enjoyable little films I have ever done. I have it up on my Facebook page.
Also, if the Icelandic Volcano behaves itself, I hope to go to Hanover in Germany in November and maybe Toronto in Canada before the end of the year.
I think, thank God, you could call that busy. See you soon.
Screened at the Festival on 18th. May 2010. I play the lead role as "Lafou", a chef on a mission of revenge. The film is also being shown at the Shanghai and Beijing Film Festivals of 2010. In Beijing it is being shown with Neil Jordan's "Ondine".
Since we last spoke at the end of last year, I couldn’t have been more busy. Its been the best start to a year I’ve had for a long time. Already for 2010 I’ve got “The Tudors” , “The Ulster Bank GAA Advert” and the RTE short “Birds and Beasts” in the can.
In January I appeared in the Wexford Opera House in the play “Parity of Pretence” which was a big success (I enclose one picture here). I went straight from that into three short films. One was actually a cowboy movie which I am still doing as I speak. It’s called “West” and I enclose a picture of me and Gerry Wade (who kills me – the swine). We filmed this one in Gorey in Wexford. Seems I can’t get away from Wexford. “The man in 301”, a musical I filmed in Mountjoy Jail a couple of years ago was shown by the Irish Film Board on the 21st of February in a series of mini-musicals at the Irish Film Institute
Musicwise after two gigs on St. Patrick’s Day I will be flying out to Georgia, USA on the 19th of March where everyone I know is a musician. In April I will be flying out to do a gig in Cologne on the 27th which will be my first time playing in Germany since my “Wild Geese” days. “Rathdrum Fair” by the way is on a re-released C.D. which is winging its way to me from Japan of all places. God that song got around.
When I appear in Cologne in April my first book, which we have called “Session”, will be ready and waiting (it’s being published in Germany).
That, as I said, is a good start to a year.
Another year falls into place. Where on earth did it go? Thankfully it was a good one and I was busy for most of it.
I threw in an article in my small November update from this month’s “Irish Music Magazine”. Please God next year I will go to the States for a few gigs. I got the taste when I went to Georgia last March. In this month’s “News” I enclose the picture from that article. I still have the beard I wore in the “Tudors” and the picture is taken on a rainy Thursday in O’Donoghues.
Oddly even though most of my year was taken up by drama, I have the bones of a new C.D. written. One or two of the songs I really like. “Rathdrum Fair” (my version) is included in a soon to be released C.D. called “sunrise on the Wicklow Hills”.
My first book of short stories will be published in 2010. It is being published in German and English so we will call it “Session” as it means the same thing in both languages. Also one of my old “chestnuts”, “me Brother is a T.D.” was published in a book called “Dublin’s other Poetry” published by “Lilliput Press”.
This year marked a return to Theatre for me with some nice roles. I played three different parts in a Play called “Fever Dream”, directed by my friend Gerry Wade at the “International Bar” for a week. I enclose a picture from the Production of myself, Seamus Whelan and Ger Considine. I also had the pleasure of appearing (again last month) in Ronan Wilmot’s “New Theatre”. The production was “The Trial of Michael Collins” written by Billy French and directed by Ronan Wilmot. I played Arthur Griffith.
Filmwise in the last month or so, a film I did called “Redeemer” came fourth in the “Skyfest” Film Festival in North Carolina, “Loose Bodies” was shown in the “Darklight” Film Festival in Dublin, “Birds and Beasts” was shown in the Cork Film Festival and will soon be seen on R.T.E. Speaking of R.T.E., “Cracking Crime” in which I appeared as Fiona Pender’s father was shown again on the third of November. This makes the fifth time the Programme was shown.
I have, please God, four short films lined up for 2010, plus the “Tudors” will be shown in the Spring and the “Ulster Bank Advert” will get one more run in the Summer. But I have been rehearsing every week in Wexford for a play called “Parity of Pretence” in the “Opera House” in January.
So, if God spares me, a promising start to the year is in store.
Speaking of which, we won’t meet until 2010, so no matter what you do, be safe doing it.
Happy Christmas and New Year 2009,
Just a small update for November as i intend to wrap up the year in December with a lot of things which have happened over the past few months. As i write i am just after starting a play called "Fever Dream" based on the life of Edger Allen Poe in the "International Bar" in Dublin and i have to commute at weekends to Wexford to rehearse for a play which will commence at the end of January.
But in this update i am including an Article which will feature in the next Edition of "Irish Music Magazine" written by Tom Clancy and also a lovely collage of Photographs by Tom which he took of Dublin in October as a setting for my own song "October" from "Damage Limitation". See you with the last report of the year in the next couple of weeks.
The best part of my year came around when I auditioned for and got a part in the “Tudors”.This is for the fourth and final instalment of the series.I play the “Fleet Prison Warden”, not a huge part, but a well featured one none the less. I enclose a once in a lifetime picture of me wearing “tights” along with my full regalia. There is also a picture of myself and Simon Ward who plays “Bishop Gardiner”. We shot our scenes in “Ardmore Studios”.
Musically one of my songs from “Light Sleeper”, “Where the Green Rushes grow” was used in a film called “Outside of Heaven” along with tracks by Damien Dempsey, Lisa Hannigan and “Ham Sandwich” among others. It got a very positive response at the “Galway Film Fleadh 2009” and will now go on the Festival circuit. In fact “Light Sleeper” has started to sell on the back of “Damage Limitation” in Germany which is a nice surprise.
A very old song of mine “The TD” was printed, along with a nice biography of me, in a book called “Dublin’s other Poetry”. It is written and illustrated by John Wyse Jackson and Hector McDonnell and is published by “The Lilliput Press”.
The “Sony Ericson” campaign which I did for “Facebook” (picture in my last update) brought me to “Inchidonney” in Cork and finished in “Banna Strand” in Kerry on September 12th. This was me fronting a “Beach Rugby” campaign as “Coach Devlin” with my own page on “Facebook”. I did a series of videos for the page and made personal appearances as well. It was different and a good challenge.
I did something similar for the recent “Absolut Fringe” (which was a combination of art and Theatre in Dublin this September). It was with a collaborative public art project called “Mind the Gap”. I was given a script and became a guide on a tour bus (open-topped) and I showed my charges all the unrealised proposals for the city of Dublin, all the projects that were stopped half way through by the Government. You would be surprised at the waste of space and sheer dereliction that the Government have handed us over the years. I enclose as my third picture myself and my bus awaiting passengers in Smithfield.
Finally, I appeared as Superintendent Gallagher in “Maru” in September on TG4 and the Ulster Bank advert for the GAA came to a close soon after the “All Ireland Final”. It will be repeated again next year.
As I write this we have had two sunny days in a row. I am stunned.
Until next time.
The best news for me this year is that I just managed to get a part in the “Tudors”. This will be the last series of the programme so I was lucky to get the audition. I play a Jailer and I get to spout my lines in late July. The series “Tudors IV” goes out in the spring of 2010.
On Facebook I fronted a Sony Ericsson campaign for “Beach Rugby”. This involved two hard days of graft doing 6 or 7 short videos. Although as you can see by the picture it was not all tough going. We did some press photos and this one was taken on Sandymount Strand at 8 a.m. in the morning. So here is proof that I was picked up by four beautiful women at 8 a.m. on an Irish Beach. (Photo courtesy of Michael Chester).
The G.A.A. Advert I did for the Ulster Bank was bought out for the next two years meaning it will be shown right up until the end of 2010. The short film “Birds and Beasts” will be shown in the next few months on R.T.E. as well.
With regards to things musical I was on “Sherkin Island” at the end of June for the annual “Shindig”. It was a great weekend’s music in the spiritual home of the “Wild Geese”. My two other pictures here are from “Sherkin” and feature myself and two of the greatest storytelling singers around. Jimmy Crowley and Dick Hogan have been friends of mine for over 30 years.
The new CD “Damage Limitation” has had good reviews in the U.S.A., Germany, Belgium and even a good one in Turkey. Finally my first book of short stories is only one story short of completion. I never thought I’d see the day.
Until next time.
“Damage Limitation” has done well since its release. It has not only sold here but a fair few copies went in Germany and the U.S. as well. I had an interview with the “Irish Music Magazine” which was published in the May Edition. It is up on the web along with the C.D. lyrics and also in the “Links” section along with a blog review of my Lyrics There have also been some flattering German reviews along with Radio Airplay in Germany.
Something I never expected though was that by the end of this year, I will have my first book of short stories published. A Publishing House in Vienna called “Songdog” will be bringing out the collection. This is an ambition I’ve always kept smouldering somewhere inside.
I also managed to get to Georgia in the USA for the first two weeks in March. My old Buddies “The Georgia Mudcats” who recorded “Rathdrum Fair” were on hand to show me around. I spent my time listening to “Five string Banjo’s” and “Fiddles” and the lovely singing of “Lisa Deaton”. All the pictures in this news section come from Georgia including the “snake” who was slightly camera shy.
Film wise, “Loose Bodies” (the Northern Ireland Film Board short) finally saw the light of day in early April and the “RTE” short “Birds and Beasts” was shown to cast and crew in Cork and Dublin also in early April. My advert for the “Ulster Bank” will be back this summer and also next summer 2010 which will guarantee my ugly “mush” in living rooms for a while yet. The “Feature Film” I started, “A Foreign Affair”, will resume soon as well and looks like being an exciting prospect. I can’t say much but the producers have high hopes.
So, not a bad few months really. See you soon.
My second major event will see me going to Georgia in the USA on the 3rd March where I will record a few tracks with the “Georgia Mudcats” who recorded my song “Rathdrum Fair”. This should be some adventure. Oh Brother Mick where art thou!! This of course means there will be a third CD.
Moviewise, I am in the middle of a project called “A Foreign Affair” which looks like being a large project and will go on until at least July. My old friend Tommy O’Neill (the hard nosed cop from “Fair City” is co-starring with me). “Loose Bodies” which I did last year and was sponsored by the “Northern Ireland Film Board” will finally be shown in Belfast in April and will then go straight into competition. But to be working at all the way the economy is going is a blessing in itself.
So a belated New Year and when you read this I will probably be running away from a “grizzly bear” on a dirt track in Georgia.
See you soon.
The lyrics of the new CD “Damage Limitation” are all up in their own slot on the website. The album itself is ready for release in February or maybe even mid January. It is out of my hands.
One of my great friends Ted Boland died two months ago. He was one of the people I met as soon as I landed behind a guitar. I found a picture of himself (with Bodhran) and myself and Johnny Keenan’s nephew playing in the Johnny Keenan Festival a few years ago. I also came up with a picture of the original “Tipsy Sailor” (me, Johnny, Kieran Halpin and Sean Howley). I haven’t got room for the memories but the story “Session” elsewhere on this website contains something close to the atmosphere.
It’s been a hell of a year. From the shattering experience of losing my brother Eddie and then getting pneumonia soon after to getting an “Ulster Bank Ad” that ran for months and the Abbey Theatre which ran for two months (An Ideal Husband) – Even “How low can you go reality check” on RTE2 was a great experience (I played a Hippie Band Manager) and now the darned CD is finished. I’ve an episode of Marú for TG4 in the bag for 2009 as well as an RTE2 short called “Birds and Beasts”. So by way of bidding goodbye to 2008 I enclose a picture of me and my colleagues taking a bow on the Abbey stage.
Have a great New Year.
I finished in the Abbey Theatre on the 27th of September and all the way from 11th of August it was a pleasure. I did some voiceover work on the “Clinic” on the following Monday. To end a very busy few months I completed an RTE/Cork Arts Centre film called “Birds and Beasts” in Cork, directed by a very talented woman named Claire Dix. After this it’s back to music and God! my fingers are going to hurt.
As I reported to you earlier this year my brother Eddie passed away leaving us devastated. But then my youngest brother’s partner “Gina” gave birth to a new Fitzgerald, Kate, in October. The year begins to get happier for us all.
Speaking of family, I have put up a picture of my maternal grandparents on their Wedding Day in the early 1900s. Also a picture of my Uncle Les and friend and my Auntie Mena during the Second World War. Then there is an unusual photograph of my Auntie Mena on her honeymoon in Cornwall in 1958 with Winston Churchill’s then “Batman” Reg Harner taken by Les.
The most unusual thing to happen this year was a short story of mine getting published in German in Hamburg in a magazine called “Anakronia”, Vol. 9” and also in the Irish Folk Festival Tour 2008 Programme Magazine also in German. This was due to being contacted by a wonderful translator, Gabriele Haefs.
The story is called “The Session” and is based on the great Sunday mornings in “Slatterys” of Capel Street when it was still a pub. I have put two pictures of those days up above the story which is now in the “short story” section of this site (in English of course). Little pieces of the story are based on real events and there are lots of people I know there. My old friend Tina Day would recognise a lot of this story and the people in it. To finish, I am working on a cover design for the new C.D. there are a few more things I am dying to tell you but they are not definite yet. So I will see you very soon.
The unexpected arrived this time round which is why it has taken so long to get back to everybody. I did an Audition for a minor role in the Abbey Theatre Production of “An Ideal Husband”. This proved successful and it is running from the 11th of August to the 27th of September. I celebrated my birthday on the Abbey Stage which was a joy.
I was in the Abbey Theatre 30 years ago almost to the day with Des Cave a stalwart of the Abbey and a fine actor and here I am in the same dressingroom. He is still a joy to work with. The play itself is breaking all sorts of box office records and is great fun. “An Ideal Husband” is directed by the award winning Director Neil Bartlett O.B.E.
I enclose a few pictures. One of Des and me in the dressing room and another of me on the Abbey stage.
Filmwise, I will be doing a “Bord Scannán na hEireann” film called “Birds and Beasts” in Cork on the 3rd of October. Also an advertisement I did for the Ulster Bank about the foundation of the G.A.A. is cropping up all over the place.
Musicwise the new CD will be ready to roll in October. I am just waiting to get all my other commitments out of the way. More on that very soon.
As May comes to a close, thank God the year has taken a turn for the better. A pile of work has come in to keep me going for a while. My brother, Edward, has become my agent in Heaven.
I auditioned for and got an advert for the “Ulster Bank”. I actually appear twice in it, at the beginning (present day) and then as a G.A.A. founder member (1882). I auditioned for and got a part in an RTE comedy “How Low, Reality Check” as a clapped-out Hippie musician. (I didn’t mind the clapped-out musician bit, it was the hippie bit I objected to). As I write we are in the middle of filming. I also wrote and performed a daft song for the programme.
Included in this update are a picture of me circa. 1882 (from the Ulster Bank advert) and a picture of me as a Bloody Hippie in “How Low Reality Check”, (the wig wasn’t used in the final takes, thank God).
Also on the film front was a film sponsored by the Northern Ireland Film Board called “Chimera” filmed in Belfast. I play a “criminal psychologist” in this one. We actually rehearsed it last year so we were almost word perfect on the day.
The “Cracking Crime” Programme on the tragic Fiona Pender was repeated on RTE 1 on 18 May (Sunday) as I wrote this. I played her father. It was a sad and difficult part to do.
Musically, the album is finished apart from a couple of minor tweaks. There are 13 tracks. I have another almost written but I have to stop somewhere.
As a bit of a reminder to myself and a few others I include video footage of a programme called “The Humours of Donnybrook” from 1980. It is an interview I did with the great Ciaran MacMathuna about my then group "Tipsey Sailor”. The footage also includes the band doing one of my songs “The Black Dodder”, in front of a live audience. So in this Bulletin you have me in 1882, 1980 and 2008. Real time travelling stuff. Onwards and upwards, see you soon.
This is probably the hardest update I will ever have to write in the lifetime of this website. In January I lost my brother Eddie after a brief illness at the age of 52. In the miscellaneous section I have a wonderful tribute paid to him in the “Galway Advertiser”, every word of it true for he was a giant among us with the subtlety of a wonderful actor.
In February I went into the Mater Hospital for a routine hernia operation and ended up getting a Pneumonia Bug which kept me there for most of the month. The beginning of March saw the death of “Jimmy Faulkner” one of the greatest guitarists this country ever produced and a great friend of mine.
As well as the tribute to Eddie in the Miscellaneous Section there is a poem dedicated to him from our cousin Georgina Sarjant whose father appears on this website visiting the River Kwai.
Things please God can only get better. I enclose a couple of stills from the “Northern Ireland film Board” short “Loose Bodies”. I am to start work in Belfast in the beginning of April on a movie called “Chamera” and there are two more which I will go into detail about the next time we speak The new album is a step away from finished. Please God it’s onward and upward.
NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2007
The pictures are from “How Harry Became a Tree” in 2001. This was the first thing I did (drama-wise) in 20 years. But I got hooked again even though I was little more than a “Special Extra”. I went on to get my full Equity Card again and now thank God I am beginning to get good roles.
“Cinderella” for the B.B.C. and “Maru” for T.G.4 (in which at long last I play a cop) will both be screened in November. Three other films I did, “The Headmaster”, “One in a million” and “Death is Red” are being screened at the “Waterford Film Festival” also in November. On December (17th and 18th) I will be filming a “Northern Ireland Film Board” piece called “Loose Bodies”. This will be shot in Belfast.
Music-wise the C.D. is almost finished with fourteen tracks in all. I actually think it will be called “Damage Limitation” after a track we just finished.
God it only seems like yesterday that I was wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year and now it’s coming round again.
May it all be peaceful with everything you need.
Mick Fitzgerald 2007.
My mother was Annie Jordan from Rathdrum and the Jordans were, and still are, an extraordinary bunch of people. Maggie Jordan (my cousin) is a case in point.
She married a man named Francis Fairbairn, an Englishman who went off to fight in the Second World War. He died at the hands of the Japanese on the “River Kwai” leaving Maggie with a daughter “Joy”.
She married again, this time to an Irishman whom she also outlived. But her heart was always with Francis Fairbairn and in 2003 with my late Uncle Les she went to Yokohama to the “war graves cemetery” at the age of 89 to see where his ashes were.
The pictures show her and Les at the war cemetery in Yokohama, also Francis Fairbairn’s name on the memorial. I also enclose the cover of the prayer sheet at the “Act of Remembrance” in “Hodogaya War Graves Cemetery” in 2003.
Amazingly my Uncle Les (completely by accident) found the grave of a friend of his whom he had lost contact with in the early years of the war. His name was A.W.P. Taylor R.N. My Uncle Les went to war in 1939 with the Navy at the age of 17. It was here he met Mr. Taylor. I enclose a picture of his grave in Yokohama.
Maggie Jordan is hale and hearty at the great age of 93 and living in England.
A couple of reviews of the “Light Sleeper” C.D.
One from the “Evening Herald” and one from the “Irish Music Magazine”.`
Click on the images for enlarged version.
First of all the weather played havoc with a lot of things this time round. Still it got busy for me. As I write I am about to put the finishing touches to the new C.D. a full mix by August.
I came across an old picture of “Tipsy Sailor”, the first group I ever played with. What a group though. This was the last version – from left myself, Gerry O’Connor, Declan Masterson, Terry Boyle and the late Fiach O’Broin. Johnny Keenan was one of the founder members.
TV and Film wise it got busy over the last two months. “Slots” which I filmed in 2005 was finally shown on RTE2 in June. I did a movie (musical) in Mountjoy Jail of all places, called “301 a prison musical”. I have to do post production on this (“Lip-synch”.)
I did a few days on a BBC film called “Cinderella” in Belfast in late June. This starred Jimmy Nesbit and the lovely Harriet Walter (I enclose a picture of both of us on the set).
Finally its back to Belfast to film a TG4 programme called “Maru” on the 24th and the 26th of July. Oh and I am putting up a new page this time round….one of my published short stories.
I have had a few short stories published over the years. I could never (and so far still can’t) see myself wrapped around the great novel….It was the short story for me.
This one was nominated for a “Hennessy Award” in 1985/86. As it reflects my beloved “Rathdrum” in Co. Wicklow as a backdrop, I have included various old photographs of my grandparents, aunties and uncles, when the world was in black and white.
Finally (I don’t know how the cartoonist did it) but this looks exactly like the walk from my grandparents house in the lower street of Rathdrum up to the Church.
All I can give as I write this is my abject apologies for leaving such a gap. People were actually e-mailing me wondering where I’d gone.
Well the new C.D. will be finished within the next two months and ready to be printed and among you all. I have been really busy playing a lot here in Dublin.
At this stage may I recommend a band called the “Georgia Madcats” (from Georgia of course) featuring Lisa Deaton on delightful lead vocals.
Check out their C.D. “Across the Big Pond”. They do a lovely version of my own “Rathdrum Fair” but there are little gems on the album as well one of which is a song called the “Bright sunny South”.
It’s funny when I appear on “Fair City (the Irish Soap). I get a load of texts from people telling me they were just flicking channels and saw me by accident. Everyone is flicking channels at the same time, nobody admits to watching it. Well I filmed one episode recently. Also I did a “Primetime” re-enactment.
But the funniest one this year was a day on a Brazilian Soap opera called “Eterna Magia” (Eternal Magic) which was filmed in Dublin (one Episode).
Lastly “The Headmaster” film in which I played Thomas Clarke (see me in grey hair and bowler hat elsewhere on this page) was shown in New York in mid-April. As I write it will be shown at the I.F.I. for cast and Irish crew members (most of the original crew were American) on the 25th of May. Then it goes to the Festivals.
Finally, I am filming a musical in Mountjoy Jail called “Room 301 : a Prison Musical” on the 18th of May. This one is also for the festival circuit. I have never filmed a musical before and Mountjoy Jail is as good a place as any.
The pictures by the way are from “Eterna Magia”. So it’s goodbye for now and I promise to be in touch on a more regular basis.
Just in time to wish everyone a Happy 2007. If you read back on my year you will notice I have no need to complain.
I came across an old picture of myself and my great friend, the late Johnny Keenan taken at the Ennis "Fleadh Nua" in 1977 when we were mere lads. I threw in another from 1997 (taken in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin) for good measure. Time slips by unnoticed.
The book "The Pinewood Story" by Garth Owen was published in October and features my little contribution about filming of "King Arthur" in Pinewood Studios.
I auditioned for and got a part in the "Pilot" programme for a sit-com which is scheduled to be shot in January.
Music as you can understand is daft in Dublin before Christmas. Lots of work (gigs) to report. My second CD was stalled for a while but has recently gathered pace. I have 10 tracks nearing completion and am tempted to throw in another two. Some more of my songs (four at the last count) were recorded in America in 2006.
I wrote the article below for the Irish Independent to coincide with the showing of "Cracking Crime" on R.T.E. TV during last year.
This has been a very productive time. As you can see I have added another page to the site, a sort of tribute to P.L. Travis, the writer of Mary Poppins, a woman I got to know quite well.
Musically by the time you read this I will have at least nine tracks recorded for a new album. This is a lot more than I expected. At this stage and if all goes well, I will have a new C.D. ready by the end of the summer.
The “Wild Geese” whom I played and recorded with had a reunion on “Sherkin Island” off Cork in May. I have included two pictures in this bulletin, the “Wild Geese” in 1986 and the “Wild Geese” in 2006. There were a few different line-ups of the band and tragically one of our members, Mick Ryan, died all too young not too long ago.
Wild Geese 1986
Wild Geese 2006
I also filmed in Cork on an independent movie called “The Redeemer”. I did two days on “Murphy’s Law” for ITV (there is a picture of me and Jimmy Nesbitt here taken at 7.30 a.m. one morning). “Cracking Crime” (R.T.E.) in which I played a father whose daughter had disappeared was shown in late June. I also had an article in the “Irish Independent” newspaper explaining the programme.
Most of June though was taken up doing a film called the “Headmaster” for the “School of Visual Arts” in New York. This was set in Dublin before the “Easter Rising”. I played Thomas Clarke (the picture, complete with my own Bowler Hat, shows me as I would like to look when I become ancient or indeed if I become ancient) and it took at least an hour to make me up in the morning.
As I write, Ireland is in the middle of a heatwave. Thank God we filmed the “Headmaster” before this weather happened. The grey they put in my hair tended to stiffen in the heat and in this weather I would have ended up like a sort of Edward “Scissorhair”. But … a great year so far.
The picture here shows me as a saxon warrior invading a carpark in Pinewood Studios during lunch hour while filming “King Arthur” there. I had just fought a duel with a chicken curry. Gareth Owen from the “Roger Moore Office” in Pinewood wrote a book in 2000 called “The Pinewood Story”. He is updating the book for reissue in September 2006 and is quoting me from the Pinewood section of “The King Arthur” piece on this site. It is an honour to be quoted in a book like this.
In the meantime the film “Shadow” was shown at “Project Norma” in Belfast on the 28th of March (I’ll get back to you on that). I did four days filming in Northern Ireland on an RTE/Stirling Production called “Cracking Crime”. It is due on RTE television very shortly. I also wrote a small piece for the Irish Independent Newspaper about the programme which will go out on the day of transmission.
There was more voiceover work for the drama “Fallout” (about an accident at Sellafield). This is also due out shortly.
Musically I intend to use May for more recording. I’ve got down to the rehearsal stage of three songs.
My great friend Danny Carnahan is recording “The Ballad of Capel Street” and another song of mine (an older one) called “The Only Stranger” in the USA later on in the year while another mate in the States, Pat Egan, has already recorded “The Ballad of Capel Street” and a newer song called “Asha-Asha”.
Capel Street in Dublin spent such a big part in my life. It’s all changed now though. Slatterys, where many a hangover and a love story began is no longer an outpost for Irish music. It has now changed utterly. Although they still have live music, the soul left a long time ago.
The house in the photograph on this page, 12 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, is the house where Leopold Bloom lived in the film “Bloom” in which I had a tiny part. It is also strangely enough the house where I recorded a lot of the album “Light Sleeper”. Paul Thomas, who engineered most of the album, lived here for many years. He told me that when the “Location” people for “Bloom” came to see if the house was suitable for the movie he heard one of them say “God this place is in bits --- it’s perfect. It’s a wonderful slum”.
Film-wise I did “Shadows” a short movie for “Project Norma” in Northern Ireland and finished the RTE Production “Slots”. Both of these are in “Post Production”. There was another “Podge and Rodge” for RTE 2, “Fair City” for RTE 1 and a day on a Docu-Drama called “Fallout” which is about the consequences of an imaginary Sellafield accident on Ireland.
June Tabor, one of the great interpreters of Traditional and Folk songs recorded one of my songs “All our Trades are gone”. She has a new anthology of her work (a Four CD Box set) out at the moment and “All our Trades are gone” is done live on CD number four. It is the best version of one of my songs that I have ever heard.
I completed the second track for a new CD as well. The song is called “Sandy” and the working title of the new Album is “The Man with the Wristwatch in Ben Hur”. We didn’t record it in number 12 Windsor Terrace as number 10 Windsor Terrace fell down and the last thing I wanted to do was die while working. Actually I might call the new CD “It’s a wonderful Slum”.
Mick Fitzgerald (December 2005)
This is the update page for T.V. and Film and Music and its been a good year so far.
“Deaths Mailing” a film I co-starred in (director Julian Hills) got second place in the Galway Film Festival. I auditioned for and got one of the main parts in a “Primetime” re-construction of the murder of Robert McCartney.
There have been lots of shorts this year too with big and small budgets. One of the more interesting ones was “Marzipan Alley” which was featured in the “Talent Circle” Shorts Festival in London in September. I made this one in the North of Ireland (Director Crawford-Dillon Anderson).
As I write I have just got a part in a film called “Shadows” which is being made in Belfast for the “Project-Norma” short-film Festival. I auditioned for and got a part in a production for R.T.E. called “Slots” which will be shot in Skerries from the 12th to the 16th of September. I also did another “Podge and Rodge” and they are always a joy to do. The film “Deaths Mailing” was born out of a “Podge and Rodge” Programme as Julian Hills is the Director
Musically “Light Sleeper” has done reasonably good business and indeed has paid for itself twice. One of the tracks “Ballad of Capel Street” has been recorded in America (more about that anon). I have started a new one at long last. The first track is in the can and I am on the verge of recording two more. Thank God it has also been a good year for writing. All I need now is the recording time.
Watch this space.
Mick Fitzgerald (September 2005)