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Galway Stories

Galway Stories is an anthology set in Galway city and county, by writers who live, or have lived, there. The collection, edited by Lisa Frank and published by Doire Press, includes the work of such established writers as Kevin Barry, Mike McCormack, Celeste Auge, Julian Gough and Conor Montague. Also featured is Don't You Know Who I Am?

Olaf Tyaransen, 03 May 2013

I’d never been to Ireland before, but Hoppy told me Galway would be a good place to chill until the whole Pete thing calmed down. He’d worked with The Waterboys back in the day, and had spent time there.

We were holed up in my suite at the K-West, smoking some bud and sinking some Buds, talking about what had gone down, speculating about what was gonna happen next. He had to go back to the States straightaway to sort shit out, but I was in no rush home.

“You’ll be left alone in the west of Ireland,” Hoppy said, expertly tipping ash into an empty beer can. “Dublin’s kinda full-on, not much different from here,

but most of the rest of the country’s fuckin’ cool.”

“In what way?”

“The Irish ain’t starfuckers,” he shrugged. “They really don’t give a rat’s ass about celebrity or any of that kinda shit. Galway’s a serious drinking town, but it’s got a real nice vibe. Nobody will hassle you. Trust me, man.”

I totally trusted him. He’d been our road manager since day one. Didn’t trust nobody else though. Someone in our crew had definitely been talking to the press.

“Okay, but I really wanna go there on the down-low, so tell the guys I’ve gone back to Germany to see that Cologne chick,” I said. “Don’t even say it to Sykes. Just tell him I’ll be in touch in a few days.”

“Sure thing, brother,” he said, handing me the joint. “You got my word as a soldier.”

I took out my iPhone and booked the flight and hotel right there and then. It took a little while: I hadn’t booked anything for myself in years and the weed didn’t help. When the confirmation emails came in, I wrote down the details in my black Moleskine and shut the phone off. Plenty of folks were looking for me, but there was nobody I wanted to talk to.

Except for Pete. That was never gonna happen again.

London was a nightmare; New York was a nightmare in waiting. As Hoppy sagely put it, things were “totally FUBAR!”

Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

I needed some time and space to process. Galway sounded like the place.

After three days hanging around outside, the paps followed Hoppy and the rest of the guys from the K-West to Heathrow. He took my guitars. I wouldn’t be needing them for a while.

Stevie the lighting tech had worn a big floppy hat and my long purple leather coat as they ran the gauntlet of flashbulbs to the tour bus. It bought me some time.

Hoppy had organised a car. One of the barmen snuck me out the staff exit and I clambered into a waiting black Lexus. I was wearing my battered old deerstalker and the windows were tinted. Even so, I huddled down in the back seat until we were safely away from the hotel.

Pete used to give me a real hard time about the deerstalker. “Who do you think you are, man? Kurt fuckin’ Cobain?”

The driver could’ve been Indian or Pakistani. I never asked. He was a pro. No eyes in the back of his head. We didn’t exchange a single word the entire journey.

Luton Airport was quiet. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed or closing. I couldn’t spot any photographers. I kept my head down and checked in immediately. I’d already gone through security before I remembered there were two blister packs of Xanax in my shirt pocket. I had a script (the label doc was good like that), but the way things panned I wasn’t even patted down.

I’d left my weed for the maids. Hoppy told me it’d be easy enough to score some in Galway.

I sank a couple of cold ones in Departures and scanned the Evening Standard. There was a big picture of Pete on page three, but I didn’t read the article. It was probably bullshit. A lot of what had been written about him had been totally whack.

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