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Friday on my mind
Gavin Friday is among the most artistically ambitious Irish musicians of the past thirty years. With a superb new album, entitled catholic, under his belt, he talks about the death of his father, the breakup of his marriage, the end of the Prunes, working with Naomi Campbell, Courtney Love and Cillian Murphy – and the making of his finest album yet…
Olaf Tyaransen, 12 May 2011
Although they’re few and far between, he does have some fond memories of his father.
“I’ve a beautiful memory of being allowed to stay up,” he says. “I mean, I was born in late ‘59 so I’m 51, but being allowed to stay up at the age of ten. I don’t know what time man landed on the moon; I think it could have been about one or two in the morning which is really late when you’re 10. But I remember my father getting me out of bed and saying, ‘you have to watch this; man’s going to land on the moon!’ And sitting on his lap watching, and I think me ma went to bed. But I had this moment of watching man land on the moon with me da and then you actually go back and you’re like 50 and you go, ‘fucking hell’ I saw it live on a crappy little telly in northside Ballymun. That’s a fucking priceless memory.”
While they’d never seen eye to eye, they repaired their fractious relationship in his father’s final days.
“I don’t think he understood me. He never went to a gig; never seen me live in any situation. Even when there was big profile things like the premiere of In The Name Of The Father, Academy Award nominations and Golden Globe nominations and all that shit, he didn’t want to know. Then he gets sick and, you know, we talked and I was very lucky to be able to see him. He had a heart attack on a fucking trolley of all things, and every bone in my body wanted to be with him. Every single bone. I could not describe why I felt so connected to him.
“We just talked and talked and talked, and it was fucking basically apologising to each other. And then, he had his operation, he got out of hospital – and three weeks later, he died. It didn’t work, basically. And I am so lucky I had that moment, that time to make amends. It was a very positive way of letting go. I think the worst thing in fucking life, Olaf, is people getting bitter and not making up and letting things fester. That gives you fucking cancer more than cigarettes, you know.”