- 04 May 17
After three decades making his living as a visual artist, Hot Press illustrator DAVID ROONEY has just released his debut album. He tells OLAF TYARANSEN how Glen Hansard and Declan O’Rourke helped inspire him to swap his paintbrush for a guitar.
”If Bruce Springsteen hadn’t asked Glen to play that day, I wouldn’t have made this album,” declares David Rooney, wearing a satisfied smile. The 55-year-old Galway native is referring to that memorable night in July 2013 when The Boss invited a visibly chuffed Glen Hansard to join him onstage for a couple of songs in Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park. And also to his own stunningly soulful debut album, Bound Together.
An accomplished artist, David has been contributing his highly distinctive illustrations to Hot Press for 30 years. Although he didn’t know Glen personally, for the issue following the Springsteen gig he decided to mark the momentous occasion by drawing the scene from the perspective of the Dubliner’s battered old Takamine guitar.
“I have almost an identical guitar and I know the instrument really well,” he explains. “It wears away very easily and I thought that would be interesting, inside Glen’s guitar looking over at Bruce. So I did the illustration. Glen got in touch with Niall [Stokes] to find out if he could get the original. Niall gave him my number and he texted me. I thought it was someone winding me up so I actually didn’t reply for a week.”