- 17 Nov 20
Christy Moore shares his memories of Luke Kelly, on what would have been the legendary Dubliner's 80th birthday.
I first became aware of Luke Kelly in 1964 – I heard him in O'Donoghues, The Embankment, The Coffee Kitchen and The Universal. I was starting out, and Luke was very, very impressive.
My starting point was The Clancy Brothers. They lit the flame in many of us. Luke was one of a few singers who brought it on to the next level. I listened to and watched Luke like a young lad gazing up at the stars.
His voice, his repertoire, his passion, his politics, his generosity, his crankiness, his laugh, his clothes, and even the way he’d walk into a pub – that's what made him special.
I first connected with Luke at The Two Brewer’s Pub in Salford, Manchester. The Dubliners were making a TV special with a live audience. I was standing in the queue with my big green guitar case, and Luke stopped to chat with me. Then he took me into the gig as his guest. Later we had drink and he let me stay in his hotel room. When I woke the next morning, Luke was gone, but there was an English £5 note on my guitar case. We stayed in touch from then on, and Planxty and The Dubliners played together a few times. Luke was at our wedding. I loved that wild mad, wonderful ballad singer.