It's Gerry here, at my last Farewell Australia gig in Perth on Tuesday 11th December, I would have liked to say a public thank-you to some very important people who have helped make my music happen over the years, but for various reasons I just didn't get the chance to thank them on the night. So I thought it would be appropriate to post an online thankyou.
So this message is for all those people who I didn't get to thank on Tuesday night … and the following thank-yous are in no particular order …
Firstly I would like to say a big thank-you to some forgotten people who in fact were the integral part of my 30-year career on the Perth music scene. I couldn't have done it without you. Those forgotten people are the publicans and managers of each and every venue that I have ever played in over the years … and those venues are just too numerous to mention.
As we know pub and venue management can change like the wind - managers can move from venue to venue … I call it changing the wallpaper … as they often do, but no matter where they moved to, they still made sure I got the gigs. In my 30 years in Perth, this always happened no matter what band I was in, even when sometimes I was playing 2, 3 or even 4 bands at any one time, and because the publicans knew my bands and my music I always got the gigs.
I remember the mad times when I had not only The Shinkickers, but The Lark, The Blarney Stones and Raggle Taggle Gypsy all playing here on the Perth music scene and it was those loyal publicans and venue managers who really made it all happen. I feel very fortunate to have such support from them in this very tough music industry in Perth … and also I feel very honoured that this loyal support has stayed with me right until the end of the last farewell gigs.
I would also like to say a big thank-you to all the very talented and wonderful musicians I have had the pleasure of playing with in the many bands I have gigged during my 30 years here in Perth. There have been too many great musicians to mention, and you all know who you are and I know that I don't need to name your names. I have had the best of times working with all of you, you are the very people for without of course, there would be no music.
Next of course I would like to thank all of YOU, the people, the punters. No matter where I played you were there, and I know some of you travelled great distances to make sure you were there for last Tuesday night at The Perth Blues Club. For the past 30 years I have always said that I haven't cared if I played on the stage or on the floor because I played the music for you, I have always played for the listener, for the people. I always say that without the listener, the music means nothing.
Next I would like to thank those people who were behind the scenes - some who may have been musicians themselves but who were never up on stage, those who never demanded attention, who were with the band but were not in the band, those whose love of the music is what kept them coming back, of course I am talking about the many loyal roadies I have had over the years. I won't name any names because there were many of you and I wouldn't want to forget anyone, because each of you were just as important as the other one and you all know who you are. You were there to help make the musician's job easier by letting us focus on what we had to do, and that is making the music. By doing your job you certainly helped to make the music happen.
You were there as workers and the work was thankless but you never complained, you were never expecting a pat on the back, you never complained that you needed a holiday or that you were sick or tired and would rather have stayed in bed. You knew exactly what jobs you were being paid for and you always did them without being asked or reminded. You were there to make sure I got to the gigs, you were there to help set up and you were there to help pack up and load up, my gear and the others, sometimes you setup some or all of the lighting, and when the venue didn't have their own sound system or sound guy you were always there to help setup the old faithful PA system. You always made sure the PA system was working great alongside our own personal sound equipment and amplifiers. I would like to say thank-you to my many loyal roadies over the past 30 years.
I would also like to say thankyou to all of my dedicated students over the years, and last but not least I would like to thank all the bar staff at the venues I played in who poured me the great pints of guinness. Slainte to you!
As I board the plane on new years eve, heading back to Ireland, I always will know that my time in Australia is valuable part of my life journey, but this is something I must now do, it's a calling to return to the homeland. I will always cherish my 30 years in Australia, the people I have met, the many students I have helped and the many friends I have made along the way.
PS don't forget about The Gathering on Saturday night at the Vic Park Hotel, all are welcome, hope to see you there!