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First gig. Bricking it. You check everything, sound check times, stage times, getting down to the venue. You’re on top of it. Last minute tuning, string snaps, well that’s that up the river. Wait, Clokes will be open. And it was. So I ran up and told John the catastrophe, he gave me two strings and never even charged me. The gig went swimmingly and the new strings sounded lovely.

That same summer, we all got immersed in music and all things musical. As a result, we spent our Saturdays rehearsing in Patrick O’ Brien’s front room, and his mum would bring sandwiches. Then we would go “up town” and spend the rest of the day in Clokes’ For Music. Looking at guitars, talking guitars and music in general. John was nothing but accommodating, we only had the money to buy maybe a set of strings every two weeks, but John didn’t seem to mind. If you wanted to talk music, you could spend hours in the shop.

That tradition is still carried on today. Whether I went in for strings, drum heads or plectrums, there were always young musicians in there. Coming and going from lessons, picking up guitars attempting to play Sweet Child of Mine. And all the while, John would be behind the counter smiling away and talking about the best guitar to get.

The music scene in Enniscorthy and indeed the town itself has lost a great, great man. John would go out of his way to help you and always had a smile for everyone that entered the shop. Every time I play Whiskey in the Jar now, I’ll think of John, because that was the song I was playing when I suddenly needed new strings. Sleep well, John.


Written by thepanch

March 3, 2011 at 10:58 am

Posted in Music, Thoughts

Tagged with , , , ,

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