A new book gathering together almost 200 memories of punk and rock gigs from 1967 to the present day has been published to raise funds in the battle against Covid-19.
Great Gig Memories From Punks and Friends, which was compiled and edited by Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy of the Dublin-based Hope Collective, includes eye witness accounts of shows in Ireland and the UK by the likes of T-Rex, Rory Gallagher, The Sex Pistols, Nick Cave, The Stranglers, Bob Dylan, AC/DC, and The Ramones.
The memories of the shows are written by a huge cross section of the Irish and British music scene, old and new, including members of Stiff Little Fingers, The Radiators, The Cure, Microdisney, and The Fall.
The new book is the latest publication from the do-it-yourself, not-for-profit, Hope Collective, who have been active in the Irish punk scene since the late eighties and have promoted gigs in Ireland by Fugazi, Chumbawamba, Green Day, The Membranes, Therapy? and Babes in Toyland among many others.
McGuirk and Murphy describe the new book as 'our record collections talking about gigs that inspired them' and all proceeds from the book go to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal
The Hope Collective have previously published books in support of other worthy causes, including 2017’s In Concert: Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community, which raised over €5,000 for the Irish Red Cross Syrian Refugee appeal.
Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, Michael Murphy said, "Honestly, just about every gig in the book is one I would have loved to have seen.
"The accounts of the Sex Pistols' gigs are fascinating, even from a historical point of view. The accounts of the Hüsker Dü gigs make me green with envy, yet I’m so happy that the people who saw them in concert can still recall vividly the joy and power of the band. The Buzzcocks AND the Gang of Four? Head-spinning!"
He added, "The accounts of the Black Flag gigs - incredible. Early Ruts - can you even imagine that? Killing Joke in the Eighties!
"I was lucky enough to see the Pogues in McGonagles, and the Ramones in the TV Club, The Clash in the SFX, The Smiths in Trinity on their first visit, Fugazi in McGonagles, so those accounts pulled me back to memorable times."
Both Murphy and McGuirk lost a parent recently and they say they are fully aware of the humanity and diligence of the professionals in the Irish health care system but decided that all proceeds from the new book’s sales should go the NHS in Britain.
"The HSE sector was one of our first thoughts. But a few factors led us to the NHS Charities Together appeal this time," says Murphy.
"We took ages debating what charity we could support. We were back and forth a lot, to be honest. But there are a few clear reasons why we went for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal in the end.
"For this book we thought we’d 'narrow’ the focus a little, in terms of the music genres, and punk seemed the obvious way to go. Most of our gig experiences and record collections reflect that.
"Since we didn’t directly know most of the people we’d be asking to write about their gig memories, and since most of them would be from across the water, we thought it might be appropriate to raise funds for the NHS."
Alan Corr @CorrAlan2
You can purchase Great Gig Memories From Punks and Friends here.