It’s the quiet ones you have to watch, they say. When I last saw Eamonn Namcarrow, back in the mid 1980s he was a congenial, good-natured and highly sociable young lad. The next time was 26 years later, in Lavery’s Gin Palace in Bradbury Place.
He’d just brought out his first book, Holywood Star about his misadventures on the way to rock and roll oblivion.
In fact half of Holywood have been reading it, it seems: or at least that part of the town that had been around back in the 80s. Like Eamonn himself, the book does not take itself too seriously but delivers a few laugh out loud moments along the way.
There was Marty McGowan’s vain attempt to avoid arrest by literally standing under the American flag outside Chicorino’s bar. The unfortunate night in a van they spent after a gig at Spuds in Portrush. And a mix up between his dad’s poitin and paint stripper.
It’s a right of passage story about a boy who starts as he means to go on by crashing his friend’s motor bike straight into his dad’s flower garden but who ends up making something substantial of himself he never expected or planned.
And it’s a book about those many thousands of young men and women who determine music is their lives and nothing else matters. It’s about flatulence, incontinence, and making it up as you go along.
It’s about people their families and an array of characters that you’d be hard pressed to make up. It’s about peroxide blonde hair, tiger skin trousers bouncing guitars and wearing your sister’s clothes stage. It’s about balding men and wigs.
But I have no doubt in the least it all happened to Eamonn, though possibly not quite in the precise detail he tells it. If you grew up in the Holywood in the 80s, it’s worth cover price for the first 100 pages alone.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty