THOMAS MARTIN didn’t wait for the main attraction – but caught up with the band many decades later


When we were schoolboys in Dublin’s Harold’s Cross in the late fifties to early sixties, myself and my mates used to watch Cliff (Richard) and The Shadows on their weekly television programme on Tommy Keane’s parents television set; in glorious monochrome, of course, but that suited the rock’n’roll music.

Tommy was my best friend in those days and we shared everything together. Tommy’s was the only house on the street that had a television set, so it was a big event for us, as it was for Tommy’s parents, who enjoyed acting as hosts and supplied us with lemonade and biscuits to enhance the weekly experience.

Back in the day, The Shadows were our heroes. At the time of the broadcast we all became absorbed in the beat of the rock’n’roll music and the twangy sound of Hank Marvin’s lead guitar.

Cliff was cool, but none of us wanted to be him: he was impossibly good looking and we could never aspire to such an attainment. But Hank and the others were ordinary blokes, just like us, and if we practised hard, when we got a bit older, we too might become famous.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own