Category: Archive

Byrne bums around Bev Hills

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Given Gabriel Byrne’s unkempt appearance and energetic digging in garbage cans, passersby in Los Angeles might be tempted to hand him some spare change these days. But there’s no need to worry — the handsome heartthrob hasn’t hit the skids. He’s in character for his role in the movie “Shade,” which is currently filming in Beverly Hills. The plot has Byrne playing a scam artist who, along with fellow hustlers Thandie Newton and Stuart Townsend, is looking to put one over on a hood played by Sylvester Stallone.

Playing footie . . . er, footsie with Robbo

We knew there had to be some positive aspects to being in one of Louis Walsh’s pop bands. Take Bellefire. After long, hard days of warbling sunny ditties, penning chatty notes for their website and pouting for the camera, all the while clad in those drafty, midriff-baring tops, the girls were due a little diversion, right?

Well, they got diversion all right — in the form of Irish World Cup hero Robbie Keane. We hear that the football star, eager to thank the quartet for singing at the team’s homecoming party in Phoenix Park last Tuesday, spent the evening showing off his moves. The cute, single and eminently eligible bachelor treated the girls to a closeup view of his footwork — on the dance floor of Dublin hotspot Lillies Bordello. Which, in our opinion, was just one more reason for the band to shout, “OlT!”

Lord of the taps

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We told you last week that “Lord of the Dance” star Michael Flatley, his pneumatic girlfriend, Lisa Murphy, and a handful of their bestest buddies hopped a plane to Korea to catch Ireland’s semifinal game against Spain last week. What we didn’t tell you was that after the game, Michael and his pals spent the evening helping the Irish team look on the bright side of life (and for you Monty Python fans, that’s dah-doo, dah-doo, dah-doo, dah-doo dah-doo . . .)

Anyway, Michael — who appreciates flashy footwork more than most — did his best to take the sting out of the excruciating loss. When he arrived at Mulligan’s Pub in Seoul, the generous hoofer handed the barman his credit card, and informed him that all the drinks were on him. Quicker than you could say “Sl_inte!” the team and the small group of fans in the bar took him at his word. According to Ireland’s Sunday Independent, the bill totaled _20,000 by the end of the evening. Sterling, mind you — not those flimsy euro thingies.

The Edge of sanity

If you thought you heard some unusually good karaoke singing from the back of a pub last week, you weren’t imagining things. The whole U2 crew was in New York City last weekend for a bachelor party in honor of The Edge. The superstar guitarist celebrated his last few moments of unmarried bliss with his bandmates, assorted pals and a gaggle (or is that a pride?) of supermodels. On hand to help him bid adieu to the single life were Helena Christiansen and Christy Turlington, who must be feeling a little fragile since her split with fiance Edward Burns.

The bunch then jetted to The Edge’s villa in the south of France, where he tied the knot with his longtime partner, former dancer Morleigh Steinberg. Among those in attendance at the wedding were the couple’s two children, Sian and Levi, pals Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton, Dennis Hopper and Lenny Kravitz, according to showbizireland.com.

As someone who follows wedding trends like other people follow Wimbledon, we have to say that The Edge deserves some sort of award for sartorial trendsetting. The guitar god wore his trademark black wool skullcap during the ceremony. To paraphrase a line from the song that made bellydancer Morleigh famous — he dresses in “Mysterious Ways.”

Larry: The keeper of the flame

Every family has one. We refer, of course, to the collector: the person who keeps every scrap of paper, every bit of ephemera associated with a particular subject, be it a favorite sports team, old family recipes, and so on. In U2, which seems to us to be something of a family, the collector is Larry Mullen Jr.

We hear that the drummer has probably the most comprehensive set of U2 paraphernalia on the planet. This seems appropriate since it was Mullen who posted the famous note looking for band members on the notice board of Dublin’s Mount Temple School almost 25 years ago. (Can it really be 25 years?) The guy’s got the kind of collection that makes us drool with envy: at least one of every piece of merchandise associated with the band, plus rarities like the first specially designed band T-shirt — which Mullen created in his high school art class. And there we were feeling smug about holding on to an increasingly threadbare “U2: War” shirt.

Anyway, mindful of the band’s place in rock and roll history, Mullen donated two letters to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Both letters are from record companies, and both were in response to demo tapes that the band — then called The Hype — had sent in. We’re sure that Arista Records and RSO Records don’t need to be reminded of the ones (or is that 2s) who got away.

Poems are made by fools like he . . .

We hear that the organizers of the Prince’s Trust and the Safeway Picnic 2002 were scrambling for a unique and cost-effective way to thank the stars who will perform at this year’s event. After all, what do you get the celebrity who has everything?

After all, it’s not like Shirley “Call Me Dame” Bassey, Diana “Call Me Miss Ross” Ross, Rod “Hot Legs” Stewart or Ireland’s most wholesomest export, Ronan “Boyzone is Finished” Keating need more awards to clutter up the hacienda, right? So the committee — going out on a limb — decided to plant a tree in each star’s honor. Right there, smack in the middle of Hyde Park, where picnickers and pooches alike can make full use of them. The trees, we mean.

Personally, while we think that we shall never see a singer lovely as a tree, we think the arborial salute is a smashing idea. Just think of the possibilities: though you’ll probably never have the chance to pluck a souvenir off Ronan, or write E.M. [heart] L.N. on his back, for the price of one roundtrip ticket to London, you’ll ample opportunity to interact with his botanical alter ego.

And lest you think that Ronan is unaware of the potential advantages, we bring you a quote from his very own mouth — the one with the ‘spensive dental work.

“Thanks very much for my tree,” he told the group. “I hope that over the years people will enjoy its shade, birds its shelter, and dogs its convenience!”

Music hath charms

In “God Part II,” Bono wrote that he didn’t believe “that rock and roll can really change the world,” but the bespectacled singer/political dilettante might be willing to reconsider his position these days. Nobel peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, newly freed from a Burmese prison, has thanked U2 for bringing her case to the attention of the world.

Kyi’s fight to bring democracy to her country, against the wishes of the ruling military dictatorship, was the inspiration for U2’s hit “Walk On,” from “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.” She told BBC news, “I am very thankful to U2 for the consideration they have shown toward the Burmese people.”

It’s a Given

Ireland’s World Cup goalkeeper was handsome enough to make us forget — briefly — the charms of his predecessor, Packie Bonner. But who knew that the talented footie player Shay Given was also a closet Pavoratti?

OK, Pavoratti might be stretching it a bit. But we did hear that the goalie had a firm grip on the microphone recently during the team’s pis . . . er, excursion to one of Korea’s more congenial nightspots (For more on the night, see the “Lord of the Taps” story on the opposite page.)

The Sunday World reports that Given wasn’t, er, givin’ the mike to anyone else, as he led his teammates in a few choruses of “The Fields of Athenry,” followed by “Yellow Submarine,” whose lyrics were changed to rhyme with “Gary Breen.”

They might want to phone a friend

In danger of going the way of the Regis Philbin monochrome look (did anyone really like those maroon shirts and satin ties?) is the Irish version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” The game show, hosted by Gay Byrne and helmed by Tyrone Productions — creators of “Riverdance” — has lost its sponsor (Eircell) and is frantically looking for another deep-pocketed firm.

Things are looking grim for the show, which, paradoxically, is RTE’s biggest hit. Unlike American TV shows, the ones on RTE run without commercials and rely on corporate sponsorship, a bit like PBS series here. Without a sponsor, the show folds, especially since it’s a very expensive proposition: to date, they’ve awarded over euro 5.5 million in prize money.

Byrne is gutted at the thought of ending the show.

“Personally, I’m very sorry to see it go,” he told the Sunday World. “I enjoyed it a great deal, and it made me extremely popular giving away those checks.”

Of course, he probably enjoyed getting checks — his reportedly generous salary ones, that is — almost as much.

Tower of power

Attention, fans of WFUV 90.7FM in the New York tri-state area, there will be a critical hearing held this week — Thursday, June 27 — that will determine the fate of the radio station and its hugely popular Irish program schedule.

Eight years ago, the station began construction of a 50-foot high transmission tower — a necessary upgrade to the station’s broadcast equipment. Opposition by the neighboring New York Botanical Gardens, citing ‘sthetic and safety concerns, convinced the Federal Communications Commission to order a work stoppage while it examined the matter. The tower remained unfinished as the university and the garden engaged in heavy legal wrangling in court.

The FCC has announced that it is ready to resolve the matter, and will hold a public hearing on Thursday for public comment on the completion of WFUV’s broadcast tower. The station is seeking the support of its loyal listeners, urging them to attend the hearing, either as speakers or attendees.

The morning session will run from 10 to noon at the Botanical Garden, and the afternoon session from 2-4 at McGinley Center on the Fordham campus. In between, from approximately 12:30-1:30 p.m., there will also be a free concert and rally at the McGinley Center, featuring Susan McKeown, Cherish the Ladies, Christine Lavin, Dar Williams, The Kennedys, and others, which will be broadcast live on WFUV.

As a longtime listener, we have to admit that we’re biased on this one, so consider this next bit shameless editorializing. Support the station that brings you “Ceol na nGael,” “1000 Welcomes,” and countless hours of diverse programming you won’t find anywhere else. Get there early, and you might even snag a free “No Tower, No Tunes” T-shirt. Or, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “Stand not upon the order of your going, but go.”

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