By Eileen Murphy
Well, it’s true that everybody needs a break, and though we don’t believe that Christy Moore spent his time off climbing any mountains or jumping in many lakes, we are happy to report that he’s back and ready to go.
The singer, who retired from public life nearly three years ago, has announced that he is ready to resume his career. He’s spent his down time wisely, having recorded a new album, and he’s almost finished writing what is said to be a frank, no-holds-barred autobiography. And if that’s not exciting enough, the "Tempest in a T-Shirt" will make his long-awaited return performance at Dublin’s Vicar Street club in September.
We hear that at least four major publishers are bidding on the book, which Moore wrote without the assistance of a ghostwriter. Those in the know say that the book will deal with Moore’s long-ago problems with booze, his interest in Republican politics and his sudden drop off the public radar in 1996.
Friends are said to be surprised at the very private Moore’s decision to write about his life.
"Maybe he just wants to leave behind his own account of his life," mused a source in the Sunday World. "Rather than leave it to others to interpret it in their way."
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Moore’s new album will be released next month on the Sony record label. Titled "Traveller," is combines material from his Planxty days with current compositions.
"It’s standard Christy Moore, but with a slightly different sound to it," enthused a record company spokesperson. "It’s brilliant!"
Well, of course, they would say that, it can’t be far off the mark — the man’s a genius. Of course, that’s our completely unbiased opinion . . .
Corrs score at Lansdowne
It was a nice sort of homecoming for Irish cuties The Corrs. The sibling band, who’ve taken the world (and its record charts) by storm, brought their photogenic faces to Dublin’s Lansdowne Road last week for what turned out to be a huge love-in.
No, no, no — the squeaky-clean quartet wasn’t involved in any sort of debauchery. They were up on stage singing their photogenic heads off, to the delight of 40,000 adoring fans. But even with all the love in the air, the Corrs were nervous backstage.
Lead singer and little sister Andrea confessed to a bout of the butterflies before the concert. "We were very nervous," she told a reporter. "We had invited our parents and around 400 guests to see us."
And if that weren’t enough to make their (flat) tummies do somersaults, "It was the biggest headlining gig of our whole lives, and no matter how many times we have performed, we cannot be prepared for the hometown fans," she confided.
We suspect that one reason for Andrea’s attack of nerves was the backstage presence of the guy rumored to be her old flame, Robbie Williams. But we’re surprised she wasn’t more comforted by all the congratulatory telegrams, champagne and bouquets from show business pals like Boyzone and U2 . . .
If parents of Irish teenagers want to know exactly where their money goes, they need look no further than the expen$ive haciendas of their children’s most favoritest singing group, Boyzone. Though £5 a week may not buy much in these days of the Celtic Tiger, the kids are using their allotments to snatch up albums, calendars, stickers and, of course, concert tickets. And trust us, the numbers add up.
Lead singer Ronan hangs his hat in a £750,000 mansion in Kildare. The house comes complete with six bedrooms, an indoor pool and — what home would be complete without it? — a private bar. The shack even has its own name: Vellach, which, we presume, is Irish for "built with lunch money."
Stephen Gately, who recently revealed that he’s gay, owns a £1 million home in the charming Wicklow village of Newtownmountkennedy, a name that flows off the tongue like, well, supercallafrajelistic . . . well, you get the idea. Gately’s home is painted a spanking red, and boasts a security system so elaborate that he can control the gates, the blinds and the central heating system via remote control – from anywhere in the world.
Macho ‘Zoner Keith Duffy, by contrast, bought a modest shack in the £300,000 range, but we’re sure it has indoor plumbing. What he saves on the mortgage, he plows into his car collection: he reportedly has nine vehicles, including a BMW convertible.
Just in case you thought Ronan was the only one who’d thought of naming his house, bandmate Mikey Graham is of the same mind. His five-acre estate in North Dublin is called "Avalon," and boasts five bedrooms and an electronic front gate.
Nose-ringed Shane Lynch, big brother of B*Witched cuties Edele and Keavy, is the only Boy who lives outside Ireland. The singer, who’s married to fellow pop star Esther (from the band Eternal), lives outside London on an estate with a big fish pond on the property.
We can only imagine that the electricity bills alone make the Boyz’s mansions expensive to maintain, never mind the cost of buying fish for Shane’s private lake. So, parents, if your kids start asking for a cost-of-living increase in their pocket money, or if they take a sudden interest in mortgage rates, have a heart.
JFK Jr.: Photographs and memories
The Associated Press photo archive lists nearly 30,000 entries for John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. The images include Kennedy as the brave child saluting his father’s coffin, as the hunky bachelor rollerblading around New York, and as the gallant groom kissing his bride’s hand. He was the golden child of the Kennedy clan, the heir apparent to the myth of Camelot. Now he’s gone, killed in a plane crash along with his wife, Carolyn Bessette, and his sister-in-law Lauren. In the aftermath of his death, the world clings to those images, as we try to make sense of this horrific tragedy.
His appeal spanned the generations. Older people remember the chubby-cheeked infant who was born just days after his father was elected president in 1960. To younger baby boomers, he was a generational icon, the touchstone by which they measured their own progress. To twentysomethings, he was a heartthrob, dubbed People magazine’s "Sexiest Man Alive." The truth lay somewhere between these disparate personas.
During the Kennedy years in the White House, the energetic little boy and his elder sister, Caroline, charmed the press and the public. Even the little boy’s nickname, John-John, was a misnomer invented by a reporter, and not, as widely believed, a family diminutive. The constant coverage led to friction between the press and the children’s fiercely protective mother, Jackie. Luckily, the president did not share his wife’s reservations. Photos of John-John playing under his father’s desk in the Oval Office became part of the national family album, and helped soften Kennedy’s Cold Warrior image.
After Kennedy’s assassination, his widow moved to New York City, determined to raise her children out of the spotlight and far away from the insular world of Washington politics. The youngsters flourished in Manhattan, where they attended private school and played in Central Park, under the watchful eye of the Secret Service.
When New York senator and presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was murdered in 1968, a frightened Jackie was desperate to get her children out what she felt was the line of fire. She married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis and moved to his private island, Skorpios. The children spent summers and holidays frolicking in the Mediterranean, safe from all but the telephoto lenses of the paparazzi.
After college, Kennedy attended law school and later became Manhattan’s most famous assistant district attorney. Dubbed "The Hunk" thanks to his dark good looks, athletic physique, and propensity for playing Frisbee without a shirt, he was frequent tabloid fodder. He twice flunked the New York bar exam. "The Hunk Flunks!" snickered the tabloids. But failure made him seem all the more human to his admiring public.
Following his mother’s death in 1994, Kennedy stepped into the media spotlight as a publisher. Harnessing his considerable charisma to put his political magazine, "George," on the map, he was not above training the spotlight on his own family. His looks, wealth and charisma made him one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, a title he held until he wed publicist Carolyn Bessette in 1996.
For people around the world, Kennedy’s early death signals the end of an era. Untouched by scandal, imbued with a natural glamour, graced with the ability to "walk with kings/Nor lose the common touch," he was considered by many the torch carrier of his father’s legacy, his family’s last best hope.
The Kennedy clan is accustomed to dealing with tragedy and will bear this blow as they have borne so many, with dignity and courage. And as John F. Kennedy Jr. is laid to rest near his beloved parents, we’ll each cling to the image — the toddler, the hunk, the groom — that best comforts us.