An Archival History of Dublin Poetry-Performance Beat Group Tara Telephone
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|Tara Telephone is often categorized
as one of the Irish Beat groups
of the late sixties, as seen here on www.irishshowbands.net
This photo's caption reads
"Eamon Carr (later of Horslips),
Peter Fallon (brother of B.P. and nephew of the poet Padraig Fallon and Lucienne Purcell. Lucienne subsequently joined Nightbus.)"
But that's only part of the story.
Of the photo and of Tara Telephone.
|Here's the original newspaper article with the full photograph of Tara Telephone|
The history of Tara Telephone as briefly outlined in Mark Cunningham's Hot Press article on Horslips:
|Both [Eamon] Carr and [Declan] Sinnott had been major players in Tara Telephone, a poetry and music group which among its many antics included the publication of magazines and broadsheets, such as The Book Of Invasions. Carr says: "Peter Fallon and I produced those broadsheets and we published just about anybody from Allen Ginsberg and Adrian Henri to Marc Bolan and Roger McGough. The artist that we had working with us was Jim Fitzpatrick who went on to design Thin Lizzy's album sleeves."|
Of the heady late '60s/early '70s era, Carr recalls: "There was a really exciting underground movement going on in Dublin and some of the more interesting bands were Skid Row with Gary Moore, Dr Strangely Strange and Mellow Candle. Henry McCullough (later of Wings fame and one of the voices on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon) played with The People who later became Eire Apparent, then he joined Sweeney's Men who were a young traditional music group."
We persuaded Philip Lynott to come and read some of his lyrics and poems at one of our poetry workshops. He was well nervous about it but it sort of validated what he was doing. There was a lot of exchange of ideas floating between people and it was a very healthy, creative period."
from The Beginning of a Great Adventure - Colm O'Hare's Hot Press article on Philip Lynott:
|Eamonn Carr, who later drummed with Horslips, was a leading light on the Dublin beat poetry scene at the time and a member of Tara Telephone. He remembers Lynott as someone who was hungry to hear, and to play, whatever new music was around.
"I think that the period from the end of Skid Row through Orphanage into the first six months of Thin Lizzy was a very important one for him," he avers. "He was finding his feet and own artistic voice. He was well into the folk thing. He was hanging around with the likes of Tim Booth, who was in Dr. Strangeley Strange, and would have been aware of Pink Floyd and Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band. It's particularly interesting in that there's nothin here of the heavy rock that the band would later become. While other musicians were quite clearly defined in their musical direction, Philip was hip to experimenting and was always consciously anxious to take in whatever stuff he could. It was something I admired in him."
|I didn't play electric bass; what I played was the bass viol. I had bought my first viol in London in 1967, and it had metal strings (we always use gut now). It fitted in very well with the sound of the band which was entirely acoustic; I don't think we owned any mikes pickups or amps, and if we were amplified for some gigs it was with the house PA system.
The format was: Peter Fallon, poet; Eamon Carr, poet and bongos; Lucienne Purcell, singer (and occasionally guitar); Declan Sinnott, guitar and vocals; Bernie Barrett, guitar and vocals; me on bass viol and vocals. Some poems were read with musical backing, some set to tunes and sung.
This second incarnation of the group lasted only a year or so. But it was wonderful fun, and an enlightening musical education for me. Everything was done by ear, which suited me fine: though I was a music student my ear was better than my reading at that time.
We appeared once on the "Late Late Show" singing a song called "In Dublin"; I just remember a few lines of the chorus: "In Dublin, where our friends are chains, in Dublin, where our roots remain" . . . I played a recorder solo in that one. Unfortunately in the 70s recording tape was more valued than what was recorded on it, and I don't suppose RT.. kept a copy of the show.
We recorded our farewell concert, which took place in Trinity College in January 1972 (or was it even 71?). The quality of the equipment was dreadful and no use could be made of it. We did two or three of my songs, the ones on my home page.
I went on to specialise in Renaissance music, with the Consort of St Sepulchre, and after a few years Lucienne joined us in that. At one stage she became a rock singer, in a band called Nightbus. Peter went on publishing poetry.
I remember various scraps of TT lyrics:
Pale Aphrodite carries the light
Capella 1 40 poems by 28 poems including Gerard McCarthy, Jim Burns, Pete Morgan, Brian Wake, Des O'Mahony, Tony Dash, Roger McCough, Mike Evans and Peter Finch. 3/ 6d.
Capella 2 38 poems by 24 poets including Pete Morgan, Leland Bardwell, Leo Finlay, Ben Gibney, Tina Morris, Liam Murphy, Brian Patten, Wes Magee, Justin McCarthy, Adrian Henri, Pete Sinfield and Knute Skinner. 3/-d.
Capella 3 Contributors include Brian Wake, Willie Kealy, John Lennon, Joe Taylor, Eugene Platt, Denis MacEoin, Brendan Kennelly, Pearse Hutchinson and Pete Morgan. 3/-d.
The Book of Invasions
Chapter 1 contains poems by twelve younger Irish writers. 1 /-d.
Chapter 2 contains poems from twelve poets including Gerry McCarthy, Leland Bardwell, Eamon Carr, Olga Murphy, Ben Gibney, Des O'Mahony, Peter Fallon, Terry Hayden, Richard Moran, Joe Taylor, Evanna O'Boyle, and Liam Murphy. 1 /-d.
Chapter 3 contains poems from ten contemporary British poets including Pete Morgan, Mike Evans, Brian Wake, Wes Magee, Adrian Henri, and Jim Burns.
Cover designs by Jim Fitzpatrick (Two Bare Feet).
No. 1 'No Exit' by Peter Fallon and Two Bare Feet
Silver, black and white
No. 2 'A Tale of Love' by Eamon Carr and Two Bare Feet
Day-Glo pink and silver
Both posters - 20 in. by 30 in. Available by post -- 9/- (including postage).
|On the 'In' Scene - article in the Herald, January 21, 1970|
|Poetry and Music at T.C.D. - review in the Irish Times, 1970|
|Festival of Living Music at Wexford - review in the Irish Times, 1970|
|The Book of Invasions Announcement - unknown article|
|Capella 3 Announcement - unknown article|
|It Doesn't All Rhyme - Review of Capella 4, Monk Gibbon|
|N.O.A.H. Concert - Liberty Hall - Concert ticket, February 4, unknown year|
|Horslips - Official Site of the band with Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart, Eamon Carr, Charles O'Connor and Johnny Fean|
|Carr's Cocktail Shack - Choice FM 92.1 Sunday evening show hosted by Eamon Carr that celebrates "music that is largely ignored by contemporary music criticism."|
|Peter Fallon - The official site of Peter Fallon with biography, photographs, reviews and more.
|Gallery Press - Publisher of books of poems, plays and prose by Ireland's leading contemporary writers.
Andrew Robinson - Andrew Robinson's site of projects and interests. He currently teaches the Viola da Gamba in The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, and The DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama as well as to private pupils, and also teaches in the Orpheon summer schools in the Czech Republic, run by Jose Vazquez.
Roger McGough - Official website with tour dates, biography, press release, books, poems & enquiries.
Brendan Kennelly - Tara Telephone contributor Brendan Kennelly is the prolific author of over twenty books of poetry as well as plays, novels and criticism.
Vibe for Philo - The official site for the annual celebration of Phil Lynott's music and art.
Adrian Henri - Andy Roberts' page dedicated to Tara Telephone contributor and artist Adrian Henri.
Jim Fitzpatrick - Tara Telephone illustrator Jim Fitzpatrick's gallery of all his works, including album art for Thin Lizzy, Sinead O'Connor, and more.
Leo O'Kelly - Songwriter and performer, Leo O'Kelly was a member of early beat group The Word. Later, as the N.O.A.H. Concert ticket shows, O'Kelly performed at many of the same venues as Tara Telephone.
Peter Fallon/The Gallery Press collection, ca. 1967-1998 - Emory University's Irish Literary Collections Portal to the personal and literary papers of Irish poet and publisher Peter Fallon, as well as the archives of the Gallery Press.
Other Connections on the Telephone Line
Irish Beat-Groups Archive - Francis Kennedy's comprehensive guide to the 60s beat and rock groups of Ireland.
Rock 'n Roll: The Green Beat - Ranelagh Arts Festival 2006 event celebrating the Irish beat movement of the mid-sixties.
The Liverpool Scene - Andy Roberts' archival history of the band featuring Roger McGough, Adrian Henri and other influential artists in the Liverpool beat movement.
The Beat Pages - A comprehensive review of the American Beat scene.
|This Tara Telephone Page is a work in progress|
|As I've already shown on this site, a piece of Tara Telephone artwork is now in the Summer of Love Exhibition of the Liverpool Tate. Online research into private libraries and literary collections has shown me that the poetry and publications of Tara Telephone are worth closer study. Not only because they introduce themes and imagery later developed in Horslips lyrics and albums, but also because, in their own right, they are a glimpse into a time and place. They are documents of a wider movement and an emerging culture of modern Irish poetry and popular art.
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|Copyright (c) 2005 - 2010
by L. Templeton
San Francisco - Updated 24/07/10