Off The Record by Mike Farragher
Don't bet against 'Spider Man'
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 08:25 AM
- Cormac De Barra reinvents the harp as a rock and roll instrument
- Singer Jake Bugg’s new album brings us to paradise by way of Memphis
- Pierce Turner returns to US for New York, Philadelphia concerts
- The Celtic Tenors Christmas CD lends an Irish vibe to the sounds of the season
- A year after the tragic loss of lead singer, Mickey Finns rise again
Now look at that face, it's so old.
And such a video!
Well, it's really laughable. Ha, ha, ha …
Those words come from the song “We Hate it When our Friends Become Successful,” and the pen of Stephen Patrick Morrissey, or Morrissey as he is more commonly called.
It kinda sums up the Irish condition I detect running in the background on the press coverage of the Broadway show Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark.
As we know, Bono and The Edge wrote the music for the show, which has been plagued by what Amy Andrews of IrishCentral.com describes as a curse.
With a producer dying in The Edge’s apartment in 2005 just as he was signing up to pay for the production and the costly delays and injuries, my colleague produces a perfectly rational argument for damnation.
But I can’t help but think in articles like hers and others in the Irish press that there is an underlying delight that the show is failing.
For centuries, the Irish have loathed success in our fellow countrymen because we don’t want them getting too big for their britches, nor do we want attention drawn to our own inaction of our lives.
This Irish reasoning goes something like this -- with global success, the launching of the Red brand for charity, and Nobel Prize nominations for his work in debt relief, isn’t this the great opportunity to put a little humility into that guy Bono? Just in case he gets carried away with himself?
Well, here is one journalist not buying any of it. The snippets of music I have heard for the show are thrilling – disco beats, show tune drama, string orchestrations that would make a hardened spinster like Eleanor Rigby shed a tear, all anchored by The Edge’s spiraling guitar riffs? Sign me up for that!
As a diehard fan of both comic books and U2, all I want for Christmas is for this show to succeed.
“If you don’t have fear, you’re not taking a chance at life. Nothing is created without risk,” said director Julie Taymor of the show on 60 Minutes. She’s the Broadway genius behind The Lion King who is the other creative force behind the show.
“This is one of the most playful times in our creative life,” says Bono. “And if people come through the door after all this melodrama as we think they will, this will be a great success.”
Think about this -- what would Ireland be like if the country’s minister of ginance came to work with that attitude? Like the Republic of Ireland, Bono, The Edge and Julie Taymor stand in the jaws of crippling debt, overwhelming odds and the world betting against them.
If Irish journalists like my friend John Spain and other Irish approached their equally dire situation with the same creativity and hope, the OTHER pervasive headline on places like IrishCentral and this paper wouldn’t be such a depressing read.
Hopefully, 2011 will have journalists spinning differently on the web. I’m just sayin’.
Find This Lost Boy!
I am kicking myself that I missed this. I met this guy James Hannon in a bar (Irish writers in a bar---shocking, I know) at a writer’s function and he slipped me this book Lost Boys of the Bronx – The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang.
I didn’t crack it open until after his event and I got totally hooked on the story and how Hannon laid it out. He tells the street tale in interview style in many parts, making it read like a police report on gang warfare from another place and time. Genius!
I was surprised to learn that one Ducky Boy hid his face in greasepaint and became famous in the 1970s as Ace Frehley of the rock band KISS! Here I thought I knew everything about one of my favorite bands!
If you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer that would benefit a budding Irish American writer (Lord knows we all could use the help nowadays with the book business in the toilet), pick up Lost Boys of the Bronx – The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang, published by AuthorHouse books.